BMW 7 Series gets fully electric drive capability in i7 sedan

By Paul Borden
(April 1, 2024) BMW began getting serious about electrifying its fleet of luxury vehicles a decade ago introducing the i3 hatchback as its first mass-produced zero-emission model. Last year the German automaker topped out its portfolio of sedan-configured EVs with the 2023 BMW i7. A big, powerful brute packed with a multitude of tech features and creature comforts (massage anyone?), the BMW i7 came in only one trim level for 2023

The xDrive60,, which serves as the basis for this review, offered all-wheel drive and dual electric motors that produce 536 horsepower and a neck-snapping 549 pound-feet of torque that moves its 5,917-pound body weight from zero-to-60 mph in 4.2 seconds (according to

Two other trims, a base model eDrive50, and a lineup leading M70 xDrive, have been added for 2024. The former matches the xDrive60 in torque with horsepower slightly reduced to 449.

The M70 xDrive ups horsepower and torque numbers to 650 and 748, respectively, cutting zero-to-60 time down to 3.5 seconds while offering up to 295 miles of driving range.

The government says the 2024 BMW i7 xDrive60 has a driving range of 298 miles when shod with 20-inch wheels, 317 with 19-inchers, and 307 with 21-inch wheels.

Charging times vary, of course, depending on the source. Fast-charging at a public outlet got my test BMW i7 from under 40 percent charge to 80 percent (238 miles) in 28 minutes, which was enough time to walk across the lot and get a cup of coffee and finish it before it got cold.

As the flagship sedan in the BMW lineup, the i7 xDrive60 comes with a long list of standard or no extra cost features. They include comfort and convenient functions like premium leather seats, a 3-spoke heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and push-button start, panoramic sunroof, BMW’s Live Cockpit Pro seat of features like navigation, head-up display, and digital instrument cluster, wireless device charging, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Other standard features include full LED headlights, parking assist and Back-up Assistant, and soft-close automatic doors.

Adding to the starting MSRP of $119,300 for my test BMW i7 xDrive60 with 21-inch wheels were several options and packages that resulted in a hefty amount to the final bottom line but added to the vehicle’s overall panache.

The most expensive of these were rear-seat lounge seating ($7,250), an Executive Package ($6,550), Alcantara headliner ($5,450), a Bowers and Wilkins Sound System ($4,800), and a Driving Assistance Pro Package ($2,100). A massage function for the rear seats added $600 and an M Sport Package tacked on $1,300.

There is more that ran the final total to $156,595, including the $995 destination charge.

What I liked about the BMW i7: The interior is roomy and impressive. Seats are comfortable, and the ride, as you would expect, is quiet. It is quite agile for its size, and acceleration is smooth with monstrous horsepower and torque to move its nearly three-ton girth. If you what a quick getaway, launch control gives you 10 seconds of extra oomph.
What I didn’t like about the BMW i7: The i7 is one of the EVs without an AM band radio because the electric motors can interfere with AM reception. Some manufacturers have figured out a way to make them work but apparently BMW is not among them. If you lease, better go for 3 years because it will take you that long to go through all the technology. Somehow BMW has even made setting climate functions manually a task. Pricing takes your breath away.

Would I buy the BMW i7? No. Not until the infrastructure is upgraded. What would be a pleasant vehicle to take on a road trip is turned into a hassle finding charging outlets that would be convenient and would actually work.