This is the second “seven” of the BMW G70 generation with the letter “M” in the title: the first was the plug-in hybrid M760 eDrive (571 hp, 800 Nm) based on the petrol “turbo-six”. And if the top version of the previous generation sedan G11 / G12 was equipped with a gigantic 6.6-liter V12 (600 hp, 800 Nm), then the 7 Series G70 irrevocably embarked on the path of electrification – even the mechanics from Alpina have already announced that the new B7 will not be: there is nothing to work on, they say.
Indeed, the reputation of the family business of the Bovensiepen couple rests on forcing gasoline and diesel engines: back in the early 1960s, engineer Burkard Bovensiepen was modifying carburetors on the BMW 1500. However, in the electric age there will be work for motorists – the BMW i7 M70 presented at the Shanghai Motor Show is alive example.
It’s all about the rear electric motor. In the base i7 xDrive60, it develops 230 kW (313 hp) and 380 Nm, but the M70 has a completely different electric motor, with six stator windings instead of three. This is the know-how of the BMW EfficientDynamics division: the Germans say that they managed to significantly increase the output (up to 360 kW / 489 hp and 650 Nm) without increasing the dimensions of the unit. The front electric motor (190 kW/258 hp, and 365 Nm) remains the same, meaning there is still potential for further power gains.
The total peak output of the system is limited to 425 kW (660 hp) and 1015 Nm: the electronics redistribute the load between the electric motors without exceeding a predetermined threshold. If you pull the left stalk towards you (but there is no right one!), the M Sport Boost mode is activated for 10 seconds, with which the torque will increase to 1100 Nm. In this mode, the i7 M70 is gaining a “hundred” in 3.7 seconds – a second faster than the base i7. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (i7 xDrive60 is 10 km/h slower).
The rear axle steering at an angle of up to 3.5 ° is set by default to the most powerful electric sedan (with it the turning radius is reduced from 13.1 to 12.3 m, but for a regular i7 this is an option), as well as an adaptive air suspension with active stabilizers and shortened strokes . A spacer is installed under the hood, connecting the shield of the engine compartment and the “glasses” of the front shock absorbers.
Due to all the “bells and whistles”, the curb weight has increased even more: if the base i7 weighs 2640 kg, then the i7 M60 is all 2695 kg. In addition, the regular M-body kit affected the aerodynamics: the drag coefficient Cx increased from 0.24 to 0.26. The 101.7 kWh lithium-ion traction battery was left unchanged for the powerful version, so the range suffered significantly: 488–560 km in the WLTP cycle versus 591–625 km for the base i7.
There is a Max Range preset in the driving electronics menu. When it is turned on, climate control stops working, all seat heating and ventilation, the rear window is barely heated, and the maximum speed is limited to 90 km / h – these settings are designed to help reach the charging terminal if the battery is almost empty.
The most powerful BMW sedan (if not for XM Label Red, the i7 M70 would have become the most powerful road car in the history of the brand) can also be distinguished thanks to new two-tone color combinations (for a regular i7 this is an option for 12 thousand euros, but here it is unlikely whether it will be free) and rims with a diameter of 21 or 22 inches. The Individual exterior color palette is promised to be significantly expanded, and matte paint is now going to be extracted from biomass, and not from petroleum products.
The latest version of the BMW iDrive 8.5 operating system will immediately be “sewn up” into the screens on the front panel, and special M-graphics with branded fonts are also promised. For an extra charge, you can order an M Performance package (a small spoiler on the trunk lid and black decor), and for the first time it will be offered with Iconic Glow nostril lighting.
The BMW i7 M70 will be assembled at the same Dingolfing plant as the regular i7. Sales will begin in the second half of the year. The cost has not yet been announced, but we will not be surprised at the price tag of 180 thousand euros, because for the i7 xDrive60 in Germany they ask for 139.9 thousand euros without options.