BMW's flagship sedan has been retooled for 2023 and the big story is an electric variant that debuts alongside two gasoline-powered models that have made the large sport sedan a luxury mainstay for decades, even if U.S sales of the car have trailed off after a recent peak of 18,165 in 2005.
With the latest makeover, all 7 Series models—electric or gasoline powered—ride on a single architecture, the latest evolution of BMW's rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive CLAR platform, with a similar body style.
Sharing engineering and development costs across internal combustion, hybrid and electric variants makes the i7 and 7 series potentially more profitable for BMW than building the i7 on a dedicated EV platform.
Minor differences separate the debut of the i7 xDrive60, as the EV is called, from the seventh-generation gasoline-powered models.
On the i7, BMW's famed roundel on the hood features a subtle blue ring, the start/stop button is blue, the grille is solid and has a small "I" in a vertical element.
The new 7 series is nearly 5 inches longer than the outgoing model though the wheelbase only grows by 0.2 inches. Width increases almost two inches, and the overall height rises by about two and a half inches. The bigger dimensions make the 7 series the largest car in the luxury-sedan segment — by a fair amount. Most of the extra room lands in the rear seat.
The i7 xDrive60 is powered by dual motors that deliver a combined 536 hp. The i7 has a range of 367 to 388 miles under Europe's WLTP testing standard and 310 miles under the EPA standard in the U.S.
The base 2023 740i is powered by a 3.0-liter twin turbo, Miller cycle inline 6-cylinder engine. It is paired to a 48-volt mild hybrid system and rated at 375 hp and 385 pound-feet of torque. It zips from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
The 760i xDrive packs a 4.4-liter twin turbo V-8 motor withawd. It is available only in North America and based on the V-8 used in BMW's M models. It also uses a mild hybrid technology for 536 hp. Both gasoline engines funnel torque through an 8-speed Steptronic transmission.
North America journalists have just driven the newest 7 series and we've collected some early reviews.