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South Africa's foremost electric mobility platform

  • Writer's pictureIan McLaren

BMW set to introduce its bold new all-electric 7 Series into South Africa

With the option of an 8K cinema setup in the rear.

The ink is barely dry on broadly positive reviews of BMW’s impressive all-electric iX offering and now this Munich-based brand is challenging perceptions – and convention – once more with the unveiling of a bold new interpretation of its flagship 7 Series range.

While the iX’s exterior styling has been widely lauded for its unapologetic concept and out-of-the-box execution, the design team responsible for the recently unveiled G70-generation 7 Series have ensured that the conversation around standout design will continue long into the future. With a stated aim of creating a “strong, unique character with a lot of presence and very clean, monolithic shapes,” the brand’s new 5 391 mm-long flagship sedan is, as ever, mandated with putting its maker’s best foot forward when it comes to combining ultimate comfort and sophistication with the kind of driving dynamics that BMW has built its reputation on.

Set to arrive in South Africa by November 2022, the new 7 Series range will include an all-electric i7 xDrive60 derivative built on the same CLAR platform as the iX. Offering 400 kW and 745 N.m of torque via a dual electric motor setup – one positioned on each axle, front and rear – the i7’s 101.7 kWh battery will offer an operating range of up to 625 km. Via one of the many DC fast-charging stations being installed throughout South Africa, the i7 will be capable of gaining 170 km worth of range in just 10 minutes.

Able to sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in less than 5 seconds, the new 7 Series also features rear-wheel steering that turns the back wheels by up to 3.5-degrees in order to make this large car feel more manoeuvrable around town, yet also more agile on the open road. Also playing an important role when it comes to managing the new car’s overall mass is the inclusion of active anti-roll technology. A choice of either Excellence and M Sport specification will determine both what exterior finishes are added to the car’s stance and whether the finished product wears 19- or 20-inch (M Sport) wheels. 21-inch items are fitted to an optional M Sport Pro package. A highlight of any 7 Series package is its interior. Complemented with an air-sprung suspension, the cabin of the new i7 is said to set a new standard for the brand in terms of comfort and convenience. Indeed, and as is suggested by the car’s squared-off exterior lines, it seems BMW has taken inspiration from Rolls-Royce when it comes to offering an ultimate user experience, notably for rear seat passengers.

While the new 7 Series features the same impressive, curved infotainment display screen and latest-generation operating system as the iX, highlights of this limousine’s cabin include a new “Interaction Bar” which stretches across the dashboard and onto the front door panels. This display functions as both an ambient light and interactive central surface that adjusts its “tone” to correspond with whichever of the “My Mode” setting has been selected. It will also perform “dynamic light animations” alerts to functions like an incoming phone call.

A compelling optional extra on the new car is a 31.3-inch, 8K display screen which folds down from the roof and combined with individual reclining seats, offers rear occupants a theatre-like experience. Also available is a 36-speaker, near-2000-watt Bowens and Wilkins Diamond audio system. 5.5-inch touchscreen tablets in the rear door armrests offer additional convenience and connected services.

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