BMW’s eye-opening new 7 Series debuts with electric i7 flagship

Derryn Wong

Page 1: Why the new 7 Series is a huge evolution: The i7

Interior : Back is the future 

Interior of the BMW i7 – note the blue highlights

The forward section of the cabin is already familiar to us from the BMW i4 and iX, with the BMW Curved Display taking centre stage. It consists of the same 12.3-inch driver’s display and 14.9-inch touchscreen control panel. The 7 Series takes lessons from the iX, with the same crystal-themed hardware on the seat adjusters and the iDrive controller, but goes extra high with the crystal meth theme.

BMW Interaction Bar activated with red and blue backlighting

The 7er debuts BMW’s Interaction Bar, which is not a beer joint with a talkative person behind the counter. Rather, it’s a row of buttons with various functions – door opening, hazard lights, etc – that stretches from the doors across the entire dashboard. It’s set behind a backlit row of crystal to better match the luxury theme, and shows BMW’s taking the war on buttons creatively.

As a luxury limo with chauffeur possibilities, BMW aimed to deliver the ‘most immersive/cinematic  experience for rear seat entertainment’. To that end, there’s the BMW Theatre Screen, a 31-inch, 8k touchscreen display that folds into the roof of the vehicle when not in use. Besides the usual media playback, Amazon Fire TV is integrated into the system so you can watch something at home, and pick it up in the car.

Deploying the screen engages the rear blinds automatically, and if you opt for the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system with in-seat ‘exciter’ speakers, you’ll be able to feel the rumble of explosions and such. No word on if you can hook up a gaming console and have fun on the move, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes a thing down the road.

There are now BMW’s ‘My Modes’ for the rear, which can shift from ‘Relax’ mode to ‘Expressive’ with a matching Hans Zimmer soundtrack and graphics, and there will even be a Digital Art mode that will display works from curated sources – thankfully NFTs are absent from BMWs.

Active safety and autonomous capability

The  7 Series can drive itself…under certain circumstances. Cars with level 3 SAE autonomous capability –  human-monitored self driving – are not news as Audi’s A8 has been capable (though not legally) of it since 2017.

But BMW says the 7 Series will, with the appropriate Steering and Lane Control Assistant feature, lets the driver ‘take their hands off the steering wheel when driving on highways or other roads structurally separated carriageways at speeds of up to 130km/h’, provided the driver is ready to take control and not sitting in the back watching Harry Potter movies. Of course there’s no legal framework for AVs in Singapore just yet, so we won’t get the benefit of that right away.

BMW’s 69 page page press release on the new 7 Series continues highlighting many features of the brand’s revamped flagship, but the important thing to note is that the seventh-son of the 7 is without a doubt its most advanced flagship ever. With it, BMW’s no longer taking a mosquito-zapper to the cattle-prod electric vehicle melee.

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7 Series 735i 740i 760i bmw electric i7 Luxury limousine

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism, previously being the editor of Top Gear Singapore, a presenter for CNA, contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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