The 10 Coolest Features Of The 2023 BMW 7 Series

The world of high-end luxury cars is rapidly evolving, with the biggest change right now being the switch from internal combustion engines to electric power. Mercedes-Benz has long been considered the segment leader, with over 3.5 million units of its flagship S-Class sedan having been sold since its launch in 1951. But, the paradigm shift occurring with the advent of electrification has left the door open for Mercedes' rivals to claim the top spot, snatching the crown from the brand's newly-launched EQS and EQS SUV. One of the brands hoping to do just that is BMW, who for 2023 has completely revamped its 7 Series sedan in order to thrive in this new age of luxury.

The new 7 Series lineup includes the all-electric i7, which will be the most widely available variant at launch and is what the brand describes as "central to their reinterpretation" of the range. But, alongside the i7 will come a selection of combustion-powered and hybrid models, which will vary in their availability from market to market. With this new range of powertrains comes a new suite of technology and convenience features that are shared across every variant. Cinema-style screens, automated parking, and even optional bulletproofing all combine to make the new generation car the most advanced and connected yet.

Market-specific powertrain options

The first variants of the new 7 Series are set to make their way to customers by November 2022, with production commencing at the brand's Dingolfing plant at the start of July. Initially, the only variant of the car to be available worldwide will be the i7, which will launch in China, Europe, the US, and all other major markets. In China and the US, two gasoline hybrid models will also be available from launch, equipped with 48V mild hybrid technology. The plan is that BMW will then launch its plug-in hybrid 7 Series models globally from the beginning of 2023, although at the time of writing, an exact release window hasn't been confirmed.

In its launch press release, BMW states that China, as the biggest market for the 7 Series, will see "exclusive offerings," but it's not clear exactly what those offerings will be yet. In Europe, a diesel model with mild hybrid technology is set to launch shortly after the i7, and it'll remain exclusive to the continent. Sadly, none of the upcoming models will feature the glorious V12 engine that was found in top-spec versions of the previous generation car.

The most powerful BMW M car ever

The 7 Series might have lost its V12, but for 2023, it has gained two new M models, one of which is set to be the most powerful BMW M car ever registered for road use. The first of those, the BMW M760e xDrive, is set to launch at the start of 2023 and will feature a hybrid electric drive system making 571 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. It's electric motor will be able to generate an extra boost of up to 40 horsepower temporarily, to push its acceleration even further into sports car territory. As well as featuring an M-specific design for the interior and exterior, the car will also sport a unique exhaust system, including twin tailpipes.

But, the real showstopper will be the BMW i7 M70 xDrive, an all-electric performance sedan that BMW says will generate over 600 horsepower and over 737 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful road-going M car yet. It's not set to debut until the end of 2023 at the earliest, meaning it's likely to be registered as a 2024 model year car. The car's 0-62 mph time will reportedly come in at less than four seconds, which is surely faster than anyone traveling in a luxury limousine will want to accelerate. It's expected that the i7 M70 xDrive will launch globally, but as of the time of writing, BMW hasn't confirmed anything yet.

Distinctive, redesigned appearance

The face of the new 7 Series is one that, like many recent BMW models, has divided opinion. Some have claimed that the huge grille and split-headlight look is a great design choice, but there are those that remain unconvinced. Either way, its unique looks mean it's unlikely that anyone is going to mistake the 7 Series for anything else. BMW calls the look of the new car, "monolithic," and that seems quite fitting. It's over five inches longer and a couple inches taller than the outgoing model, which wasn't exactly small to begin with.

The rear of the car has also been treated to a thorough rework, with a three-step design that serves to highlight the car's hulking, slab-like shape. The streamlined taillights and signature Hofmeister kink give the rear a sleeker, more refined look than the rather fussy look of the front end. It's a far cry from the traditional lines of the previous generation car, but this bold, new design represents the change that's taken place underneath the skin of the 7 Series. It's certainly one of the most distinctive-looking cars to emerge from Bavaria in years, and its silhouette is sure to intimidate any drivers caught in its path.

31-inch Theater Screen

The inside of the 7 Series looks just as unique as the outside, especially from the rear seats. That's thanks to a new 31-inch Theater Screen that reaches across most of the width of the car and transforms it into a mobile cinema. The screen displays images in a crisp 8K resolution and supports ultra-widescreen content where such content is available. It's controlled through touch panels on the rear doors, and when it's deployed, the side and rear window sunblinds are automatically closed to avoid glare.

Integrated into the system is Amazon Fire TV, but other streaming apps like Twitch and Discovery+ are also available. It will come as no surprise that this optional extra is a pricey one, and BMWBlog reports that on the German 7 Series configurator, adding the Theater Screen will set buyers back roughly $4,800, no small sum, but one that's well worth it for buyers planning to spend most of their time being chauffeured in the rear seats of their car.

Bowers & Wilkins audio system with up to 36 speakers

There's no use in having a new, world-beating theater screen if it's not paired with an appropriately cutting-edge sound system, and to make sure the 7 Series' media system sounds as good as it looks, BMW turned to Bowers & Wilkins. There is a choice of two options available: the first is a standard 18-speaker system, which delivers up to 655 watts of power. The centerpiece of this is an integrated surround sound system, comprising five tweeters, four midrange speakers in the front and rear doors, and two woofers, according to CarBuzz.

Buyers with more discerning ears can opt for a top-spec 36-speaker setup, which delivers a maximum of 1,965 watts and features additional speakers in the headrests and roof, among other places. CarBuzz reports that this top-spec system uses domes made from real diamonds grown under laboratory conditions to reduce distortion almost entirely. A number of extra features are also included in the optional system to increase the clarity of bass notes, providing a richer, studio-like experience that's optimized across all frequencies.

New iDrive and BMW Operating System 8

At the heart of all the new technology and assistance features that BMW has been packing into the 7 Series is the latest version of iDrive, running on BMW's own operating system. The iDrive system is still controlled via a traditional rotary controller, although a new "BMW Interaction Bar" stretches across the dashboard, adding a futuristic element to proceedings. This bar has two functions: it's both a customizable control interface and also an ambient light, depending on the situation.

The car also includes the latest version of BMW's Head-Up display, and there's a new Augmented View function available for the first time on the display that's behind the steering wheel. All these features will be kept up to date for as long as possible through over-the-air updates. In particular, BMW stated at the launch of the i7 that a key focus is refreshing its power management system to improve the longevity of the car's powertrains and systems. Considering how quickly previous generations of both the 7 Series and rivals like the S-Class have become obsolete thanks to their ever-changing technology, this change of focus is great news. BMW seems to think that the new car has all the hardware it needs to stay cutting-edge into the foreseeable future, which should please both used buyers and from-new owners who want to keep their car for longer.

Executive Lounge and Sky Lounge packages

New for the 2023 car, the 7 Series is now only available in long-wheelbase form. That means rear legroom is already very spacious as standard, but for buyers who want even more room to stretch out, the Executive Lounge package includes a reclining rear seat that can be furnished in either Merino leather or cashmere wool. A built-in leg rest for the passenger-side rear seat is also included that fits seamlessly with the rest of the system. A unique rear center console lets Executive Lounge buyers control the infotainment without having to move from their reclined position.

Plenty of additional optional extras are also available for buyers looking to take the stress out of travel, including a "Sky Lounge" LED roof that features illuminated threads weaved through the glass of the panoramic roof. It allows drivers and passengers to adjust the ambient lighting in their car to their exact tastes, but still lets in plenty of natural light at the same time. Whether opting for the Sky Lounge, Executive Lounge or both, the packages on the new 7 Series are enough to make almost every aspect of travel infinitely customizable.

Driver assistance systems including autonomous parking

Alongside the convenience systems for the rear-seat passenger, there is also a new suite of assistance features available to the driver for hassle-free journeys. Every model in the 7 Series comes with a comprehensive safety suite including front collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and city collision mitigation. Optional assistance packages are available to help with parking, including the Manoeuvre Assistant, which is able to park the car autonomously using its myriad sensors and AI systems.

Various assistance and monitoring systems are also available to help the driver keep track of the charge level of the electric 7 Series variants. Although, with an EPA-estimated 300 miles of range, all but the longest journeys should be able to be completed without needing a recharge. Should the car run out of juice before reaching its destination, it's equipped with fast-charging capabilities that are able to recover up to 80 miles of range in just 10 minutes.

Optional vehicle armor

One particularly interesting feature hidden away right at the bottom of BMW's press release for the 7 Series is the inclusion of an armored variant that will be available sometime throughout 2023. The armored car is, according to BMW, unique in the segment and has been developed entirely from scratch. It will reportedly meet "the special requirements of authorities, state representatives and high-profile individuals in need of special protection." This suggests a fairly high level of bulletproofing and resistance to attacks from explosive devices, but BMW hasn't confirmed any specifics for this armored package yet.

The armored car will be built alongside the regular 7 Series at the firm's primary production facility in Dingolfing, Germany. Most vehicles offering this kind of protection are built at third-party specialists with blessing from the car's original manufacturer, so it's unusual that BMW is offering to build the car completely in-house. It seems that the car will be a direct competitor to the armored Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which launched in its latest form in 2021, but has been available on special request since the launch of the model in the early Fifties.

Starting price under $100,000

In the US, the base-spec version of the new 7 Series starts at $93,900, not including fees. It undercuts the 2022 Mercedes S-Class by nearly $20,000, although it's pricier than the Audi A8, which costs just $86,500. The electric i7 xDrive60 is available from $113,900, a fraction more than its closest rival, the Mercedes-Benz EQS, which starts at $102,310. In short, it's pretty much the middle of the pack when it comes to pricing, at least in the US, where both electric and combustion-powered variants will be available from launch.

The car definitely faces some tough competition, but it seems like BMW has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the new 7 Series has more selling points than ever. It's available to order now in all major markets, although delivery won't be until the end of the year. With a bigger range of price points, powertrains, and features available than ever before, it's hard to imagine that Bimmer's flagship executive sedan will be anything less than a surefire hit with buyers.