BMW’s flagship electric car has a new flagship of its own, and it’s the brand’s most powerful electric vehicle yet.

    The BMW i7 M70 xDrive features a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain, with the rear motor producing 360kW of power and the front producing 190kW.

    Total system torque is 1015Nm in Sport mode, with total system power of 485kW and torque of 1100Nm when M Launch Control or the M Sport Boost function is activated.

    BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds, making the i7 M70 the fastest electric BMW. The top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

    It will enter production this year at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Germany, ahead of a global rollout starting in the second half of 2023.

    Previously, BMW Australia has released local information on a delay relative to global releases, and we therefore expect Australian-market information imminently.

    The company says the rear motor is 25.5 per cent more energy-dense than that of the i7 xDrive60, and is the company’s most powerful electric motor.

    BMW says it uses a six-phase design with a dual inverter, offering a density of 2.41kW/kg. It also features six excitation windings in the motor’s stator instead of three, which BMW says makes the single motor far superior to using two motors on the rear axle.

    Claimed range is between 488 and 560 kilometres and energy consumption is between 20.8kWh and 23.8kWh per 100 kilometres, both on the WLTP test cycle.

    The i7 M70 uses a 101.7kWh (useable) battery and can be charged at up to 22kW using AC power and 195kW using a DC fast-charger.

    BMW says it has tuned the all-wheel drive system, steering, dampers and stability systems specifically for the M70.

    It rides on adaptive two-axle air suspension with electronically controlled dampers and automatic self-levelling, with M-specific air springs tailored to increase the number of vibrations on each axle to provide a “noticeably direct connection to the vehicle body”.

    Integral Active Steering and the Executive Drive Pro chassis package, the latter of which includes active roll stabilisation, are standard.

    Body rigidity is aided through the use of an additional shear panel between the bulkhead and spring strut towers.

    A new Max Range mode reduces drive power and deactivates climate control to increase range by a claimed 15-25 per cent. It also drops the top speed to 90km/h. Easily activated on the screen or using voice prompts, it can be deactivated a number of ways including with hard in-gear acceleration.

    The M Sport Boost function is activated with the left paddle shifter and activates Performance-specific digital instrument cluster graphics.

    The BMW IconicSounds Electric, composed by Hans Zimmer, also has a “particularly exhilarating, M Performance-specific note”. The soundtrack changes based on the vehicle setting selected.

    21-inch wheels with a Jet Black solid and high-gloss metal finish are standard along with M Sport brakes, while sport tyres are optional.

    Other external differences include M-specific exterior mirrors, side skirts and badging, High-gloss Shadowline trim, and a unique rear apron with a diffuser.

    The Iconic Glow illuminated grille is available, even with the optional M Performance package which adds a black high-gloss surround for the double kidneys.

    This package also includes a black rear spoiler, a black accent strip between the tail lights and a black inlay on the rear apron.

    The new 7 Series’ trick crystal headlights are optional, as are a range of eight two-tone paint finishes plus 100 BMW Individual colours.

    The available Frozen matte finishes are produced using biomass instead of crude oil.

    Inside, the M70 has unique illuminated door sills, Merino leather upholstery finished in Black and Atlas Grey, an M steering wheel, and an M driver’s footrest.

    Optional are BMW Individual Merino leather/wool-cashmere upholstery and a total of nine colourways. Carbon-fibre appliques with silver threads are also available, while the BMW Individual Manufaktur program allows you to customise the interior further.

    The i7 M70 debuts the latest BMW Operating System 8.5, and also features some additional M-specific content.

    The latest set-up features a new home screen with QuickSelect functionality, said to improve usability. The screen sits alongside a digital instrument cluster in the BMW Curved Display.

    The home screen displays the navigation system’s map view at all times, with function icons displayed vertically on the driver’s side to allow you to access functions without passing through sub-menus.

    The cloud-based navigation system has “extended functionality”, with improved charging-optimised route planning.

    The luxurious features of other 7 Series and i7 models also feature in the M70, including the BMW Theatre Screen that drops from the roof, as well as the Executive Lounge rear seating, Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, and semi-autonomous parking that can be controlled via the My BMW App.

    The doors can also be opened and closed using the app, while BMW Digital Key Plus functionality now includes a contact-free opening and closing function for the driver’s door.

    This extended functionality will be rolled out to all new 7 Series models fitted with automatic doors mid-year.

    The i7 M70 follows the i4 M50 and iX M60 as BMW M’s third electric vehicle. The i4 M50 was BMW M’s best-selling model globally in 2022.

    MORE: Everything BMW i7

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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