In the not-so-distant past, V12 engines ruled the roost in the big executive sedan segment. These paragons of smoothness and torque were mesmerizing creatures, capable of propelling multi-ton lounges down highways with astonishing pace and serenity. Now though, they’ve been all but killed off for something even quieter, even smoother, and even more rich in torque — electric power. The all-electric BMW i7 M70 is the new king of the 7-Series range, and it brings big power, chassis tweaks, and a whole lot of customization options. The i7 M70 replaces the old V12-powered M760i xDrive and sits above the i7 xDrive60 as the quickest new 7-Series money can buy.
Let’s start with the exterior. Sure, you can opt for a whole load of black accents, but the basic cosmetic alterations to the i7 M70 are fairly restrained. M-style mirrors and fresh side skirts with black accents bulge out of the flanks, while a revised rear valence with diffuser-style inserts offers some added visual aggression around back. That being said, those are subtle changes that most people are likely to miss completely depending on what paint color is specified. Or should I say, what paint colors are specified.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the pictures, the i7 M70 can be ordered in Tony the Tiger black-and-orange two-tone that’s louder than the sound system at Madison Square Garden. In fact, the two-tone treatment can be applied to heaps of colors in BMW’s extended Individual palette, some of which are properly outrageous. How would you like a mint green 7-Series?
Oh, and there’s a minor change on the inside that’s worth noting: The i7 M70 will come with iDrive 8.5, an updated infotainment system that promises an easier-to-navigate top menu than what the current iDrive 8 offers. While you can still use the iDrive knob to make inputs, this new infotainment system is supposedly designed more for touchscreen inputs rather than rotary controls.
Right, let’s talk exciting stuff. While it’s easy to think that 650 dual-motor electric horsepower is 650 dual-motor electric horsepower, the i7 M70 takes a novel approach of extreme rear bias with the most powerful electric motor BMW’s ever made. Instead of a customary three-phase electric motor, this single motor uses six phases to pump out 483 horsepower, or more than an entire M3.
As for the front motor, it cranks out 255 horsepower, or roughly the same horsepower as a 330i. Now I know that the power figures of the two motors add up to way more than 650 horsepower, but different electric motors can have differing power curves just like different gasoline engines can have differing power curves. That peak figure of 650 horsepower is the most these motors can push out when working together, but the area under the curve also holds promise. I suspect the real benefits of the 483-horsepower rear motor won’t be experienced until higher speeds. How hard do we reckon the i7 M70 will run into its 155 mph top speed limiter?
So how about torque, then? Well, that peaks at 748 lb.-ft., unless you press the right button. By either activating launch control or getting into M Sport Boost mode, torque leaps to 811 lb.-ft. which helps click off a claimed zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds. That’s not Model S Plaid quick, but it’s still objectively a very good time, especially for something that isn’t a full-on M-car. It’s even quicker than the XM Label Red, of which the less is said, the better. What’s more, range is expected to be excellent, with an estimated 295 miles on a charge using the EPA cycle. That’s barely less than the standard car’s 318 miles of EPA range.
Regarding suspension, the i7 M70 still uses air suspension at all four corners, but the physical air springs are unique to the M70. They feature smaller air chambers than their cooking-grade equivalents, along with re-shaped contours for a firmer ride. Of course, with new air springs comes revised damping, but the anti-roll bars aren’t changed. See, the i7 M70 uses the same active anti-roll bars as the regular i7 that can slacken off or firm up resistance depending on conditions, so only recalibration was necessary. However, don’t think of this as just a spring and damper job – BMW’s made some additional hardware alterations that should make things interesting.
In fact, one hardware alteration is a structural change: BMW’s installed an extra panel between the cowl and front strut towers to stiffen up the front end on the i7 M70. This also marks the first time proper summer performance tires are available for the electric 7-Series. Oh, and four-wheel-steering come standard. It all adds up to the promise of a sharper, more engaging 7-Series, which feels pretty important as far as history goes.
In the past, people typically bought the 7-Series over the equivalent Mercedes-Benz S-Class because it was a slightly more engaging drive. An old E38 from the ‘90s is an easy thing to sling around like an oversized sports sedan, and even the previous-generation 7-Series didn’t quite act its weight. While the plug-in age produces plenty of questions about whether or not electric powertrains can get under the skin of die-hard traditional car enthusiasts quite like V8s and V12s could, the promise of a sharper 7-Series is something we can all get behind. Pricing for the BMW i7 M70 haven’t been released yet, but expect to hear more closer to the car’s on-sale date in the second half of this year. Whether combustion-powered or electric-powered, long live the sports barge.
(Photo credits: BMW)
Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.
The Bonkers 2023 BMW 7-Series Is A Luxury Beast With An Absurd 31.3-Inch TV Screen
The 738-Horsepower BMW XM Label Red: Someone Explain Why This Is Good
The New BMW XM Is Extremely Ugly And Surprisingly Heavy
The 2023 Alpina XB7 Will Let Your Whole Family Experience Luxury At 180 MPH
BMW Doesn’t Want You To Use The iDrive Knob Anymore
Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.
Still convinced that BMW designers are having an in-house competition to make the ugliest car possible
I finally see BMW’s plan, they are turning into Dartz.
My god are BMWs ugly
Not a single good looking angle on that car. From straight-on, the nose has the proportions of an SUV. From the 3/4 front view, the profile has some Lincoln Town Car to it (if you ignore the nose). From the 3/4 rear view, the wheels look tiny for some reason. And the rear end is generic ugly. I agree that they are trying to distinguish themselves from other brands, but how you can achieve such failure is beyond me.
Yeah, but look at it. Ewww.
I passed a new BMW the other day, and where they’ve put the front BMW badge, in that deep V between the nostrils, initially made me think it was an Alfa Romeo, because the ‘V’ shape was so pronounced.
Unpopular opinion alert:
I don’t think that BMW cares what people like us think of the new design language. They probably figured out that most of the people buying new luxury cars don’t care what BMWs used to look like 20-30 years ago and just want something that stands out from the sea of generic crossovers we see everywhere.
These new BMWs stand out. Like it or not, people notice them. Almost everyone here thinks they are ugly. Good to go. But BMW wants to differentiate itself on the path to electrification and its working.
I doubt they’ll sell any worse than the old design language cars did. And that’s what BMW cares about.
Wow, that’s one of the ugliest cars I’ve ever seen…doesn’t even look like a bimmer anymore…I wanted one when I was teenager but not anymore
The giant nostrils appear to contain a functioning grille (if you can stomach zooming in on them) — which is interesting, since BEVs don’t typically have use for air intakes that high up.
someone bring back Chris Bangle. At least his designs were interestingly ugly. these modern BMWs are HIDEOUS
After reading the comments so far, I really have nothing to add here. It’s ugly.
Well that looks absolutely horrific.
Holy shit, you’d have to pay me damn good money to drive this hideous abomination. Don’t care about anything having to do with the specs or experience, this makes Eraserhead look cute. This things is almost ugly enough to trigger the “kill it” lizard brain response I get when I see a house centipede. I can’t believe that someone(s) went through grueling design school to come up with this and that other people approved it after.
I also share this response to house centipedes. It doesn’t feel visceral or emotional, just “Oh, one of those, guess I have to kill it”. Autonomously, like scratching an itch. BMWs don’t get me the same way. They aren’t as deliberate in their failed attempt to look “aggressive” like the Lexus predator face. They look more like “We are going to use four different specialty head fasteners on each brake caliper, all with the same thread bolt, because GERMAN!” “You’re supposed to be a lawyer, get a poor to go to our month long in house certification on operating a torque wrench!”
I’ve seen the new 7 recently. It’s very striking, even exciting to look at…until you have to look at the overwrought, ugly nose.
The interior looks nice. Unfortunately, you eventually have to get out of the car.
Remember how drop dead gorgeous the E38 was when it came out? Remember how gorgeous is still looks today?
this thing is hideous.
I remember the looks. And I remember that sweet, sweet inline-six and the manual transmission….
I’ll bet you could get the nicest E38 on the planet for less than this behemoth will cost.
Uglier than even me, and that’s saying something.
This may be the ugliest BMW ever made.
The XM Label Red would like a word
Hmm you do have a point.
I look at an E38 with M-parallels and swoon; I look at this and vomit.
I’m no fan of modern Maybachs but this is an even more miserable failure trying to imitate that two-tone look (I was about to say aesthetic except there is nothing aesthetic about it).
A Maybach was my first thought when I saw the lede picture: “Yeah, just a (differently) overdone front clip away from one of those M-M mashups!”
This is an unholy abomination but as far as modern BMWs go styling wise it’s maybe a 7 if we’re ranking them on a 1-10 scale for hideousness. If anything the XM and iX almost make this look tame. I was behind an iX in traffic yesterday that was black with these ridiculous gold accents and I couldn’t stop laughing at the damn thing. Sure, buddy…you may have more money than me but you haven’t got an ounce of taste, and you’ll never fit in with the old money crowd you desperately aspire to be a part of.
Virtually no range penalty perhaps; sadly you do suffer the visual cortex penalty.
Is this Ugly Face Day?
If you hate modern BMWs, join this group:
A lot more than any two tone design
A lady car enthusiast once told me, “Two-tone cars look like fish – light on the bottom, dark on the top.” And if the bottom is darker? “Dead fish.”
Actual, literal lol
thanks for that