Pretty quickly after the international reveal of the all-new 7th-generation BMW 7 Series (G70) back in April, BMW Malaysia started to tease its local arrival, including that of the car’s all-electric variant: the i7. Well, it’s already here and a launch now imminent.
It was learned that a black i7 xDrive60 was brought in from Europe to be previewed to select customers in a closed door event, but we managed to get a more up close look at the Munich automaker’s flagship saloon even before that. Well, so far as its interesting exterior is concerned.
The car has not gone on sale yet and no launch date has been confirmed but we can be fairly certain that one is forthcoming given that Mercedes-Benz Malaysia will be bringing out the EQS, their equivalent super luxury electric saloon on July 22nd.
Knowing how these two tend to trade blows, BMW must be itching to respond. However, unlike the EQS which has been on sale for the better part of a year following a production run that began in May 2021, the first i7 units have only just left the factory floor. This being one of them.
Peering inside, it’s clear to see that the car is indeed a foreign market unit that’s left-hand drive, looking every bit as plush and technologically advanced as we expect from their most coveted new models.
It’s also unclear if the i7’s eventual Malaysian debut will be accompanied by the wider complement of variants in the G70 7 Series range, which are also offered with petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
In xDrive60 guise, the i7 houses a 101.7kWh underfloor lithium-ion battery that’s used to supply its dual electric motors that generate a combined output of 544PS and 745Nm of torque. BMW claims a maximum range of 625km on the WLTP test cycle. A century sprint of just 4.7 seconds is also quoted, as is an electronically limited top speed of 240km/h.
In 2023, BMW has confirmed the premiere of the i7 M70 xDrive, a performance version of the electric limousine with even beefier horsepower and torque figures, up to 660hp and over 1,000Nm, as it effectively replaces the bi-turbo V12-powered M760i previously, touted as the “most powerful BMW model ever registered for road use.”
Refilling the i7’s reserve of electrons can of course be done with either an AC or DC charging source using, respectively, a Type 2 or CCS2 connection with the former at 11kW and the latter up to 195kW that can restore a 10% charge to 80% capacity in just 34 minutes.
We won’t dwell too much on the exterior design but to say that the i7 very closely resembles its non-fully electric brethren, matching the G70’s visual traits such as its oversized kidney grille up front and a rather squared-off shape and body lines, a stark contrast against its closest rival: the smooth, rounded, almost pebble-shaped EQS.
Upon its launch, this electric 7 Series would join the iX3, i4, and iX as part of BMW Malaysia’s expanding lineup of EVs.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.