The 2023 BMW 7 Series is the next generation of BMW excellence

BMW has introduced the completely redesigned 2023 7 Series sedan in South Africa, featuring a striking exterior design, opulent cabin, and cutting-edge technologies. Now in its 7th generation, it is the first time the automaker has developed an all-electric model of the flagship sedan, named i7. BMW is making a concerted effort to move towards electric vehicles, and the inclusion of the i7 in the 2023 7 Series line-up is a part of this initiative.

South Africans have the choice of four trim levels for now – 740i, 750e xDrive, M760e xDrive, and i7 xDrive60 – and four drivetrain choices.

There is just one version of the petrol-powered 7 Series available right now. It is a six-cylinder model, while the second, more robust V8 model may arrive later. The base 740i version is equipped with an advanced version of BMW's turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine, which now integrates a 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.

The all-new 740i boasts an impressive power output of 280 kW (381 hp) and 540 Nm of torque, a significant upgrade of about 40 horsepower compared to its predecessor. Furthermore, the integration of the 48-volt system allows for brief moments of maximum torque at 200 Nm, propelling the 740i to reach 100 kilometres per hour in a mere 5.4 seconds, leaving others in its wake.

The 750e is a plug-in hybrid model that uses the same engine as the base model and adds a couple of electric motors to create up to 360 kW (490 hp) and 700 Nm. BMW claims a 0 to 100 km run in 4.9 seconds and an all-electric range of 89 km.

The M760e gets the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as available in the 750e, but here it produces a stouter 420 kW (571 hp) and 800 Nm of torque.

Both the petrol and PHEV powertrains get assistance from an 8-speed automatic gearbox that pairs with an all-wheel-drive layout, except the base 740i that sends power to rear wheels.

The electric i7 features two electric motors and a 101.7 kilowatt-hours battery pack that enables it to generate 400 kW (544 hp) and 745 Nm of torque. BMW says it can zoom to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, tops out at 240 km/h, and offers a driving range of 625 km on a single charge, according to the WLTP cycle.

The new 7 Series is a feast for the eyes, with its sleek lines and striking front end. The redesigned grille and split light fixture give it a bold and commanding presence, while the blue accents on the i7 add a touch of elegance. The M Sport styling, available on petrol-powered models, adds a sporty edge to the already impressive design.

Stepping inside the new 7 Series is like entering a futuristic, high-tech sanctuary. The latest Live Cockpit Plus with iDrive 8 software is the command centre, with the stunning Curved Display taking the key stage. The single piece of glass houses two expansive screens - one for the digital instrument cluster and one for the central touchscreen - creating a seamless and immersive experience. The added Interaction Bar, exclusive to the 7 Series, adds a touch of luxury with its crystalline surface and intuitive touch-capacitive controls for easy access to essential functions like ventilation and climate control.

The back seats of the flagship sedan are where luxury truly comes alive. An optional 31.3-inch, 8K Theatre Screen display serves as the centerpiece, providing rear passengers with a cinematic experience like no other. This screen is not just for entertainment; it also gives access to built-in Amazon Fire TV and other online services, making it the ultimate way to pass the time during long trips or to keep entertained while stuck in traffic.

The entry-level 740i starts at R2 160 000 while the i7 BEV costs R2 825 000 at least. (Prices correct at time of publication.)

If you’re researching new cars on the market, be sure to check out the MotorHappy blog. Not only will you find other high end luxury vehicles but you might be tempted by some of the other types of cars available.

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