Test drive with the electric BMW 7 Series

ÜThe seven-series BMW has often been the subject of lively debates, its design has not always met everyone’s taste, and this has also been the case with the seventh generation since 1977. The once 4.86 meter long luxury class sedan has become a 5.39 meter long run in 2022, which, however, also offers plenty of space and is reasonably compact thanks to the optional rear axle steering. The criticism of length holds bmw countered that it was no longer worthwhile to offer two wheelbases as before, hardly any customer had ordered the short version measuring 5.12 meters in the sixth generation.

In addition, the 7 Series is available for the first time as a purely electric sedan, known as the i7. For 135,900 euros. The first vehicles hit the market in December. The version with battery hardly differs externally from the combustion engine counterpart. The exhaust pipes are missing, some blue applications tell of electric driving, but these can be canceled as well as the type designation on the trunk lid.

All 7s have a glass roof

i7 customers can also treat themselves to everything that is available as additional equipment for the combustion engine, for example the home cinema for the rear in the form of a kind of screen on the ceiling, which can be positioned horizontally and provides a kind of cinema experience. All 7 Series have a glass roof, there is no sunroof and also no possibility to install a roof box or roof rack. A hatch from the 500-litre trunk may be sufficient for skis, and an optional trailer hitch helps with transport problems. A maximum of two tons are allowed on the hook.

The i7 has a motor on the front and rear axles and therefore all-wheel drive. A system output of 544 hp (400 kW) and the maximum torque of 745 Newton meters enable confident driving. Also thanks to the air suspension, the quiet i7 floats over the road, so to speak. The top speed is an unusual 240 km/h. The promised range is up to 620 kilometers at moderate speeds, the first test drives confirmed at least almost 500. This is ensured by a lavish 102 kWh battery in the car floor, which weighs a good 700 kilograms. It can be charged at the DC station with up to 195 kW, which is enough to generate a range of 170 kilometers in ten minutes, promises Robert Kahlenberg, project manager for the 7 series. If you have a little more time, you can charge the batteries from 10 to 80 percent in just over half an hour. At home on the 11 kW wallbox, charging takes much longer, as usual. 22 kW will only be possible later, why not right away, the white-blue sky knows.

Although externally the same, the i7 and the plug-in variants differ from the other models in their floor groups. The combustion drives, in Germany there will be a straight six-cylinder diesel, which will cost around 100,000 euros, have their own. Other markets outside of Europe will get a six-cylinder petrol engine and a 4.4-liter V8.

In Germany, two plug-in hybrids will be added to the i7 and the 3.0-liter diesel in 2023, both of which should offer an electric range of around 90 kilometers. All 7 Series have an arsenal of assistance systems. In the United States, drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel and let the car drive itself at speeds of up to 140 km/h on the freeway, including changing lanes (level 3 of autonomous driving). This works well and is impressive. But since you have to look at the road, which is detected by the i7, it doesn’t do much good either. Can’t read while driving.

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