Home / Home / BMW i7 xDrive60 Review – Rolls Off the Line


The new BMW i7 is the first of its kind from the Bavarian marque. Well, almost. BMW i are no strangers to electric propulsion but the i7 raises every imaginable bar in the luxury saloon segment.

BMW i7 xDrive60

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Apurva Ambep

The thing with chips and electric cars is that very few are actually good and even fewer are great. Most are mediocre creations made for specific tasks and trying to do it all with either can lead to overheating or… worse. Not in this i7. The luxury saloon from BMW’s electric stable, BMW i, is every bit a 7 Series. Yes, it shares a shell and underpinnings, being developed side-by-side with its combustion counterpart, but there is more. Regardless of what is politically correct for the marketing team, BMW are close to introducing the first-ever road-going electric Rolls-Royce model, the Spectre, and there are more than a few hints of the double-R gene-pool in the i7.

To start with, the “long wheelbase” model is the standard one. There are no choices of wheelbase this time round and, whether the BMW i7 xDrive60 (here), entry six-cylinder 735i, or the big V8 M760i xDrive, they all stretch out to 3,215 millimetres—five mm more than the last 7 Series L and 145 mm more than the previous standard 7. That’s also only a few centimetres shorter than the standard-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Ghost. Besides, there seems to be more in common with the 7’s super-luxury British cousin than just the architecture.

The new 7 Series may receive some flak for its styling, but views about looks will always be divided. The feel, agility, and performance metrics will always speak for themselves. There is definitely a larger percentage of Rolls-Royce quality and components than ever before.

The BMW i7 is a handsome car. It stands quite tall, is wide, and has tremendous presence. It’s certainly got a royal aura. The large kidney grille with the “Iconic Glow” illumination, narrow LED light strips, and projector headlamps below make for a menacing stance. But look closely and the embedded Swarovski crystals give it a sparkle that is rather distinct. Viewed from either side, it’s got a long and sleek stance that looks like it means business. The rear doors are hinged at the front, in the B-pillar, and have the soft-open and close feature; definitely something from further above in the luxury food-chain. The large wheel-arches house 21-inch M Sport wheels wrapped in mixed rubber as is M Sport tradition, 255/40 front and 285/35 rear. Although this is the only wheel option from the company, there is a choice of exterior paint finishes, including two-tone schemes. The interior, too, has a selection of themes, including the choice of wood or carbon-fibre, making personalization an exciting part of the ownership experience.

BMW i7 xDrive60 interior

The interior of the 7 Series speaks for itself. The supple upholstery, seating comfort, mood lighting, crystal-like elements, crystalline trim accents, and the overall quality of materials reiterate the thought that it was created for royalty. There are crisp displays, controls hidden in plain sight, and the sheer amount of equipment and technology, both on the surface and beneath it, make the cabin and dashboard a view to behold. And all questions arising in one’s mind about interaction and functionality evaporate the moment the door swings open at the push of a button.

BMW i7 xDrive60 door

The perforated soft-leather upholstery, in Mocha brown, greets me with a welcome light show that is hard to ignore. The light dances from the doors to the centre console and across the dashboard trim accents before I focus on the driver information display and adjust the chunky and well-padded M Sport steering wheel. There are a slew of functions and features, both aesthetic and practical, that need to be discovered, tweaked, and understood before I get going. The crystal seat controls for front occupants on the doors look and feel special to use. There is an air of prestige in the cabin as I slot the little crystal stub of a gear-lever into “D” and let go of the brake.

BMW i7 xDrive60 console

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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