BMW electrifies the luxurious saloon market

20 January 2023

bmw i7

The BMW 7-Sequence is the Munich-based carmaker’s new flagship and the seventh era of a mannequin with a practice that spans greater than 40 years. Alongside mild-hybrid diesel and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains, additionally it is obtainable as a purely electrical i7 for the primary time.

As BMW has dropped brief wheelbase variations, the 7-Sequence has grown significantly in size (by 13cm to five.39m). Consequently, the i7 is extra spacious within the rear than the Mercedes-Benz EQS, making it extra appropriate as a chauffeur-driven automobile. It additionally has a a lot increased towing capability (two tonnes) than the Mercedes (750kg) and the next prime pace (240kph versus 210kph). Nevertheless, it has decrease boot capability and practicality than the EQS, and costs barely slower with a shorter electrical vary.

The design of the brand new BMW 7-Sequence and i7 is clearly oriented in direction of the tastes of its core markets, particularly China and the Center East. However this may occasionally not attraction to potential European patrons. The steep, angular entrance, with a BMW double-kidney grille and slender, horizontally cut up headlights, could polarise opinion.

The inside exudes a feel-good ambiance, the place the curved show (that includes a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen) that includes BMW OS 8 might be discovered. The curved show is out there within the 3-Sequence and even the brand new X1, nevertheless, lowering the worth differentiation of the 7-Sequence. Luxurious devices embody curtains in all three rear home windows and an elective 31-inch cinema display with a sleeper seat. As well as, the automotive is already geared up with the required cameras and sensors for SAE Stage 3 autonomous driving in nations the place that is permitted. The match, end and materials high quality are of a really excessive normal, with nearly no plastic.

Altering habits

Purchaser habits are altering within the luxurious section. On one hand, the development is transferring away from traditional saloons to SUVs such because the Audi Q8, BMW iX, and Vary Rover. Checklist costs are excessive for luxurious saloons and so potential patrons are more and more contemplating different options, particularly SUVs. Competitor manufacturers provide very high-quality vehicles within the luxurious section too, however there are few alternate options aside from the Audi A8, Lexus LS, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Secondly, preferences are altering in direction of PHEVs and, particularly pushed by the Tesla Mannequin S, pure electrical powertrains. Alongside the diesel (740d xDrive) and two petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variations (750e xDrive and M760e xDrive) of the 7-Sequence, the i7 is provided with a 101.7kWh battery and achieves a spread of round 625km (WLTP).

There’s a lack of eight-cylinder and 12-cylinder variations, which add to Mercedes-Benz’s model picture. Nevertheless, providing all three gasoline sorts – two of them electrified – with indistinguishable exterior design, will scale back the inhibitions of extra conservative patrons to modify to electromobility.

The newest 7-Sequence is just not a automotive for everybody because it has been specifically designed for these travelling with a driver. This aligns with BMW’s plans to promote probably the most items in China (45%), the Asia-Pacific area (26%) and the US (20%). This solely leaves 9% to be bought within the European area, though the share of electrical i7s ought to exceed the 33% anticipated globally, particularly in central European markets.

There are extra electrical rivals within the luxurious section, together with the Porsche Taycan, the Audi e-Tron GT, and the Mercedes-Benz EQS from a German perspective, in addition to the Tesla Mannequin S – the primary BEV within the section.

Nonetheless, this new BMW high-tech luxurious sedan ought to be capable of construct on the successes of earlier generations. With its monumentally daring design, the i7 is an efficient various to aerodynamically optimised rivals, the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Mannequin S.

View the Autovista Group dashboard, which benchmarks the BMW 7-Sequence/i7 in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK for extra particulars. The interactive launch report presents new costs, forecast residual values, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats) evaluation.

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