BMW dubbed its upcoming i7 as the “world’s first all-electric luxury sedan”, and I know what you’re thinking.
No, you’re not the only one thinking it. The Mercedes-Benz EQS still exists. And the Tesla Model S. So does the Lucid Air, the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-tron GT. So BMW saying it’s rolling out the first all-electric luxury sedan is a bold claim, and you’d be justified in tacking some extra asterisks onto that. Nonetheless, that’s what the German automaker went with as it teased its upcoming electric 7 Series counterpart testing in Arjeplog, Sweden. Yes, that Arjeplog.
More specifically, BMW says this is a prototype of “the world’s first purely electrically powered luxury sedan”. Unpacking that, in terms of large (full-size), four-door luxury sedans with a conventional trunk (the EQS technically has a hatch) powered solely by electricity, the BMW i7 lives up to that claim. Every car needs a “first” in front of it, you know?
The 2023 BMW i7 draws its suspension components, steering and braking systems from the next-gen BMW 7 Series, so the automaker says, along with the novel powertrain for its large EV sedan. The car’s proportions definitely follow that more conventional, three-box sedan design. With the long hoodline, wheelbase and less rakish roof to, say, an e-tron GT, you could feasibly miss this is a new electric model, if BMW didn’t specifically mention it. You could think this is just the next 7 Series, though it’s clear the EV and its gas-powered sibling will share chunks of their design.
New, lower-mounted headlines help define the new i7, even under all the camouflage. Despite being an EV, there’s still that huge, unmistakable grille too. Few technical specs are available at this point, but BMW did mention WLTP energy consumption at 22.5 – 19.5 kWh/100km. In the U.S., we’d understand that as about 314 – 362 watt-hours per mile, or slightly worse than a Tesla Model S. Mind you, the WLTP figures tend to lean optimistic, so the EPA ratings could be a fair amount short of a Model S. Of course, BMW’s estimate doesn’t mean much until we know how large the i7’s battery actually is.
We should hopefully have some more figures to chew on next year, when the 2023 BMW i7 will get a proper reveal. Until then, here’s another (insane) car BMW debuted this week: