After months of teasers and spy shots, the 2023 BMW 7-Series sedan was recently shown hot on the heels of the updated X7. The new bold, in-your-face design language adopted by the German automaker on both flagship models has stunned everyone, with many even comparing it to the Bangle-era 7-Series of the early 2000s. However, the 7 Series has a lot more to offer than its polarizing design. The range-topping is packed with some seriously impressive tech and industry-first features. And above all, the flagship luxury limo now has an all-electric version for those who want to go green without compromising on top-tier luxury. Here are 7 interesting things to know about the 2023 BMW 7-Series.
1. The Most Polarizing BMW Ever
A little more than two decades ago, BMW decided to move away from the quintessentially understood German design language in favor of quirky, original designs, led by the company’s then Chief of Design, Chris Bangles. The polarizing design of the new 7 Series feels like a return to BMW’s bangle-era, only in a more brutal form. BMW realized that it needed the flagship model to stand out not only in its portfolio but also from its competition, and by giving it a stunning exterior design the Bavarian chose to address this – something that Works in the past for most BMWs.
You may dislike the new design, but don’t ignore it, which is exactly what BMW wants. The idea was to create a memorable design, and the German automaker accepted it. Unlike the outgoing 7 Series, which only had a buckled kidney grille as a shocking design element, the new 7 comes wrapped in key styling features. Its boxy design is in stark contrast to the likes of the new S-Class, bulbous EQS, or even the Audi A8.
And yes, the giant kidney grille is here to stay. Rather it is made more prominent, especially in the battery-electric i7 which features an illuminated outline around it.
2. Taking the Split-Headlight Design Trend to a New Level
The new split-headlight design was previewed by BMW a few days before the 2023 7 Series was officially revealed on the updated X7 and it has become as polarizing as the buckettooth grille. Although it is currently a very popular trend in automotive, the split-headlight design can be seen on most SUVs, which is why the fascia of the new 7 Series looks a bit odd. Maybe it will grow on us, maybe not! But definitely not getting a lot of fans right now.
The boxy front gets slim eyebrow DRLs up front and the headlight cluster just below, which are integrated into the bumper design. The headlights are dark in color and are almost undetectable when the exterior is black or any other dark shade. Surprisingly, BMW didn’t do anything unique in terms of the taillights, which are long, sleek and simple.
3. Air suspension as standard equipment
Instead of offering air suspension as an optional extra or staking it for top-trim, BMW is offering it as standard equipment across the entire 7 Series range. The two-axle air suspension system features automatic self-leveling and electronically controlled adaptive dampers. The auto-leveling system can lower the car by 10 mm for greater stability or increase it by 20 mm for greater ground clearance when tackling rough roads. It gets an all-new power steering system that can adjust to the steering angle and get speed-sensitive power assistance. In addition, the Autobahn package adds an active anti-roll bar to further improve stability. Rear-wheel steering allows the rear wheels to turn by 3.5 degrees, which significantly reduces the turning radius.
4. A Beautiful Dashboard That’s Simple Yet Full of Tech
The cabin design has been completely revamped with a modern and minimalistic approach, which is fully showcased by the new clutter-free dashboard design. Like you get on the i4 and iX, the new 7 Series gets a curved display that is made up of a 12.3-inch gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen. Almost all physical buttons have been replaced with on-screen controls, while the center console has also been reworked to feature touch-capacitive buttons and a toggle-switch gear selector instead of a stick.
The air vents are neatly hidden behind the beautiful dashboard, with what BMW calls the “interaction bar”. It’s a stripe that runs the full width of the dashboard with a very attractive crystalline surface and adjustable backlighting.
The functional trim contains touch-sensitive control panels to adjust ventilation and air conditioning, activate the hazard, and open the glove compartment. The new 7 Series also gets a new two-spoke steering wheel, but gets a hands-free highway driving aid.
5. Huge Roof-Mounted 8k Screen
However, the highlight of the new 7 Series cabin is the giant “theater screen” that drops from the ceiling to entertain the rear passengers. The industry-first feature is an optional extra that costs $4,750. What you get for that price is a 31-inch screen with an odd 32:9 ratio and capable of supporting up to 8K resolution. The 5G antenna lets the system stream UHD video from Amazon and Netflix, in addition to things like playing games, listening to music, and more.
Activating the screen immediately raises window shades, dims cabin lighting, and creates a private theater inside the car. Add to this the optional Executive Lounge package and you get extremely comfortable rear seats that can be tilted by over 42 degrees.
6. Smartphone-like door to door display
There’s an overdose of digital displays inside the new 7 Series and that might be overwhelming for a lot of people. BMW has equipped the flagship luxury limo with an iPhone-like door-mounted 5.5-inch touchscreen for the rear passengers, which replaces the tablet display found in the out-going model. The tiny touchscreen can be used to control almost everything, including the audio system, climate control, seat adjustment, ambient lighting and rear sunshade.
7. The all-electric i7 is a powertrain option in the same range rather than a separate model
This brings us to the last and most importantly the most interesting point. BMW has taken a very different approach to introducing its first battery-electric flagship sedan, the new i7, which is in stark contrast to the route Mercedes took to launch the EQS sedan. Instead of creating a completely separate product line-up for the electric offering, BMW has introduced the i7 as another trim level in the 7 Series product range, which is certainly a very interesting approach. BMW expects the battery-electric i7 to be a very popular option among buyers, available in two versions – the xDrive60 and a more powerful M70 that will arrive next year.
The i7 comes equipped with a floor-mounted battery pack that has a 101.7-kW-hour usable capacity, enough to give the electric luxury limo a WLTP range of 390 miles. The model is fitted with two electric motors on each axle and power all four wheels. The setup can deliver a maximum of 536 hp and 549 lb-ft of torque to the xDrive60, which is enough to propel a massive automobile from zero to 60mph in 4.5 seconds, on the way to an electronically-limited top speed of 149mph. The M70 will reportedly make over 600 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque, giving it a sub-4 second 0-60 time.