BMW has revealed the seventh generation of its iconic 7 Series limousine, with a bold new look, the option of electric power and upcoming Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology.
The 2023 BMW 7 Series has been revealed – with an all-electric i7 variant – ahead of first Australian deliveries likely in late 2022.
The new, seventh-generation 7 Series – known internally as the G70 – represents the pinnacle of BMW’s luxury passenger car line-up, debuting a range of new technologies set to spread across the brand’s model range, including Level 3 semi-autonomous driving tech.
It’s also the first 7 Series generation to offer the option of all-electric power – branded i7 – with a sole xDrive60 variant at launch, offering up to 400kW, and 625km of WLTP claimed driving range.
While BMW Australia is yet to confirm details, it’s likely the Australian range at launch will comprise the i7 xDrive60 model, plus entry-level 740i six-cylinder and mid-spec 760i xDrive turbo V8 petrol variants – if the outgoing line-up is anything to go by. Details are expected to be confirmed later today.
There’s no more V12, with the outgoing 7er’s 6.6-litre engine meeting its demise with the end of current 7 Series production. A six-cylinder diesel will join the overseas line-up next year, along with two plug-in hybrids, and BMW’s most powerful road car, the 485kW i7 M70 electric flagship.
As the brand’s technology showcase, the new 7 Series’ cabin is home to BMW’s latest iDrive 8 software, plus a massive 31-inch overhead entertainment screen for rear passengers, an illuminated panoramic sunroof, automatic doors and plush leather upholstery.
For everything you need to know about the 2023 BMW 7 Series, read on.
2023 BMW 7 Series exterior design
The new 7 Series wears BMW’s new front fascia design for its flagship models, debuted on the facelifted X7 SUV last week – home to a conspicuous pair of ‘kidney’ grilles, which incorporate ‘Iconic Glow’ LED lighting around their perimeter, and within the vertical strakes.
The split headlights on either side – with the daytime-running lights up high, and main beams below – incorporate matrix LED technology, and can be optioned with Swarovski crystals behind its 22 LEDs.
These lights sit above lower front intakes that differ in design between Luxury and M Sport variants, both with styles similar to the high-riding X7. Blue accents feature on electric variants, while the upcoming M760e and i7 M70 variants will gain black accents, unique badging and 21-inch wheels as standard.
The current 7 Series’ sharp shoulder line is traded for a more slab-sided appearance, with a variant of BMW’s trademark Hofmeister kink, and cut-out, flush-fitting door handles akin to the iX large SUV. The LED tail-lights are thinner than before.
Alloy wheels between 19 and 22 inches in diameter fill the arches, with unique designs for petrol and electric models.
2023 BMW 7 Series interior
Unsurprisingly for BMW fans, the new ‘G70’ 7 Series adopts the company’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment software, integrated across a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 14.9-inch central touchscreen embedded into a curved black panel, with 5G connectivity.
Highlights of the system including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, augmented-reality satellite navigation, a ‘Hey BMW’ personal assistant, 5G connectivity, up to seven drive modes, support for a digital key through owners’ iPhones, and even access to YouTube for long charging stops.
The cabin design is closer to the iX electric SUV than the updated X7, with metallic and leather switchgear, a crystal rotary selector for the iDrive infotainment screen, and two-spoke (Luxury) and three-spoke (M Sport) steering wheels lifted from the EV.
Stretching across the dashboard is a patterned LED light strip known as the ‘BMW Interaction Bar’, which incorporates touch-sensitive controls for the air conditioning, hazard warning lights, and even the glovebox release. It also features welcome and goodbye animations to greet or farewell occupants.
The seats are trimmed in Veganza synthetic leather as standard, though tick a few option boxes and buyers will find themselves with plush Merino leather upholstery in one of six colour combinations, or a mix of leather and cashmere wool.
Sustainability highlights include recycled PET bottle fibres used for the headlining and pillar trim, the Veganza faux leather trim, floor mats produced from yarn derived from processed nylon waste, and natural fibres in other areas.
There’s a combination of heating, ventilation and massaging available for the power-adjustable front pews, plus in-built speakers for the rear seats. Four-zone climate control is standard in all 7 Series models.
Occupants are treated to fully-automatic doors akin to a Rolls-Royce or high-end Tesla – with full power opening and closing, rather than the current car’s soft-close functionality – plus an available ‘Sky Lounge’ panoramic sunroof with embedded LED backlighting.
In the rear – where many 7 Series buyers will spend plenty of time – the experience is dominated by the BMW Theatre Screen, a 31-inch, 8K-resolution touchscreen (yes, a touchscreen) folding out from the roof, offering Amazon Fire TV video streaming.
The screen is adjustable, is accompanied by lowered window blinds and dimmed ambient lighting when active, features a remote in each door card, and pumps sound through a choice of 18-speaker, 655-watt or 36-speaker, 1965-watt ‘4D’ Bowers and Wilkins surround sound systems.
An Executive Lounge package is available for rear-seat passengers, which adds reclining functionality (at up to 42.5 degrees) for the seat behind the front passenger, a quilted and heated armrest, adjustable neck cushions and a rear wireless smartphone charging tray.
2023 BMW 7 Series engines – including two electric i7 variants
The new BMW 7 Series range will launch with a choice of three petrol engines and two electric variants – though as many as six further variants will launch later on, according to overseas reports.
Likely to open the local range is the 740i, powered by the updated ’TU2’ version of BMW’s familiar ‘B58’ 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol inline-six, sending 280kW and 520Nm (up 30kW/70Nm over the old 740i) to the rear wheels for a 5.4-second 0-100km/h dash.
The flagship petrol engine sits under the bonnet of the 760i xDrive, namely BMW’s redesigned 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged ’S68’ V8, which sends 400kW and 750Nm (up 10kW over the old 750i xDrive) to all four wheels as standard for a 4.3-second 0-100km/h sprint.
An entry-level 735i will be available in markets including China, with a heavily detuned 200kW/400Nm version of the 3.0-litre turbo straight-six and rear-wheel drive, capable of zero to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds.
All petrol engines are paired to eight-speed automatic transmissions, aided by 48-volt mild-hybrid systems which can inject 13kW/200Nm boosts under heavy acceleration.
Joining the petrol engines will be one version (at launch) of the all-electric i7, the xDrive60, powered by a 101.7kWh battery derived from the iX SUV.
It employs two electric motors developing 400kW and 745Nm combined, powering all four wheels for a 4.7-second 0-100km/h time, and good for between 590km and 625km of all-electric range, according to European WLTP testing.
All models are equipped with 195kW DC fast charging (at up to 400 volts), claimed to enable a 10 to 80 per cent fast charge in 34 minutes. AC home charging at up to 11kW is also available.
Four modes of regenerative braking are available in the electric models, along with a 5.5kW electric heater for the battery pack, charging stations in the navigation system, and what BMW terms “alternating phases of full and partial cooling power … during fast charging … to avoid excessive cooling of the battery”, extending its life.
In the northern spring of 2023 (our autumn), the range will expand with three new variants – including the 740d xDrive diesel, pairing a 210kW/650Nm 3.0-litre turbo inline-six with an eight-speed auto, and all-wheel drive for a 6.3-second 0-100km/h time, and combined fuel economy of 5.9-6.9L/100km.
The other two are plug-in hybrids, both pairing 3.0-litre ‘B58’ turbo-petrol inline-sixes with 145kW/280Nm electric motors, 18.7kWh battery packs (with 7.4kW AC charging), and all-wheel drive.
The 750e xDrive will develop 360kW and 700Nm combined on overboost, while the M Performance-badged M760e xDrive will quote 420kW and 800Nm. BMW claims 0-100km/h times of 4.9 and 4.3 seconds respectively, and all-electric driving ranges up to 80km.
However, the flagship 7 Series won’t arrive until late in 2023, as the i7 M70 xDrive. It’s set to develop 485kW and over 1000Nm – making it the most powerful BMW road car ever – translating to a 0-100km/h time of “under” four seconds.
2023 BMW 7 Series chassis and dimensions
The new 7 Series will be offered with a sole 3215mm wheelbase – rather than its predecessor’s short and long-wheelbase options – clothed by a body measuring 5391mm long, 1950mm wide and 1544mm high.
Compared to the outgoing long-wheelbase 7 Series, the new car measures 131mm longer overall, 48mm wider and 51mm taller, with a wheelbase 5mm longer.
There’s 540 litres of boot space in petrol models (up 25 litres), 525 litres in the plug-in hybrids (up 105 litres), and 500 litres in the electric i7 variants.
Under the skin, the new 7 Series is underpinned by BMW’s familiar CLAR platform, debuted beneath the outgoing car. It’s shared between petrol and electric variants – compared to its Mercedes and Audi rivals, which use (or will use) dedicated electric platforms for its largest battery-powered sedans.
Adaptive air suspension is standard-fit, which drops by 10mm in Sport Mode (or automatically at freeway speeds), or raises by up to 20mm for rough roads and steep driveways.
Other chassis highlights include active anti-roll bars that lean into corners, M Sport brakes, rear-wheel steering – with up to 3.5 degrees of rotation, cutting 0.8m off the turning circle – and a “near-actuator wheel slip limitation” system claimed to deliver faster stability control responses.
2023 BMW 7 Series safety and autonomous driving
The new BMW 7 Series will debut the German car maker’s ‘Motorway Assistant’ Level 3 semi-autonomous driving system in the coming years, which is set to allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel – and eyes off the road – in specified areas of freeways in certain countries.
However, it’s only believed to work at speeds up to 60km/h – and will require the driver to take over should it encounter a scenario it can’t handle, providing the human a brief warning.
Available active safety features include autonomous emergency braking with intersection support, lane centring assist, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go (active up to 180km/h), blind-spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert, and more.
Drivers on specific divided roads in the US will be able to take their hands off the steering wheel at speeds up to 130km/h – though they must keep their eyes on the road (a step down from Level 3 tech), and be ready to intervene with a moment’s notice.
Other highlights include a side exit warning system, and Manoeuvre and Reversing Assistant function which can remember up to 10 tricky low-speed manoeuvres across distances less than 200 metres, and then replay them upon returning to each one’s starting location at a later date.
A remote parking system – controlled from the driver standing outside the car – will become available next year, likely through an over-the-air update.
When will the 2023 BMW 7 Series come to Australia?
Australian launch timing for the 2023 BMW 7 Series is yet to be confirmed, however given global production is tipped to start in July, expect first local deliveries in the fourth quarter of this year (October to December 2022).
The Australian range is yet to be confirmed, however it’s likely 740i and 760i xDrive options will be available, plus the i7 xDrive60 – given the lattermost is listed on BMW Australia’s website.
Further local details are expected later today (Thursday), Australian time.
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