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BMW has pulled the covers off the highly-anticipated BMW i7, the Bavarian marque's all-electric flagship sedan. Here's what you need to know about it.

20 Apr 2022

Alongside the unveiling of the new BMW 7 Series and the facelifted X7, BMW has also officially pulled the covers off the all new BMW i7. Interestingly, other than Munich, similar occasions will also be taking place in New York and Beijing.

The all new all-electric flagship i7 sedan will be BMW's most luxurious and arguably the most tech-savvy model the brand has ever produced when it arrives in Singapore at the end of this year. A quick check with BMW also reveals that the 7 Series and the X7 are expected to reach our shores in the fourth quarter of 2022.

But before that happens, here are several things you need to know about the BMW i7.

1. Radical sheet metal

The BMW i7 looks radical, but yet it hasn't lost the identity of a flagship status
The BMW i7 looks like nothing you've seen on the road. Resembling a futuristic concept car rather than a production-ready one, the BMW i7 has folds and lines on its front fascia that make it bewilderingly bold, yet without losing its instantly recognisable appearance as a BMW.

This has largely to do with the kidney grille, which now illuminates around the contour - a feature that was first seen on the BMW Concept XM. There is also a split LED headlamp design that follows the refreshed X7, with the top featuring LED daytime running lights as well as signal indicators, and the bottom housing the main headlamp units. Air vents on either sides and a main air intake are all seamlessly integrated, too.

2. There's a movie theatre inside

Rear passengers will enjoy a larger-than-life screen that's crisp and clear
But if you think the exterior is radical, wait till you see the cabin. Dubbed the BMW Theatre Screen, rear passengers of the BMW i7 get to enjoy an ultra-wide panorama display designed to offer a cinema lounge-like experience. As seen at the launch, a cinema experience is delivered via a staggering 31.3-inch screen that has a height spanning from the headliner to the backrests of the front seats. Amazingly, the inclination of the display can be adjusted via the control menu of the in-car entertainment system.

And it's crystal clear, too. According to BMW, a high display resolution of 8k ensures a detailed visual experience when enjoying cinema films in ultra HD quality. A high-end sound experience is also achieved via the integrated Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System experience.

3. It's a fast flagship

The BMW i7, with a weight of 2.6 tonnes, manages to be admirably fast on the move
Based on an all new fifth generation architecture that's highly scalable, the BMW i7 xDrive60 adopts a dual motor setup, with a battery capacity of 101.7kWh that weighs close to 700kg. These bestow the electric flagship sedan with 544bhp and a torque figure of 745Nm. As a result, this allows the 2.6-tonne i7 to smash the century sprint in a very admirable 4.7 seconds.

The more powerful BMW i7 M70 xDrive, on the other hand, will have over 600bhp and a maximum torque figure of over 1,000Nm. This empowers the car to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in under 4 seconds.

To put this into perspective, the sprint timing to the 100km/h mark, together with a slippery Cd of just 0.24, the BMW i7 M70 is even faster than lighter and smaller cars such as the Porsche 911. Naturally, only via an in-depth drive of the electric sedan will we be able to provide a more accurate assessment of how the car really behaves in real-world driving conditions in Singapore.

4. An impressive range

The range of the BMW i7 will be indicated on the instrument panel
Speaking of an in-depth drive, the BMW i7 is capable of an impressive range of up to 625km on a single charge, based on the WLTP cycle. Assuming the average Singaporean clocks about 16,000km a year, the given range of the i7 will be able to last you and me for approximately 14 days. DC fast charge takes just 34 minutes to reach 80% while a short 10-minute fast charge will be able to juice up the car with 170km worth of range.

Of course, all this is possible because the car is endowed with a sizeable battery pack that has a capacity of some 101.7kWh, which is more than the 80.7kWh found on the BMW i4 electric sedan.

But most importantly is how fully electric cars have evolved and how the range has increased tremendously over the years, which simply means that things like range anxiety should be a thing of a past. And the BMW i7 epitomises exactly that.

5. It's enabled with Level 3 autonomous driving hardware

The BMW i7 will still require countless testing before it can be sold with the Level 3 autonomous driving hardware to customers in future
Unlike many others, the BMW i7 comes enabled with a rather competent autonomous driving hardware. While most vehicles today are Level 0, the spanking new i7 is Level 3-ready - based the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) association. There are six levels of driving automation ranging from 0 (fully manual) to 5 (fully autonomous), as defined by the SAE.

This means that vehicles with this level have the ability to make informed decisions for themselves, such as accelerating past a slow-moving vehicle as well as making lane changes. However, a human is still required to readily take over the wheel whenever required, which simply means the driver must still remain alert and sober at all times.

Speaking with Nikolai Glies, Vice President of Corporate, Finance, Sales, Product, Technology, Design Communications of BMW Group, the BMW i7 may be SAE Level 3-ready, but the car will still require a lot of testing before the car can be sold to customers with this autonomous driving hardware.

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