First Drive: 2022 BMW i7 Prototype Review Car News

The impressions are positive. This first i7 model is imbued with an effortless urgency despite weighing well over 2000kg curb. The official output has yet to be revealed, but BMW says it extends beyond the iX xDrive50’s 516 hp and 564 lb-ft. For reference, the EQS 580 4Matic’s dual-motor system produces 516 hp and 630 lb-ft.

As with the iX, there are three main drive modes: Personal, Sport and Efficiency. Instant torque makes for a rather rabid response in either of them, especially with the ability of electric motors to distribute power to the wheels with the most traction. As with all electric models from BMW, the drive is sent via a single-speed gearbox to each motor. We’ll have to wait a few more weeks before official performance is revealed, although you can expect a 0-62mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.

High performance is combined with an ultra-smooth drivetrain, resulting in a fast yet inherently quiet ride on the road. We hit 150 mph on a highway, during which we felt very purposeful and awfully stable.

BMW’s goal was to give the i7 dynamic properties similar to today’s 7 Series and it largely succeeded. The front steering system, which receives a variable-ratio rack, is well weighted. It’s not exactly overloaded with commentary, but there are arguably higher levels of communication than in most rival premium sedans.

The rear steering system – or Integral Active Steering, as BMW calls it – operates in the traditional way, albeit at a greater angle than the earlier system used by the existing 7 Series, to improve low-speed handling and high speed stability. It works a treat. The i7 is a very big and heavy car, but it’s as nimble, if not as smooth, as today’s smaller and lighter 7 Series.

The i7 is eager to change direction. It also develops plenty of grip on the Yokohama Advan Sport 255/45 R21 front and 285/40 rear tires worn by the prototype. If there’s a concern, it’s the width of the car, especially on small country roads. We haven’t seen the official numbers yet, but there’s no doubt that it’s grown quite noticeably in that regard.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-04 22:01:23

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