autoX Awards 2023: Three years in a row now there’s been a BMW at the absolute top of our annual mega test – an M340i in 2021, an i4 last year, and this year it’s no surprise at all that it’s the paradigm-shifting i7!
I don’t even know where to begin with this flagship BMW – with its 31.3-inch 8K theatre screen that theatrically folds down from the roof for the viewing pleasure of its rear seat passengers, or its 101.7kWh battery pack that gives it a claimed range of up to 625 kilometres, or its arresting design that ensures you make a statement like nothing else on the road. For me, it’s the sheer level of engineering that gives it a combination of performance and comfort that is absolutely unsurpassed at any price point.
It may be over 2.7 tonnes and 5.4 metres in length, but you simply wouldn’t know it from the driver’s seat. This all-electric luxury sedan was the third fastest car around our test track. The power delivery is simply instant, but that’s expected from an EV, what’s completely unexpected is the way it shrinks around you. The four-wheel steering means that it feels like a hot-hatch around the slalom – you can scarcely believe the way in which it navigates through the cones we set up on our test track. All that’s required is a quarter turn of the steering wheel in either direction and the BMW i7 behaves more like a Mini than a 7 Series. And, sure, it’s the epitome of excess, but at least you can fly the green flag while revelling in the lap of speed and luxury. Of course, such revelry will run you in excess of two crores, but then it’s no surprise that the finest engineering in the automotive world cost a great deal of money.
The cabin is not only cossetting but also cutting edge – there are simply too many screens and digital displays to keep count. I’ve even resigned myself to the styling – it’s actually growing on me – but the only thing I find truly over the top is the illuminated kidney grille. It’s bad enough that the nostrils are perpetually flared, but to highlight them by lighting up the silhouette I find genuinely objectionable. But none of that matters when you’re on the inside, whether you’re binging on the latest Netflix series courtesy of the massive screen in the back or actually experiencing the epitome of engineering for yourself from the driver’s seat, this is by far the best luxury car in the world today, and simply one of the most advanced automobiles ever.
- BMW i7 (Lap Time: 01.06.0)
|COMFORT / SPACE
|RIDE & HANDLING
|VALUE FOR MONEY
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