The all-electric BMW 7 Series, dubbed the i7, is another cog in the gears of BMW’s shift into an emissions-free automaker.
The 7 Series is still offered with a gas engine, but it’s the i7 that delivers the better drive, making it one of the best new BMWs on sale today. Heck, it might even be one the best electric vehicles (EVs) on the market.
Up until now, the i7 has been available in a single trim that skews more towards luxury than performance. But it was only a matter of time before this big sedan got the M treatment, and this is it – the 2024 BMW i7 M70. It’s the biggest, heaviest, and most powerful M car yet, with 650 hp and a brutish 811 lb-ft of torque.
Alas, it’s not a full M car like its smaller – and much sportier – sibling. Instead, it’s more of an M-lite; but in the vein of the V12-powered M760, it’s as much M treatment as a 7 Series needs.
All the Power
The i7 M70 uses a dual-motor setup, which means it has all-wheel drive, and the motor on the rear axle is the most powerful electric drive unit BMW has come out with yet. It’s rated at 360 kW, or 483 hp, alone. The battery remains the same as the one under the i7 xDrive60, with 101.7 kWh of usable capacity. It’s capable of fast-charging at a max rate of 195 kW.
BMW claims this nearly 2,722-kg (6,000-lb) automobile can bolt from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds – a blistering time, especially for something so large. Being an EV, the seat-of-the-pants-metre makes it feel even quicker.
As impressive as the acceleration is, it’s the handling that almost defies belief. Remember: this sedan weighs about as much as a full-size truck, but it feels all nipped and tucked when turning. The steering has some nice heft to it, and you get a good sense of which way the front tires are pointed, and all the while you’re cosseted in seats that cradle you like a softball in a perfectly worn mitt, while the M-enhanced air suspension masterfully soaks up any and all imperfections on the road.
The M70 treatment takes the already impressive i7 and adds a gloss black grille surround, side skirts, a new rear apron with a diffuser, and M badges for a bit of sporting flair and visual distinction. Inside, the light-up bar running across the dash illuminates in purple and blue in sport mode as the seats hug occupants a little tighter.
The 2024 BMW i7 M70 is as opulent as luxury cars can get. Prices start at $185,000, nearly $40,000 more than the xDrive60. But it feels worth the extra coin, feeling like a Bentley on a budget, but with even more technology and a more dynamic driving experience.
This is a car that’s hard to fault. Its mission is to be the ultimate luxury cocoon, and a rolling sanctuary for its passengers. It’s fit for presidential transport. The fact it’s electric just makes it that much better.