The BMW i7 xDrive 60 is what happens when BMW rips the gas-burning guts out of the BMW 7 Series sedan and replaces it with a battery electric powertrain comprising batteries and one electric motor-generator at the front and one at the rear axle. In this mode, it’s like a slot car without the slot. But, it’s the most luxurious slot car Napleton News has ever been in. May we take you for a ride? Hop in!
What is the new BMW i7 xDrive 60 all about?
Start with the uber-luxurious BMW 7 Series sedan. Tear out the normal 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. Then replace it with a dual electric motor powertrain with a 101.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This motivates the twin electric motors to the tune of 536 horsepower and 549 lb-ft of torque. With a range of 318 miles, it strikes a good, but not exceptional, balance of what an electric vehicle (EV) should be. Honestly, with an MSRP of nearly $120 large, we’d expect more.
Range is determined by the i7’s wheel size. With this i7, the EPA says it has a range of 318 miles with 19-inch alloy wheels. That figure drops to 308 with 21-inch wheels and just under 296 when equipped with 20 inchers. The transmission is a 1-speed automatic.
The BMW i7 xDrive 60 includes Adaptive Recuperation that uses navigation to optimize the regenerative braking. The object of the system is to reclaim driving range without having to adapt your driving style.
How does the BMW i7 look?
If you like the BMW 7 series, chances are good you’ll love the BMW i7. It shares a substantial amount of sheetmetal with the latter, but diverts when it comes to the front end. Still, it’s not a radical change from the gas-burning version.
To get a radically distinct look, order the M Sport package with Shadowline exterior. You’ll get Aerodynamic wheels and a revised front and rear fascia. The M Sport Professional package adds a black decklid spoiler, M Sport brakes and more black trim.
Inside is where the i7 xDrive shines
The interior of the i7 is where the company pulls out all the stops. Start with a pair of thrones up front. They rival living room lounge chairs with heating, ventilation and massage functions, not to mention full adjustability. In the case of our tester, it was festooned with carbon fiber trim throughout.
The BMW curved display houses both driver information gauges and the iDrive-based infotainment screen. iDrive has improved through the years; it is no longer the boondoggle it once was. Instead, it has come into its own and is fully functional, but it requires some practice.
The right rear passenger seat is the star of the show. Press buttons on the iPad Mini-style touchscreens on each door, to move the front passenger seat far forward. From there, a leg rest rises from the floor and it slides back into total recline. It’s the perfect position to watch the 31.3-inch BMW Theater Screen with 8K display. Of course, you’ll lift the window shades to darken the interior, too. All that’s missing now is a popcorn machine.
How does the BMW i7 xDrive 60 drive?
Simply stated, if electric motors did more than purr, you would think you were behind the wheel of the traditional gas-powered BMW 7 series. It drives shorter than it really is, thanks to rear-steering tires that help cut the turning radius more than a front-steering vehicle typically would. Just a reminder, but this is a full-size vehicle that drives like a BMW 3 Series.
Acceleration is thrillingly fast, with the i7 clocking 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s almost as quick as the V8-powered 7 Series. It was always a kick to blow off a few Teslas from a standing start, only to watch a look of surprise as their cars vanished in the distance.
As fast as the i7 is, it truly feels at home providing elegant transportation to some head of state or captain of industry. When we were in the back seat, we thought of Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World. You remember. “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy.”
In this case, yes, we are.
|2023 BMW i7 xDrive 60 Specifications
|Twin Electric Motors
|553 lb-ft of torque
|1-speed automatic transmission
|83 mpg (81 city/85 hwy)
|3.0-liter inline-6 engine
|4 years/50,000 miles
|4 years/50,000 miles
|NHTSA Safety Rating
|Max Seating Capacity
|Shoulder Room, Front
|17.7 cubic feet