By on April 21, 2022

While it never managed to reach the notoriety of the Mercedes S-Class, BMW’s 7 Series has long been a popular alternative for well-dressed henchmen in action movies. There have even been periods where the Bimmer came pretty close to matching Daimler’s flagship sedan in terms of sales. But BMW’s decision to take what was effectively a well-appointed sports sedan and reform it into a limousine with an optional 601-horsepower V12 seems to have backfired.

The 7 Series is allegedly getting more in touch with its roots for the seventh generation (G70/G71) model and throwing in the all-electric i7 for good measure. However, the resulting automobile still looks to be following the lead of the Mercedes, rather than focusing on being the “ultimate driving machine” of yore. Meanwhile, BMW is pulling out all the stops in terms of styling and is throwing down every modern technology at its disposal. 

That’s par for the course with flagship German products. They all thrive on having the latest and greatest features while also maintaining a supple ride with the ability to haul serious ass whenever necessary. For the 2023 BMW 7 Series, that has resulted in a mix of chassis enhancements, rear-wheel steering, ultra-premium materials, and more tech stuffed into the cabin than anybody really needs. In fact, it’s the interior that’s stealing the show because most people already seem to have decided the exterior was some kind of prank.

BMW designs have always been a little edgier than what’s typically on offer from Mercedes. But the new 7 Series takes things further than usual by adopting split headlights with the important ones sitting below the running lamps — similar to what’s being done with the crossovers from Hyundai or Nissan. It’s not objectively beautiful and kind of gives the 7 Series a sinister mug. But it is quite trendy and something I don’t mind seeing automakers embracing if it means fewer bindings from oncoming traffic. The rest of the vehicle is harder to defend. The taillights are tasteful but the stepped rump doesn’t work with them. BMW’s extra-large kidney grille is also present here. Though it’s become easier to stomach now that the initial shock is gone and it’s actually hard to imagine something smaller working with the bold faces the company is putting onto its newest vehicles.

Powertrains have been limited to the base 375-hp turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six (standard on the 740i with rear-wheel drive) and an upgraded 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine cranking out 536 horsepower (standard on the 760i with BMW xDrive). Between them is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) 750e the company plans to debut later on.

The standard gasoline models boast 48-volt mild-hybrid systems in an effort to maximize efficiency and have seen a myriad of other upgrades intended to enhance performance. These include the I6’s redesigned intake ports and combustion chambers, electronically controlled camshaft phasers, a dual fuel-injection system, and an over-boost system that temporarily gives the car more go. The V8 has been similarly enhanced, getting an external oil cooler, new exhaust manifolds, and more. However, it does share its eight-speed automatic with the base sedan.

Meanwhile, the all-electric BMW i7 will be supplanting the now-absent V12 as the spiciest variant of the flagship. Its details are also stuck in limbo for the time being. But the manufacturer has said to expect an M Sport variant that absolutely trounces the gasoline-powered models in terms of output. We’ve heard over 600 horsepower and 700 foot-pounds of torque, though the company did say that peak performance would be tied to a temporary “boost” feature that’s linked to the vehicle’s state of charge, operating temperature, and a few other factors.

The interior doesn’t exude good taste. But it is fantastically modern and comes with plenty of showy features, starting with a deployable 31-inch cinema screen for the rear occupants. Touchscreens are embedded everywhere, giving passengers plenty of control due to their being the likely owner of a vehicle like this. There’s even a seating package that basically turns one chair into a mobile throne with the kind of functionality that would make the most veteran Nordstrom employee weep.

Want doors that open and close for you? There here. Can’t live without a cabin loaded with open-pore wood trim or exotic leather? BMW has you covered. Custom sunshades? You know it. And the list of options and customizable elements just goes on and on. If you have the money to burn, there’s something here to spend it on and only a tiny fraction boils down to what color upholstery you want.

BMW is also offering a “Driving Assistance Professional” that allows for hands-free driving up to 80 mph. While it likely doesn’t make sense on a vehicle you probably hired a chauffeur for and requires constant driver engagement (making it largely pointless), it’s another item to chuck on for the hell of it. Unfortunately, it also requires an in-car camera that constantly monitors the driver which some will undoubtedly find intrusive. There’s also a deficit of buttons so that BMW could load the car up with more screens that might not be to everyone’s tastes, especially since the company hasn’t managed to improve responsiveness. But it’s still a sumptuous buffet of technology, tipping into overkill thanks to things like having a soundscape designed by none other than Hans Zimmer.

But it still manages to undercut the Mercedes-S Class by several grand no matter how it’s configured. The 2023 BMW 7 Series starts at $94,295 for the 740i and $114,595 for the 760i xDrive. Those interested in going all-electric will have to pay a little more, as the i7 starts at $120,295.

[Images: BMW]

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62 Comments on “2023 BMW 7 Series: Everything but the Kitchen Sink...”


  • avatar
    6250Claimer

    And to think people thought Chris Bangle’s designs were radically offensive 15-20 years ago. THIS thing looks like something out of a Simpsons episode. That front end is busier than a 3-legged cat trying to bury turds on a frozen pond. And that dash?! Take a relatively conventional dash design and then tack a giant drive-in theater-sized screen onto it with zero sign of attempting to integrate it into the design, looks like an afterthought. Who knows, maybe people think this kind of radical design is somehow elegant today. I sure can’t see it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You read my mind, I’d like Chris to come back and Re-Bangle it because this is horrid.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Pity the fool who buys this ugly thing! It’s a Buick Regal sedan with a horrible front end and a bordello interior.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I’d bet a nickel that this thing shares a platform with BMW-owned Rolls-Royce, because that upright nose and boxy profile don’t have any historical or stylistic relationship to pretty much anything that has ever worn the BMW propeller badge. Do up the interior as “futuristic” rather than “traditional” and voila! Two “different” models at very little added development cost. Just my guess.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Too much grille, too much screen, too much money, too much depreciation.

    They’ll sell 7000 in the US, but how many i7’s – maybe 10% or 700? How does BMW justify the development costs for so many niche models?

    • 0 avatar
      Serpens

      BMW expects 70% of their sales of this new 7-series will be in Asia. They’ll be fine. And what do you mean justifying cost for niche models? This car shares everything with the ICE models except for the EV power train, which has shared components elsewhere in BMW’s EV range. The luxury electric market is important for BMW to be in.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        By my count, BMW currently show 22 unique models, plus 11 “M” variants. For a company that sells 2.3 million cars worldwide, that works out to a few volume leaders, followed by a lot of slow sellers.

        Imagine the cost savings if BMW didn’t engineer convertibles in three different chassis styles (4, 8, Z4), for example.

        Pre-Covid, some of these pre-built variants were lot poison for the dealers. Now, BMW should be asking themselves why they offer so many products.

        In stark comparison, Tesla gets half as many sales out of essentially 2 models, with the S and X being very low volume now.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Asians have better taste.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I think the i7 will be a lot more than 10% of the sales. These are primarily sold into urban markets for commuter use and the electric powertrain will be attractive to the buyers.

      My question is why they bothered with the PHEV version.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I’m guessing BMW and Mercedes have mastered the systems to produce several different low-volume models at the same plants, sharing guts under the skin to hold down the changeover costs on the line. You’ll notice that whenever one of them rolls out yet another silly nice chopped-roof SUV or whatever, the other is able (and willing) to follow suit immediately.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Machines of Astonishing Complexity.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Surprisingly, I kind of like it. I shouldn’t, I know, and I’d never buy one, but for some odd reason…I appreciate it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Look at that second picture, featuring the right front fender/bumper. Who thought this panel arrangement was a good idea? For six figures, shouldn’t the paint on the bumpers match the rest of the car?

    And don’t get me started on the front end styling.

    Plus, a HapticTouchScreenGasm inside.

    This thing’s horrible.

    • 0 avatar

      The front clip is a complete mess, and like you said doesn’t look like the paint matches. The angles don’t make sense.

      Also, you don’t need a phone screen built into each passenger door.

      I really just don’t like this at all. Fortunately they’ll be off the roads very quickly after the warranty period.

  • avatar
    gasser

    This car will vastly accelerate the depreciation curve. Out of lease and out of warranty, who will be able to repair this many electric gizmos in this car??? Not to mention the cost for all those “BMW only” touch screens? These may be great cars for those who can write off the lease payment, but if you buy one, its a “hot potato” and dump it before the 4 year/ 50,000 mile warranty is up.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Found a 2016 740i for $31,499 that gives me about $70,000 for maintenance and repair and I don’t have to put up with that grill.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Not a fan. What’s with DLO fail? Big chunk of black plastic behind the rear 3/4 window and then the thick chrome band taking the place of the legendary Hoffmeister kink.

    Am I the only one who sees too clearly the hard points of whatever the Rolls Royce built off the same platform will be?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree

      That’s not a piece of black plastic. That’s one fixed piece of glass, but much of it is blocked off.

      As for hard points, again, I just think they leaned into the boxiness and the tall front end. The equivalent Rolls-Royce would be the Ghost. And while the prior Ghost used the same bones as the contemporary F01/F02 7 Series…the new Ghost debuted last year, and is on the Rolls-Royce-exclusive Architecture of Luxury, along with the Phantom and Cullinan. Presumably, the Dawn and Wraith will join them.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I hate these flat contrasting design elements and the look they are giving the latest BMWs. The shape isn’t that bad (and I kind of like this approach to the Hofmeister kink) but the surface treatment is horrendous.

  • avatar
    Kyree

    After sitting with it a day, I don’t hate it. The Hoffmeister Kink, in particular, harkens back to the E38. I kind of like that they leaned into the squareness, and I think two-spoke steering wheels (which BMW reintroduced to its lineup ten years ago with the i4) are awesome.

    That said, it’s far from beautiful.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    When I was a younger man, I would sometimes wish I had more money to buy a fancy car. Now I’m kinda glad that fancy cars are out of my league. I’ll happily keep cranking down the window of my ’02 Silverado by hand.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I always viewed the business as instinctive as I grew up immersed in it. Was I wrong. To me, they have ALL lost their way. They have assumed that because an electric company has come out of the gate with their profit center – luxury – they have all been re-acting the wrong way. Not only is there no company out there I would cast my professional lot with, there is also no current model car I would spend retail money to buy. That the Quandt’s think a die-hard buyer would run to a store to buy this monstrosity says everything. A pox on them all.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    And suddenly the EQS is a wonderfully coherent design.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    This seems like the perfect people who like to go around displaying how much “***K you” money they have at their disposal. “I can afford this and you can’t.”

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Even the day after the warranty is up and every touchscreen fails catastrophically?!

      What an absolute mess of a car! This abomination makes the S-Klasse look good!

      BMW: the Ultimate Fail Machine!

  • avatar
    Tstag

    If you want to see luxury done the classy way then look at the new Range Rover. Having seen this monstrosity I’m left wondering why don’t they make a Range Rover saloon to take this model on?

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Is that a touchscreen on the door for window controls and whatnot?

    Maybe Rube Goldberg had this in mind once!

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    why is the rear seat passenger’s ashtray mounted vertically on the back of the front seat?

  • avatar

    BMWs look more and more like Pontiacs with every new generation. That split grill – they stole it from Pontiac, and those stacked headlamps.

  • avatar
    swester

    I genuinely cannot believe this design was produced the same company that gave us the e38, e46, and so on. It can’t be real, right? To think these used to actually be considered The Ultimate Driving Machine…

    Now they’ve got 1-8, M, i, X, and every combination in between but not a single one of those has even a hint of the soul from the legendary lineup of the 3/5/7/8 of the 80s and 90s.

    • 0 avatar

      The rot began with the F30, numb steering, and whoever decided to make the car more accessible to the lumpenproletariat driver. I’ll never forget getting one as a loaner, sport package no less, when I dropped my e46 off for a wheel alignment. That was the moment BMW was “over”. I still have an e36 lemons car so I’m reminded of past glory a few times a year….drove an M2, and was floored the steering was still numb. I don’t get it…electric steering in Porsche, Cadillac, and even my little Jetta is OK, but BMW somehow blew it.

      • 0 avatar
        2004T4R

        Exactly this! My buddy had an e36 325. Great car. I went with when he brought in for oil and alignment back when the F30s just came out. They gave us a loaner 328 to use for a few hours while the work was being done. What dog. Heavy, big, numb, bad throttle response. Everything his six year old car was, this was not. Could not believe how much more engaging his e36 was after we got it back. BMW lost the path right there.

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      I think all they are now aiming for is the 3-year lease holder. For the longest time, it was a sign of pride for every freshly minted lawyer and doctor who wanted to start their upward mobility vehicle-wise to lease a 3-series (at least in the Washington, DC area.) Hook them in with the 3 and them watch them move up the ladder. Now, like Mercedes, it’s get any sale you can with any kind of car you can throw together and the people will rush in (in theory.) But I think they’ve all but lost the auto enthusiast crowd they once courted and relied on for sales. The people in the know. The ones who had a rental BMW in Germany and flogged it. The ones who could wax on for hours about perfect balance, steering, engine feel, and quality. Now the brand has turned into how many soccer moms and dads they can stuff into an X-series CUV, how many non-existent niches of kinds of car they can cram into it (the GT-series…really?), and knowing that their quality has cratered while repair costs are sky high, get people in and out of their BMWs in 3 or fewer years and let the next sucker take on that 5-digit repair bills. See you BMW. It was fun while it lasted.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        This is the correct diagnosis. BMW themselves have admitted that the numb steering is there because the lease customers like it.

        My personal peak BMW is the E92/93 335is. It was downhill from there.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          @Dal,

          It’s why I still have mine. Just got a recall letter for a PVC Valve Heater. It’s a safety recall, but I still feel funny about brining a car with 134k miles in for a recall.

          Peak BMW is hard to beat, even comparing modern cars that cost more. BMW got the formula right and haven’t had an interest in improving on it since.

          Can’t blame ’em. They’re in business to make money, not great cars.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          E36.

          The E92 lacked droop. Which, combined with the silly runflats, made it perhaps the only car where “breaking” tires was a common occurrence.

          Besides, turbos suck. Or blow, I suppose. While the pre-turbo BMW I6s, were some of the absolute greatest road car engines ever built.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I have heard that the 2 series has retained some of what made BMW, but the rest of the lineup is chasing a mockup of Mercedes and Lexus.

      This design is litter box worthy, and they should be embarrassed of it.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Those of a certain age know and love the movie “Mr. Mom.” There’s a scene with the marketing execs sitting in a smoke filled conference room with whom I assume is the general manager or president of the tuna company spending what had to be hours looking over posters, drawings, pictures, and other marketing stuff while trying to mumble something, having a very lost and confused look on his face, and then ready to say something before stopping and then going back for another hours long dive into the same materials while everyone around him suffered.

    After looking at all of these pictures of this 7-series, I have the same look on my face and wondering where it all went amazingly wrong at BMW. Fine. Ditch your sedans and coupes. We know you all hate them all as long as you have every micro-niche CUV to build. Because if all you have left is that ungodly ugly beaver toothed face and then this design that makes the Genesis model line look smooth and flowing, it’s time to have Ivan Drago throw in the towel to save his son and his name from further embarrassment.

    There was once a day where I would have saved every last penny to get an amazing sports coupe or sedan from BMW. Man, those days are so far gone now.

  • avatar
    wolfwagen

    Does anyone have a picture of the beaver that they used as the inspiration for their latest grill design?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I look at this and think wtf. This will be poison after the first or second lease. Sure, it may beat the first Bangle as far as initial pleasantness, but that was a very low bar.

    And then I think, sure they play in completely different sandboxes, but how could the new Civic land with such a cohesive design inside and out and this thing, at four times the cost, miss any target so widely?

  • avatar
    Russycle

    “Elon Musk’s decision to buy out Twitter in order to convert it into a free-speech platform ”

    Sorry, you misspelled “personal propaganda organ”. Musk is notoriously thin-skinned, the idea that he’d permit anything critical of himself or his projects is laughable.

  • avatar
    jmo2

    I’ve never understood the criticism of this types of vehicles. I was just reading that median S-Class buyer is 62 with a household income of $470,000. You’re 62, the homes are paid off, you’re done paying for college, you’re making $470,000 why not lease something nice? Concerns about maintenance and deprecation are for the poor.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The hard part would be getting to that point and having only rolling abortions like this available!

      This does make Bangle’s designs look coherent and cohesive!

  • avatar
    1337cr3w

    “Screens everywhere! Look at how many screens we have!”

    F*ck off BMW. Touch screens aren’t novel or cool anymore. How about not being bathed in blue light from every possible angle?

    And that 31 inch cinema screen is utterly redundant. What content could possibly be displayed on that thing with that aspect ratio?

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Perhaps it’s just the photo angle, but that rear seat looks extremely cramped for what is supposedly a full size sedan.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    The real shame of it is that this..THING..is so generic looking! I’m seeing Suzuki Kazashi from the side, God only knows what up-front..Freddy Krueger meets Bucky Beaver, maybe, and in the back..it could be ANYTHING! That rump makes Kia’s fannies look well-done!

    I wonder if they’ll include adaptive headlights, at least, now that they’re legal here?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Tough crowd.

  • avatar
    Mustangfast

    First time I saw this I thought it was someone’s computer generated image of how to use current BMW cues to make the ugliest possible car. Nothing about this is the least bit cohesive and all of those shiny surfaces inside will look like hell after a few months. Also what’s with the German obsession with touch controls? VW with their ID4 and now this with what appears to be cheap looking android phones stuck on the doors?! Who asked for this? In 2008 you may have been forgiven for thinking touch was for everything, but we’ve learned and it sucks to try tapping non physical buttons in a moving vehicle. I’m a lifelong car guy but if this is the “state of the art” I’ll be content with mainstream vehicles forever. A friends current gen 3 series seems much more palatable

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I’ll take an ’01 LS430, it will outlast this thing and the LS is already 21-years old.

  • avatar
    old blue

    Forget the “kitchen sink”..

    It needs to be attractive, but it’s ugly.

    Why does it need to be ugly ?

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