The look of the new BMW Seven Series is polarizing even a year after its market launch – but that doesn’t change the fact that it has been a great hit with customers. The order books are full – also because Bavaria offers luxury customers all the options. Petrol, diesel, plug-in and electric drive – the customer has the choice and certainly appreciates it. What was missing so far was a real top model, the red cherry on the tasty cake and this is, unsurprisingly, electrifying. Instead of an image-rich twelve-cylinder as before, the Munich-based company is also switching to electric power for the top version. Behind the logo of the BMW i7 M70 is a 485 kW / 660 hp all-wheel drive, which gives the 2.7-ton luxury model from Dingolfing more power than one would have expected given the engine power. Because compared to some electric competitors from the USA or China, those 660 hp read less impressive than they drive. On the one hand, this is due to the excellent combination of drive and chassis, which, like its weaker i7 brother, is impressive, as well as a maximum torque of up to 1,100 Nm, which pushes at all imaginable speeds as if it were a matter of life or death. The maximum range of the luxury four-door car is between 490 and 560 kilometers – if you end up running short on the remaining kilometers, the Max Range function helps, which squeezes an additional 25 percent out of the battery pack with reduced power. When it comes to charging speed, however, the voluminous electric Bavarian only runs in the second row, because 195 kW direct current is not that much when other hyperchargers with 800 / 900 volt technology offer 270 kW or more.

BMW markets its i7 M70 xDrive as a so-called M-Performance version; in German: like its predecessor as M-Light. For a real sports version modeled on smaller models such as the M2, M4 or M5, the i7 M70 lacks a few kilowatts and, in particular, optical extras, because the new top model only differs from its weaker brothers in the subtleties of the radiator grille, mirrors, wheels or sills . This also applies inside, because this opulent luxury is already familiar enough from the 5.39 meter long seven, whether electric or combustion engine. The travel comfort is gigantic, the operation with the various driving programs, moods and settings is no longer quite as intuitive as before. It sits perfectly at the front and back. The noise level is at a spectacularly low level and so the driver and the passengers notice little of the bursts of power during acceleration. When the two electric motors (front 190 kW / 258 hp and rear 360 kW / 489 hp) interlock with the road surface via the two driven axles with mounted 21-inch wheels, the barrel colossus pushes forward as brutally as a sports car. The maximum speed: 250 km/h.

The gigantic weight of more than 2.7 tons is so skillfully disguised in real driving that it only becomes noticeable when fast corner combinations come up. Then the precise and smooth steering and the air suspension with active roll compensation reach their limits, because ultimately you have to balance the electric giant around the curve despite the low center of gravity. The finely tuned chassis, whose sport mode could be a little crisper, and rear-wheel steering, which has to reconcile engine power, torque, weight and the driver’s desired direction, help here. The driver notices little of the technical refinements, because the chassis miracles happen in milliseconds, delicately controlled in the background, while fellow passengers enjoy travel comfort and the soothing peace and quiet. The BMW i7 M70 xDrive, which costs at least 181,800 euros, doesn’t offer much cause for complaint apart from the heavy curb weight – due to the design of such an electric model. The illuminated bling-bling in the trim strips and displays can be switched off with a little dedication and otherwise there are hardly any limits to the customization options inside and out. However, the displays at the front could be larger and more impressive. Compared to some competitors, they are razor-sharp, but not too big, the black frames are outdated and there is no display for the front passenger, while the rear passengers look at the powerful cinema screen that extends out of the roof. It’s a shame, by the way, because it remains the same: the BMW i7 doesn’t get a sunroof for any extra charge in the world.