The rules are different for six-figure cars.

Below that figure, you have to choose what you want in a car. Some options have exceptional performance, with 0-100 km/h times under 5 seconds and precise handling. Others have huge living space or mouth-watering technology.

But you have to choose. You can’t have it all.

Above $100,000, you can get it all in one vehicle. Take the 2023 BMW 7 Series, for example.

Most luxury automakers build a luxury sedan – a flagship 4-door that shows off everything their engineers and designers can do. These cars are expensive and sell in very low volume. The BMW of BMW,
is the 7 series. The company has released a completely new one.

The 2023 BMW 7 Series starts at $93,300 for the 740i. The 760i xDrive starts at $113,600 and the electric i7 at $119,300. BMW adds a mandatory $995 destination charge to all of its vehicles – still one of the lowest in the industry.

Huge but worthy bearing

Luxury cars are rarely beautiful in the conventional sports car sense. Instead, they have a presence. They demand to be noticed not like a beauty queen, but like the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

The 2023 7 Series does it with mass and customization. It’s long and low, with a complicated front fascia full of creases and splits. The slim LED daytime running lights are completely separate from the lower headlights. You can opt to have the LEDs made from Swarovski crystal, because nothing suggests power like spending money on upgrades that are pretty much undetectable to everyone else.

BMW’s recent designs have featured a huge interpretation of the brand’s signature double kidney grille. It was divisive, with many critics and longtime fans…well…not fans. With the attitude typical of this type of car, BMW has made it even bigger and brighter so that it cannot be politely ignored.

Past the audacity of the facade, the lines are sober and elegant. Thick gloss work around the windows suggests an earlier design era, but doesn’t look outdated. It’s more of a tribute than a copy.

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Screens everywhere, cashmere optional

The doors open at the touch of a finger, revealing an elegant cabin. A leather and exotic wood dashboard traditional to luxury cars is preceded by a huge curved frame housing two screens, one for the driver’s instruments and another to control navigation and entertainment functions. It’s a sophisticated look, but we can’t help but notice that the sub-$30,000 Kia Sportage does the same trick almost as well.

No other car has the unique control system that BMW calls “interaction bars”. A wide faceted crystal line crosses the dashboard and looks like a decorative element. It’s not. It’s tactile. It controls the climate, heated seats and other interior niceties. It can be backlit in different colors depending on your mood.

The touch crystal controls the climate and changes color.


Cashmere seating surfaces are optional.

The “executive lounge” rear seat package is also optional. It gives the rear seats almost as much adjustability as the driver’s seat, including a 42-degree recline. The seats are controlled by small, phone-sized screens embedded in the doors. We thought we’d seen everywhere automakers could pack a screen, but BMW found some unused space for another.

Speaking of screens, the showstopper is a 31.3-inch 8K touchscreen that descends from the roof to entertain rear passengers. Combined with the 36 speakers Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, it should make the new 7 Series one of the best places to watch a movie.

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Petrol or EV models

Munich will offer three powertrains.

The base 740i uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 ​​that produces 375 horsepower. It sends the power to the rear wheels and takes the huge car from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat. Yes, you can slip a tiny Toyota GR 86 in there without the rear passengers spilling a drop of their tea.

A step up to the 760i gets BMW’s venerable 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, making 544 horsepower. It’s mated to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system and completes the same sprint in 4.2 seconds. It’s an elephant that follows the cheetahs for a laugh.

Both engines use a mild hybrid system and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

But the big news is the third powertrain. The i7 xDrive 60 transforms the big brute into an electric vehicle. It is available only in all-wheel drive thanks to a 308 horsepower engine on the rear axle and a second 255 horsepower engine at the front, for a total of 563 horsepower. The EV version is heavier than the others, so it does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds.

BMW predicts it will have an EPA-certified range of around 300 miles. The EPA has yet to weigh in on this.

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Each version uses adjustable air suspension and adaptive dampers. Four-wheel steering is standard, but note that its rear wheels only turn 3.5 degrees. That’s a far cry from the 10 degrees of Mercedes-Benz’s rival S-Class and could make parking the big 7 a bit more difficult.

A full suite of driver aids is standard and an optional roadside assistant allows for hands-free driving up to 80mph.

BMW dealerships have already started accepting reservations for the new 7 Series. It costs $1,500 to wait in line.

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