The BMW 7 Series has been completely redesigned, with the i7 being the electric choice for VVIPs

BMW has unveiled the latest iteration of the 7 Series, including for the first time a fully electric version.

This luxury saloon also takes a step forward as a car to be driven in, as it’s now going to be available exclusively in its long wheelbase form. Despite offering the i7 badged version that we’re most interested in, there will still be a diesel version in Europe, plug-in hybrid options and M badged models coming in the future.

Interestingly, in Europe it’s going to launch as the BMW i7 before other versions follow along in 2023, so it’s a case of electric car first.

From the exterior, the BMW 7 Series is described as “monolithic”, with the oft-ridiculed kidney grille now reflecting other recent models and defining this slab of car.

There’s a conventionality to it, looking more like the executive saloon you might expect and not stepping too far into futuristic design. We can’t help thinking there’s an old school Bentley vibe to it.

Turning to the BMW i7, there’s a pair of motors that put out 544hp (400kW) with a cited range of 310 miles. The floor of the car contains a 101.7kWh battery, while there’s support for charging up to 195kW, which will see this as a great model for longer range cruising. It’s not quite as capacious as the rival Mercedes EQS

In the future there will also be an M badged version of the i7, called the i7 M70 xDrive. This will jump up to over 600hp and offer a 0-62mph time of under 4 seconds.

While the exterior of the car isn’t too futuristic, the interior is. There are more screens, with a focus on comfort and luxury, to ensure that those in the back arrive at their destination fully rested, entertained or informed.

This includes BMW’s 31.3-inch 8K Theatre Screen (powered by Amazon Fire TV), while the front display also supports streaming, so the driver can catch up on YouTube while charging the car.

The car is powered by the latest BMW Operating System 8 – as found in the new BMW iX – while there’s support for automated driving and parking, with BMW claiming it will offer Level 3 autonomy.

Beyond that, there will be smartphone control for the BMW 7 Series, so you’ll be able to remotely park, including have the car remember routes up to 200 metres, so you’ll be able to remotely summon the car to drive from your garage to your front door, for example, and that’s on top of support for digital key functions.

As well as offering reclining rear seats, there’s heating for the armrests, not just the seat, with a range of plush interior options including a Merino leather or cashmere wool.

And yes, with the focus being on carrying important passengers, there’s an armoured version of the 7 Series in development too.

The price, if you have to ask, is from £108,305 / $119,300 / €135,900 – but the good news is that the configurator is live on BMW’s website so you can go and spec up your car right now.

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