The rules are different for six-figure cars.
Below that figure, you have to choose what you want in a car. Some options have tremendous performance, with zero to 100 kilometres per hour times under five seconds and crisp handling. Others have immense living space or technology that will make your jaw drop open.
But you have to pick. You can’t have it all.
Above $125,000, you can get everything in one vehicle. Take the new-generation 2023 BMW 7 Series, for instance.
Most luxury automakers build a super-luxury sedan—a flagship four-door that shows off everything their engineers and designers can do. These cars are pricey and sell in very low volume. BMW’s is the 7 Series. The company recently released an all-new version.
What’s the Exterior Styling of the 2023 BMW 7 Series Like?
Super-luxury cars are rarely beautiful in the conventional sense that sports cars can be. Instead, they have a presence. They demand to be noticed not the way a beauty queen does but how the CEO of a company does.
The 2023 7 Series does it with mass and tailoring. It’s long and low, with a complicated front fascia full of folds and splits. Thin LED daytime running lights are split from the lower headlights completely. You can choose to have the LEDs made from Swarovski crystal because nothing suggests power like spending money on enhancements that are undetectable to everyone.
BMW’s recent designs have featured an enormous interpretation of the brand’s signature twin-kidney grille. It’s been divisive, with many reviewers and long-time fans. With the attitude typical of this type of car, BMW has made it even more prominent and lit it so that it can’t be politely ignored.
Once you’re past the audacity of the front, the lines are understated and elegant. Thick brightwork around the windows suggests an earlier design era but doesn’t look outdated. It’s more tribute than a copy.
Does the Interior Space of the New 7 Series Sedan Justify Its High Price?
The new 7 Series doors open themselves at the soft touch of a fingertip, revealing an elegant cabin. A dashboard in the traditional leather-and-exotic-wood of luxury cars is fronted by a vast, curved-bezel housing two screens; one for the driver’s instruments and another to control navigation and entertainment functions.
No other car has the unique control system BMW calls “interaction bars.” A wide-faceted crystal line runs through the dashboard and looks like a decorative element. It’s not. It’s touch-sensitive. It controls the climate, heated seats, and other interior niceties. It can be backlit in different colours to suit your mood.
Also optional is the “executive lounge” rear seating package. It gives the rear seats nearly as much adjustability as the driver’s seat, including a 42-degree recline. Plus, cashmere seating surfaces are optional. The seats are controlled through little phone-sized screens embedded in the doors. We thought we’d seen everywhere automakers could pack a screen, but BMW found unused space for another one.
Speaking of screens, the show-stopper is a 31.3-inch 8K touchscreen display that drops down from the roof to entertain rear-seat passengers. Combined with the 36-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, it should make the new 7 Series one of the best places to catch a movie.
What’s Powering BMW’s New Flagship Luxury Sedan?
The base 2023 760i xDrive gets BMW’s venerable 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged 8-cylinder, making 536 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of torque. According to the automaker, it comes mated to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system and does the run from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 4.2 seconds. It’s an elephant keeping up with the cheetahs for laughs. The V-8 is part of a mild-hybrid system and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
But the big news is the second powertrain. The 2023 i7 xDrive60 makes the big brute a battery-electric vehicle (BEV). It comes only in all-wheel drive thanks to one motor on the rear axle and a second motor on the front for 536 hp and 549 lb-ft. The BEV version is heavier than the V-8 trim, making the 0-100 km/h mph sprint in 4.7 seconds.
BMW predicts that the i7 xDrive60 will have an electric driving range of up to 498 km. Natural Resources Canada has not yet weighed in on that.
Are There Any New or Cool Features in the 2023 7 Series?
Every 2023 7 Series uses an adjustable air suspension and adaptive dampers. Four-wheel-steering is standard, though we should note that its rear wheels turn only 3.5 degrees. That’s a far cry from the 10 degrees of the rival Mercedes-Benz S-Class and could make parking the big 7 a bit more challenging.
A full suite of driver aids is standard, and an optional Highway Assistant allows for hands-free cruising at highway speeds.
What’s the BMW Full-Size Luxury Sedan’s Competition Like?
The 2023 version of the V-8-engine 7 Series continues to compete against its usual full-size luxury sedan rivals, like the Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, and Porsche Panamera.
In contrast, the i7 BEV goes up against the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Model S.
How Much Will the 2023 BMW 7 Series Cost When Will It Go on Sale in Canada?
Canadian BMW dealers have already begun accepting reservations for the new 7 Series. Whether you opt for the gas-powered 760i xDrive or the battery-electric i7 xDrive60, base prices start at $147,000 in Canadian dollars.