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A black 2023 BMW 760i Xdrive is shown from the front while driving on a mountain road.

Goodbye V12, Hello Electrification! Ultimate Luxury in the 2023 BMW 7 Series

BMW may be slowly shifting from sports sedans to SUVs, but when it comes to ultimate luxury, the Bavarian brand’s flagship remains the opulent 7 Series sedan. The full-size model has always aimed to blend incredible comfort, convenience, and capability to create a vehicle that has it all. The fully redesigned 2023 BMW 7 Series aims to carry on that tradition, adapting to the modern world by adding unprecedented technology and ditching the old V12 engine in favor of a slew of electrified powertrains. But is the new 7 Series up to par, or has it been ruined by chasing current trends?

More Power From New Electrified Powertrains

The new 7 Series represents BMW’s latest electrification strategy. Rather than going all-in on EVs like Mercedes and Audi, BMW maintains that there is still a place for traditional gasoline engines. However, that doesn’t mean BMW is ignoring the potential of electrification. Every powertrain option for the 2023 7 Series is electrified, whether that means using a 48V mild-hybrid system, a plug-in hybrid powertrain, or the fully-electric propulsion of the brand-new i7 model.

While the 6.6-liter V12 is gone for good, the 3.0-liter I-6 and 4.4-liter V8 engines remain from last year––with a twist. They now come standard with a 48V mild-hybrid boost, upping total output to 380 hp in the base engine and 544 hp in the V8. That’s an extra 45 hp and 21 hp, respectively, for those keeping count. Torque is up by an even greater amount, with the V8 now boasting 590 lb-ft. It’s still not quite to the level of the old V12, but the V8 isn’t the top powertrain either.

The upcoming M760e xDrive will be the top model for the new 7 Series. This will be the first plug-in hybrid M Performance car, and the electrified powertrain is built around a V8 to deliver 571 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. While it may not have 12 cylinders, it should prove a worthy successor to the M760 name. Finally, there is another plug-in hybrid option for drivers content with less-extreme performance. The 750e uses the familiar 3.0-liter I-6 as its base and should offer somewhat enhanced performance compared to the outgoing 745e.

A tan 2023 BMW i7 is shown from the rear at an angle while driving on a mountain road.

The All-Electric 2023 BMW i7

If the four mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid options were not enough, BMW is also introducing an all-electric version of the 7 Series. Unlike the competing Mercedes EQS and Mercedes S Class, the new 2023 BMW i7 shares the same chassis as the new 2023 BMW 7 Series––the only difference is that the gasoline engine is replaced with a 101.7 kWh battery pack and electric motors. This strategy began with the 2022 BMW i4, which shares its chassis with the 2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, and allows BMW to offer an identical driving experience no matter which type of propulsion you choose.

Also like the i4, there are two versions of the new i7. The base model i7 xDrive60 offers 544 hp, the same figure as the 760i with its V8 engine, and has an advertised 0-60 figure of 4.7 seconds. The range is estimated to be 310 miles, which is reasonable, but not the best available. The base model will be followed by the i7 M70, which promises to deliver over 600 hp for a true M Performance experience. However, the more powerful model can be expected to have considerably less range than the base model.

The interior of a 2023 BMW i7 is shown from the passenger seat.

Luxury for the Modern World

While the shift to BMW’s electrified powertrains is the headline news for the new 7 Series, it is far from the only update to match modern tastes. The front seats have access to a massive new curved display that includes support for YouTube streaming and 5G connectivity. However, the rear seat passengers aren’t left out either. The 7 Series has a long history of functioning as a limousine, and the new Executive Lounge spec takes that to new heights with an incredible 31-inch HD widescreen display that folds down from the roof to entertain rear-seat passengers. The back row even gets personal 5.5-inch touchscreen displays to control all the available luxury functions!

The newest generation of the 7 Series may be a departure from tradition, embracing the future with new powertrains, new technology, and new styling. However, it is difficult to argue that BMW has not delivered a product that maintains its reputation for incredible comfort, convenience, and capability. The decision to stick with the same chassis for gasoline, plug-in hybrid and all-electric models particularly sets the new 7 Series and i7 apart from the pack, guaranteeing buyers traditional BMW performance no matter which level of electrification they prefer.