MARKING THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA, BMW LIFTS THE VEIL ON THE DIZZYING NEW I7, AN ALL-ELECTRIC FLAGSHIP SALOON DRIPPING IN TECH, SWAGGER, AND SWANK

BY EVAN MONROE

As the auto industry continues to soldier toward an electrified future, gone are the days sustainability and opulence were considered mutually exclusive (in the early aughts, the eco-curious were pigeonholed by clunky, bubbled propor-tions a la the early Prius). Case in point: BMW’s latest entry in its ultra-high-end 7 series. Th e i7 is a svelte, electrifi ed super-saloon designed to turn the road into a fi rst-class executive lounge, and it’s loaded to the gills with next-gen tech and resort-style creature comforts. As the flagship in BMW’s ever-expanding “i” subbrand, the i7 shares many similari-ties with its top-of-the-line 7 series brethren. The duo flaunts nearly identical exterior styling – aggressive angles, dramatic grille intakes, split-element headlamps – though the EV can be iden-tifi ed by its soft blue accents.

Th e i7 is fed by a pair of electric motors that in tandem produce 536 ponies, the same power output as the petrol-powered 760i with the twin-turbo V-8. Th e standard model zips from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and ff ers a 318-mile driving range, while a recently launched M70 iteration slashes that time by a full second (pilots will sacrifi ce a slight range decrease to 295 miles). A DC fast charger nabs 90 miles in only ten minutes.

The cockpit is spacious and tech-for-ward, featuring a curved-glass infotain-ment system that extends across the dashboard, equipped with BMW’s all-new Interaction Bar, a super-sleek glass window with ambient lighting and standard glass controls. Th e i7 boasts the marque’s Operating System 8, which includes Intelligent Personal Assistant, a smart concierge with next-gen voice recognition that naturally engages with drivers and passengers. A Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof is standard, featuring spectacular light intensity, customizable colors, an illuminated graphic design, and dynamic LED controls so pilots can design their own light show. Th ough agile driving dynamics and 811 lb.-ft. of torque promise thrills behind the wheel, this is a true chauff eur vehicle. Opt for the Executive Lounge package to indulge in power-adjustable reclining seats, swathes of luxury materials, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and cloud-like headrests. Th ere’s also an optional ceiling mounted, 31.3-inch touchscreen in the rear to feast on streaming favorites through the saloon’s 5G connectivity. Starting MSRP is $119,300; pricing on the M70 had not been announced at press time.

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Nicole Spread