BMW M GmbH has unveiled its most powerful purely electric model, the 2024 BMW i7 M70 xDrive, which is set to be the range-topping model of the new BMW 7 Series line-up. The BMW i7 M70 xDrive delivers a blend of electric mobility and performance with its two electric motors, which generate a maximum system output of 650 hp and an M-tuned chassis. The car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 3.5 seconds, making it the fastest fully electric BMW model. The BMW i7 M70 xDrive is the third performance model from BMW M GmbH to have an all-electric drive system, following the BMW i4 M50 and the BMW iX M60.
The BMW i7 M70 xDrive is set to make its debut at the Auto Shanghai international motor show in China and will be built at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, where the electric motors and high-voltage batteries for all variants of the BMW i7 are manufactured. The worldwide market launch of the BMW i7 M70 xDrive is set to start in the second half of 2023.
The rear-axle motor of the new BMW i7 M70 xDrive achieves new levels of power density thanks to an M-specific configuration of the drive system technology. The motor has a six-phase design with a dual inverter, enabling a substantial increase in output that remains consistent as speed builds. This increases the motor’s power density by 25.5% compared with the unit that drives the rear axle of the BMW i7 xDrive60, making it the most powerful electric motor from BMW.
The drive system of the BMW i7 M70 xDrive offers outstanding thrust, capable of launching the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The resulting all-wheel-drive set-up generates a maximum system torque output of 748 lb-ft in Sport mode and as much as 811 lb-ft when M Launch Control or the M Sport Boost function is activated. With the M Launch Control function, both drive and traction control are integrated into the motor control unit, ensuring the power generated by the electric motors is instantly converted into stunning acceleration without any loss of traction.
The M Sport Boost function is activated with the shift paddle to the left of the steering wheel and is visualised by performance-specific graphics in the instrument cluster. At the same time, the standard BMW IconicSounds Electric by Hans Zimmer provides a fitting acoustic accompaniment by switching to an exhilarating, M Performance-specific tone. The soundtrack’s character varies according to the vehicle setting selected, with distinctly different sounds in My Mode Personal and Sport.
The BMW i7 M70 xDrive also boasts excellent long-distance capabilities, thanks to the efficiency of the highly integrated drive units and measures for reducing power consumption, including adaptive recuperation of braking energy and heat pump technology used in the integrated heating and cooling system for the cabin and powertrain. The high-voltage battery provides 101.7 kWh of usable energy and is located in the vehicle’s underbody, giving the BMW i7 M70 xDrive a preliminary estimated range of up to 295 miles, making it eminently suitable for everyday use. The BMW i7 M70 xDrive is capable of AC charging at up to 11 kW, while DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 195 kW.
The i7 M70 xDrive’s range can be moderated by activating a new drive system function, MAX RANGE. In this mode, drive power and top speed are carefully restricted and comfort functions scaled back, conserving battery power. The MAX RANGE mode is primarily for critical situations where drivers are unable to reach a charging station and need to extend the remaining range of the vehicle. It is important to note that activating the MAX RANGE mode will limit the vehicle’s performance and convenience features, but it can be a useful tool in emergency situations.
BMW i7 M70 xDrive Specification
The i7 M70 xDrive boasts a sleek, four-door design with room for five passengers. Its dimensions measure 212.2 inches in length, 76.8 inches in width, and 60.8 inches in height. The car has a wheelbase of 126.6 inches, with a track width of 65.4 inches in the front and 66.3 inches in the rear. The car’s ground clearance is 5.4 inches, and it has a turning circle of 40.3 feet. The curb weight of the i7 is 5,929 pounds, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 7,150 pounds. The car also offers a luggage capacity of 17.7 cubic feet.
The i7 M70 xDrive is an electric all-wheel-drive car that utilizes fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. The car has a coordinated transmission of drive torque from one electric motor to the front and one to the rear as needed. The electric motors generate a maximum system output of 650 horsepower and a maximum torque of 748 lb-ft (811 lb-ft with M Sport Boost or Launch Control). The front electric motor produces 255 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, while the rear electric motor generates 483 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The car’s high-voltage battery has a storage capacity of 105.7 kW gross (101.7 kW net) and a voltage of 376 V. The battery is lithium-ion and is installed under the body of the car. The i7 can be charged with a maximum rate of 195 kW, and a charging time of 34 minutes is required to charge from 10-80% with fast DC charging.
The i7 M70 xDrive features advanced driving dynamics and safety systems. The car’s suspension includes a double wishbone suspension in aluminum construction in the front and a five-link axle in aluminum construction in the rear. The car also has an M-specific adaptive air suspension with automatic self-leveling and electronically controlled dampers. The brakes feature four-piston, fixed caliper disc brakes in the front and single-piston, floating caliper, ventilated brakes in the rear. The i7 also has various driving stability systems, including DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control). Other safety features include airbags for the driver and passenger, side airbags for the driver and passenger, front and rear head airbags, a 3-point automatic-reel belt on all seats, crash sensors, and tire pressure display.
The i7 M70 xDrive also has advanced steering technology with electric power steering (EPS) with Servotronic function and variable steering ratio, as well as Integral Active Steering. The car’s tires are 255/40 R21 in the front and 285/35 R21 in the rear, with rims measuring 9J x 21.0 in the front and 10.5J x 21.0 in the rear. The i7’s automatic transmission is a single-stage with a fixed ratio, with an overall ratio of 8.765.
In terms of performance, the i7 M70 xDrive is impressive, with an acceleration of 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.