The 2023 BMW 7 Series is here, and BMW dropped everything on us at once. Today sees the reveal of two gasoline-powered 7 Series and one electric-powered model. The electric 7 Series is to be known as the i7 xDrive60. Meanwhile, the gasoline-powered models available at launch include the 740i and the 760i xDrive.
Before any powertrain details, though, you’re going to notice the new, extroverted design of the seventh-generation 7 Series. Just like the updated X7 previewed last week, the 7 Series features split headlight modules up front. The slim top lights (optionally available with Swarovski crystals inset) house the DRLs, and the actual headlights are in a hidden module further down the bumper. In recent BMW fashion, the kidney grille is huge. The grille surround also lights up, though the M Driving Professional package deletes the light for dark gray paint.
The i7 features a bunch of blue accents all around the car to denote its status as an EV. Per usual for BMW, the appearance varies depending on the specific powertrain model you choose and whether or not it includes M Sport packages. While the overall design is similar between the i7 and 760i xDrive, many of the details are changed. Zooming all the way out, we’ll note that this new 7 Series is noticeably larger than its predecessor. Length is up by 5.1 inches, width is up by 1.9 inches and height is up 2 inches. Wheelbase went up a tiny 0.2 inch, but BMW says the larger proportions all around bring more seating comfort to the rear seats.
As for the available powertrains, we’ll start with the single electric configuration. The i7 xDrive60 (pictured directly above) features two electrically excited synchronous electric motors (one in front and one in back). The motor driving the rear wheels generates 308 horsepower, and the one in front produces 255 horsepower — BMW says the combined maximum output is 536 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 149 mph.
BMW predicts the i7 xDrive60 will have an EPA-rated 300-mile range on a full charge, though official ratings are not yet available. Its liquid-cooled battery pack provides 101.7 kWh of usable energy, and the maximum charge rate is 195 kW at a DC fast charger capable of those speeds. BMW suggests this will pour in about 80 miles of range in 10 minutes at its peak charging speed. All i7 owners will get free, unlimited 30-minute charge sessions for three years at Electrify America stations. BMW says it has refined its charging process for the i7 to be better than the i4 and iX to reduce charging times. Plus, the navigation system has an optimized charging planner, new cooling tech to increase long-term battery life and manually-selectable preheating of the battery to prepare for charging.
If you prefer gas power, the base model for 2023 is the rear-drive 740i. This 7 Series is fitted with an updated and more powerful 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine that produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It’s helped via a mild-hybrid system that can briefly raise peak torque to 398 pound-feet. A new eight-speed automatic transmission debuts here, incorporating the 48-volt mild-hybrid system, and BMW says it results in smoother and more instantaneous responses from accelerator adjustments. This model does the 0-60 mph sprint in just 5.0 seconds.
If you want maximum performance, the 760i xDrive model (pictured directly above in black) puts BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood. Output is up to 536 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, moving this beast from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. There’s a little something for everybody, and every available model is quick.
BMW promises that the 7 Series is more dynamic than before, too, in both handling and ride comfort. Better handling and agility comes courtesy of greater body rigidity, wider tracks in front and rear, larger wheels and tires and a new aluminum shear panel in all-wheel-drive models to increase rigidity in front. You can enhance handling further by optioning an active roll stabilization feature on the 760i xDrive that uses electric swivel motors to smooth out body roll. This also increases ride comfort, since the system can decouple the fixed connection you’d otherwise have between wheels. BMW says the active roll suppression also allows them to activate a softer air spring setting, further increasing ride comfort.
More ride enhancements come via new hydro mounts for the rear subframe, an elastic steering gear mounting on the front subframe (for acoustics) and new rod end bearings for the rear dampers. Every 7 Series is fitted with a full air suspension and electronically-controlled adaptive dampers. New this year, BMW added a larger pressure reservoir and a new compressor mount to make the system’s operation even quieter. Integral Active Steering (steering ratio varies with the steering angle) is added to the 7 Series, and it also has rear wheel steering capable of turning the rear wheels the opposite way of the fronts by up to 3.5 degrees to create a tighter turning circle. We’ll note that the S-Class’ rear wheel steering system is much more capable, providing significantly more angle for an even smaller turning circle.
One place we’re mostly happy with the looks of this new 7 Series is on the inside. It looks a lot like the gorgeous iX with the massive Curved Display fitted with two screens. The cluster is a 12.3-inch screen, and the infotainment system is a 14.9-inch screen. It’s all running the latest iDrive 8 interface. You’ll see the intricate glass controls for the gear selector, start/stop button, volume control and seat adjustment controls. It’s astoundingly beautiful and luxurious to look at, but also captures the trendy minimalist design theme so many are after.
The luxury continues in the rear seat. A 31.3-inch 8K touchscreen display can be dropped down and used to watch whatever you’d like. If you’d rather ignore the screen, the new panoramic glass roof features an LED light show that replicates the quilting on the seat surfaces. All of your rear seat controls can be found in new in-door touchscreen displays — yes, BMW found a new place to put a screen. It’s here that you can adjust your optional “Executive Lounge” seats that allow a backrest recline of 42.5 degrees. You’ll find more headroom and more legroom than in the back of the new 7 Series to fully stretch out in. Plus, BMW says overall trunk volume is up 0.9 cu-ft. However, the i7 has a slightly smaller trunk than the gasoline-powered 7 Series, as it loses 1.4 cu-ft.
A couple final notes on tech before we get to the price. BMW is touting a new Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system that features 36 speakers, adding some speakers to the headliner, headrests and more. You can optionally add automatic opening and closing doors that open upon your approach and close for you once you’re inside. Plus, a wide range of new or improved driver assistance systems are available. Most notably, an optional Highway Assistant allows for hands-free driving at speeds up to 80 mph. Similar to other hands-free systems like this, BMW monitors you to ensure you’re paying attention to the road ahead.
Pre-orders for the i7 require a $1,500 deposit and are open now. BMW says the full line will launch in the fourth quarter of 2022. Prices start at $94,295 for the 740i. The 760i xDrive starts at $114,595, and the electric i7 at $120,295.