2023 BMW i7 M70 Review: M-Powerment

Lionel Kong
BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

The most powerful version of BMW’s big all-electric sedan isn’t an oversized sports car

2023 BMW i7 M70

Expected Launch: Q1 2024 – Price: TBC
Four-door luxury sedan, five-seats
660hp, electric twin-motor all-wheel drive , 23.8kWh/100km, 488km Range

Ballistically fast and agile
Intuitive user interface
Proper luxury interior

A bit of a bother to steer in tight spaces
Overpowered for urban use, probably

Don’t want to read? Here’s the quick video version!


The spearhead of the BMW 7 Series is no longer the BMW i7 xDrive60. Already electrified after its last-gen version, BMW’s venerable 7 Series sedan is now not only electric but also going M with this, the BMW i7 M70. If you don’t already know, BMW’s official M-tuned cars are its serious sports cars, with the M2, M3 and M5 being the most recognisable names in sporty, luxurious cars. Yet there’s also an M Performance series of cars, featuring the likes of the M135i and M235i. The difference is that the M Performance cars are tuned for a more supple ride and have a less edgy feel than their full M counterparts.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

Which brings us to what the i7 M70 is all about. You can’t really expect a big, long, plush BMW 7 Series electric sedan to be used as a track day special, and BMW states that the M70 is really a kind of flex, in that it’s an i7, but a hugely powerful one. It’s 5.39 metres long and 1.95 metres wide, and despite the BMW XM having the claim as the most powerful BMW made to date, the i7 M70 is going to temporarily usurp the title with its total power output of 660 horsepower.

At least, until the Red Label version of the XM with more than 740 horsepower comes along.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

Back to the i7 M70, it’s really what you suspect it to be: it’s an i7, with greatly uprated suspension and power. The 1,100 newton-metres torque output is quite a headline-grabber. That’s about four times the total torque you can get from a BMW 216i Active Tourer, and will punch the big sedan from a standstill to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. Sure, a Porsche 911 GT3RS is faster and louder, but can it take you there in the same level of comfort?

Meanwhile, here’s another really big EV…

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

External differences from the base model i7 include a pair of low key M badges on the front fenders, another M badge on the front, a tiny little boot spoiler, and as you would expect, the M70 badge on the rump.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

The cabin is almost identical to the base model version of the i7, and features the same five-seat configuration that can be converted into a comfortable four-seater when the massive armrest on the back seat is deployed. The huge panoramic instrument cluster and centre screen that was first brought to prominence in the BMW iX takes up most of the dashboard real estate space.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

The seats are of the standard you would expect in a BMW 7 Series, and the only real cue of this being an M-tuned car from the cabin is the M Sport steering wheel with the familiar logo set into the lower spoke.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

Rear seat passengers in other countries also get the huge fold-down cinema screen that drops in from the roof, that we saw with the launch edition i7 but not available in Singapore yet. This is apparently due to the broadcast rights of programs that can be accessed from the screen in Singapore.

No such trouble in Lisbon however, where the car is being launched to the world’s media. The trouble is, if your driver up front is having a whale of a time driving the i7 M70 like a sports car, then you’re not going to get any meaningful viewing done before becoming very carsick.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

That’s because it has got pulling power like a freight train and despite its massive size it hangs onto corners with the accuracy of a compass drawing a circle on paper. In its normal driving mode there’s a maximum torque output of 1,015Nm, then with a pull of the paddle on the left side of the steering wheel, where the sequential shifter paddle is normally located, you get all 1,100Nm for 10 seconds. It’s an EV so there are no gears to shift through, and  the power punch is delivered with the BMW Iconic Sounds module doing its big whooshing EV sporty noise.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

The thing is, it’s fun for the first 20 times you punch the accelerator, but on the hundreds of kilometres of coastal roads around Lisbon, it quickly starts becoming tiresome when on the way out of every corner the car makes the big “WHOOOSH” noise. So we eventually turned it off and drove in silence. Which in the i7 is really that. Near complete silence when bombing down twisty roads at unprintable speeds.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

There’s always the option of selecting the other, more muted Iconic Sound modes, but this experience did highlight the fact that some things are fun in small doses, but overkill in large ones. 

It has all-wheel drive adaptability, though in the tradition of BMW’s usual sense of dynamism the car is quite rear-wheel biased. BMW states that the motor driving the rear axle has 489 horsepower, while the front axle’s motor has 258 horsepower. The electronic nannies help keep the car pointed where you want it to go, but it still demands a healthy level of respect for the power under your right foot.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

It’s not just a more powerful i7. The suspension and chassis have been given the full M Performance treatment, with M-specific air springs at all four corners, a stiffened chassis, and M Sport brakes. It’s a step down from a full M car like the M2 and M3 though, which are angrier, meaner cars.

You can drive it sporty, but it’s best to think of the i7 M70 as a very fast luxury sedan rather than some kind of track-use sports car to be driven at the limit for long periods. It’s a viable all-electric alternative to something like a Bentley Continental Flying Spur, with less bling, more tech, and zero tailpipe emissions.  

Luxury sedan drivers don’t blast around backroads all the time, so for the more sedate moments the car’s standard drive setting gives it all the air and majesty of a regular 7 Series. Then when you’ve misjudged your range and need to limp to the next available charging station, the car has a ‘Max Range’ mode. The i7 M70 is the first time this configuration is being used, and BMW states that this will be progressively rolled out via software updates to the other i7 variants.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

By capping top speed to 90km/h and scaling back some comfort functions, the range of the car can be extended by up to 25 percent. A pop-up window in the control display will indicate the resulting gain in range as a distance to alleviate range anxiety when you really need to hobble to the next charging point.

BMW i7 M70 in Lisbon

Yet with a WLTP cycle claimed range of 488km to up to 560km, it’s a system that you’ll likely never need to use, if you’ve planned your driving schedules right.

Want a much smaller car instead?

So, how much is it going to cost in Singapore? At September 2023 COE prices we think that this will be a S$800k with COE kind of car. BMW won’t risk taking the spotlight off its XM, the brand’s first million-dollar car in Singapore, by tagging the i7 M70 at a higher price point, plus it has to compete with the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53, its direct rival in this segment. It’s expected to go on sale in Singapore in early 2024, but once again, you need to ask, do you really have use for a sedan that’s even more powerful than the BMW i7 xDrive60?

BMW i7 M70

Drivetrain typeFull electric
Electric Motor / layoutDual / All Wheel-Drive
Motor power / torque660hp / 1,100Nm
Battery type /net capacityLithium ion / 101.7kWh
Normal Charge Type / Time22kW AC wallbox / 5.5 hours
Max Fast Charge Type / Time195kW DC / 34 mins 10 to 80 percent
Electric Range488km (claimed)
0-100km/h3.7 seconds
Top Speed250km/h 
VES BandA1 / -S$25,000
AgentEurokars Auto / Performance Motors Limited
PriceTo be Confirmed
AvailabilityQ1 2024
Verdict:For times when you simply must have the BMW i7, but with even more power


bmw i7 m performance M70

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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