BMW isn't letting Mercedes' EQS go unanswered. The German marque has introduced its first completely electric 7 series, the i7 xDrive60. The long-wheelbase luxury sedan offers solid performance, with a dual-motor setup providing 536HP, a 0-60MPH sprint in 4.5 seconds and a preliminary EPA range of 300 miles. As with the conventional 7 series, though, the focus is on creature comforts — this is designed as much for chauffeured executives as it is for drivers.
That driver will see a curved dual-display interface that includes a 12.3-inch instrument panel and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen. BMW is touting a smartphone-like interface, but you'll also find a new "Interaction Bar" that provides touch-sensitive controls for common features like climate settings and hazard lights. You can even customize the bar's lighting to react to certain events, such as incoming calls or invoking BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant (including from the rear seats, for the first time).
As we mentioned, though, the best experience is likely in the back. Spring for the optional Theater Screen and you'll get a 31-inch, 32:9 ratio 8K rear display with a Fire TV interface. Rear window shades will even close when you switch the system on. Each rear door has its own 5.5-inch touchscreen for climate, media and seating controls, while a standard panoramic LED roof can produce a light show in addition to showing the sky above. You'll have access to 5G, including a "Personal eSIM" that can migrate between cars.
Other tech upgrades include an optional Highway Assistant (part of a Driving Assistance Professional Package) that provides hands-free driving up to 80MPH, a smarter Parking Assistant Professional with remote control and a Maneuver Assistant that can replicate tricky driving scenarios (such as a tight parking garage). An augmented reality view on the instrument screen merges video with directions and similar info, while the doors will both detect potential hazards and (with another option) automatically open by touching the handles or Interaction Bar. Owners of recent, UWB-equipped iPhones can also use Digital Key Plus to automatically lock and unlock the doors, and eventually open the doors or activate the alarm system.
Unsurprisingly, this excess will cost you. The i7 xDrive60 will start at $120,295 ($119,300 plus a destination fee) when it reaches the US in the fourth quarter of the year, and that's before you add extras like the 36-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. That's not an outlandish price for BMW's target audience, though, and it undercuts the $125,900 of the EQS 580.