The new BMW i7 brings cinema to the car

The new BMW i7 brings cinema to the car

BMW relaunched its "i" division in 2011 - long before most people had ever heard of Tesla - to design and build plug-in electric vehicles. The launch cars were the i3, still in production, and the i8 sports car. It was an expensive bet, but even if BMW hadn't sold more than 240,000 units of the two models worldwide (exceeding half a million in overall division i sales in 2019) it would have been worth it if only for the value acquired by the brand for having focused on electric cars before any other major manufacturer.

After these first two attempts, the i division has created several other models - the latest of which is the iX of 2021 - with various levels of success in terms of sales and execution. Until now, however, BMW i had never ventured into the world of luxury cars, allowing rival Mercedes-Benz to beat it with the electric version of its Eqs.

After years of expectations and probably more than one small internal annoyance to have been anticipated by Mercedes, BMW has finally unveiled the all-electric version of its high-end 7 Series, the i7. Unlike the Eqs, however, it seems that BMW has thought well about the technology to be included in the car.

The i7 is the first BMW to sport the Theater Screen system, presented for the first time in January on the occasion del Ces 2022: an ultra-wide 31-inch display in 32: 9 format with resolution up to 8k and smart TV functions (Amazon Fire TV), to which the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System must be added. The Aid is also equipped with elegant smartphone-like touchscreens placed in the armrests of the rear doors, called Touch Command, with displays placed right where your hand rests. We will return to the interior later, after focusing on the specs.

The BMW i7

BMW The specifications The electric version of the launch of the new 7 Series of 2022 will be the BMW i7 xDrive 60, arriving in the second half of this year, with the plug-in hybrid models 750e xDrive and M760e xDrive that will follow next year. BMW reports that other fully electric variants will be added to the 7 Series, including the flagship i7 M70 xDrive, which will arrive later in 2023, with an expected output of 660hp.

The i7 xDrive 60 has a lot of battery slim - with a height of only 110 mm - located in the floor that offers 101.7 kWh of usable energy and a declared Wltp range of up to 615 kilometers. This means that with normal use you should get more than 480 kilometers from the car. A dedicated 5.5 kW flow heater brings the battery to the optimum temperature, with a big impact on the range.

WiredLeaks, how to send us an anonymous report The rear wheels generate a peak power of 313hp, while the engine on the front axle releases 258 hp. The two drive units deliver a combined maximum power of 544 hp and a torque of 745 Nm. All these figures mean that the BMW i7 xDrive 60 goes from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.7 seconds.

When the battery is exhausted, BMW reports that the combined charging unit of the i7 allows charging at alternating current up to 11 kW and a maximum of 195 kW at direct current. This in theory should guarantee around 170 kilometers (Wltp) of added range in just ten minutes in a high-powered charging station.

The new BMW i7, a vehicle designed to drive the rich and powerful into a almost absolute silence, it is decidedly great. The car is almost 5.5 meters long. To be more precise, the dimensions have grown by 130mm in length to 5391mm, by 48mm in width to 1950mm and by 51mm in height to 1544mm. These dimensions have allowed BMW to install the central element in the interior of the i7, the Theater Screen system.

The Theater Screen

BMW The interior and the Theater Screen BMW has decided that tablets fixed to the rear of the front seats are an outdated solution for delivering multimedia content to passengers, creating - and crash testing - a new option for movie buffs on the go.

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Arrow Sophisticated touchscreens and information displays mounted on the rear door panels - a new technology that BMW has renamed "Touch Command" - can be activated a 31.3-inch Amazon Fire TV touchscreen with up to 8k resolution, which lowers from the cockpit roof. The display extends horizontally occupying the entire width of the passenger compartment. At the same time, the sunblinds of the side and rear windows and the panoramic glass roof are lowered automatically, while the ambient lighting in the rear is dimmed. Once it is fully open, the screen extends from the roof to the front seat backrests.

Although it looks like a remarkable achievement - and it is - when I tested the system I got the feeling that the large screen was a little too close to the eyes of the passengers to allow a comfortable view in the rear seats. Of course you can get used to it, and according to BMW it is possible to move the screen closer or further away in order to obtain "the preferred viewing distance". In reality, the range of motion is somewhat limited. In fact, however, BMW has managed to safely insert (supposedly) a widescreen cinematic experience into the rear section of the new i7.

The touchscreens in the rear of the BMW i7

BMW Beyond to play content from your devices and allow you to watch films and TV series from Amazon Prime Video and Netflix on the go, a camera in the screen allows the Theater Screen to also be used as a tool for video conferencing. It will then be possible to use Zoom on the highway, without being able to escape meetings.

The cinematic experience is joined by an equally impressive sound system made by Bowers & Wilkins, in case you do not want to use individual Bluetooth headsets equipped independent volume control. The optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System has 36 speakers, four of which are integrated into the canopy, delivering a prodigious 1965 watts. Transducers in the front and rear seat backrests vibrate to let you hear the lowest frequencies. The "standard" system is also remarkable, with 18 speakers and 655 watts.

Among the myriad of other driving systems and technological improvements in the new 7 Series there is also a feature that could be referred to as technology an end in itself: a mechanism for automatic opening and closing of doors. The option allows you to fully open or close the front and rear doors using the car key, the buttons inside, the My Bmw app, or by voice command. BMW is particularly enthusiastic about the "four different ways" to automatically open or close a door without having to physically touch it, although the suspicion remains that it is faster to simply use your hand. About 12 ultrasonic sensors on both sides of the car ensure that doors do not open at poles, people or other cars.

The BMW i7 xDrive 60 will start at $ 119,300 in the US and $ 107,400 pounds in the UK.

This article originally appeared on US.

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