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Careful Tesla Model S, BMW is coming for you! 2022 BMW 7 Series and i7 electric car target rivals including Mercedes-Benz EQS with new tech and bold design

The BMW 7 Series range now features an all-electric version called the i7.

Is this the car that will stop the Tesla Model S in its tracks?

BMW is hoping to take some of the attention away from the Tesla Model S with the all-electric version of the new 7 Series, dubbed i7.

BMW has revealed details for the initial seventh-generation 7 Series that will make its market debut later this year, 45 years after the debut of the original sedan.

The i7 joins the i4 and Chinese-market i3 sedans as well as the iX3 and iX SUVs in BMW’s EV arsenal.

The new 7 Series range will go on sale in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2022, with two variants offered from launch – the petrol-powered 740i and electric i7 xDrive60. Pricing and full specs are being held back until closer to launch.

BMW has taken a bold, almost brutalist approach to design for the new 7 Series, with an upright wall-like nose that features a huge new take on the signature kidney grille that comes with LED lights surrounding it, as well as split LED headlights.

The slimline cluster sitting at the bonnet line houses daytime running lights, sidelights and indicators, while the larger cluster below is for the headlights.

A slab-sided silhouette and pert rear end with slimline tail-lights cap off the design which is in direct contrast with the slippery look of its other main rival, the Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan.

BMW is only offering the new 7 Series in long-wheelbase guise. The 3215mm wheelbase is 5mm longer than the outgoing LWB model, and it is 130mm longer, 48mm wider and 51mm taller.

It’s all change for the 7 Series’ interior, with fewer switches and controls than before, and the adoption of the curved digital screen as found in the iX SUV. It incorporates a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch multimedia display screen.

It has a new steering wheel design and gear selector, and a ‘BMW Interaction Bar’ running the width of the dash, while occupants can use YouTube streaming via the display, and it is 5G-compatible.

Being a limo, rear-seat comfort and tech gets a big upgrade. The BMW Theatre Screen extends from the headliner and features a 31.3-inch, 8K resolution Amazon Fire TV, with a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system and a 5.5-inch touch control display in the rear doors to control the whole system and more.

A new Executive Lounge option adds a reclining function for rear occupants and extra luxuries.

Plug-in hybrid and diesel versions will be added in some markets in 2023, while China and the US will get the six-cylinder petrol 735i, but for now Australia gets petrol and electric power.

The i7 EV features two motors housed on each axle for all-wheel-drive traction, and a 101.7kWh lithium-ion battery that combine to deliver a WLTP-rated driving range of 590-625km.

That’s not quite as long as some versions of the Mercedes-Benz EQS that can drive for up to 770km before needing a charge, or the 2022 Tesla Model S that has a range of 652km.

Total system output for the i7 is 400kW/745Nm and it can complete 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds.

The 740i uses BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, delivering 280kW and 540Nm for a 0-100km/h time of 5.4 seconds.

Initially, the flagship of the 7 Series range will be the 760i xDrive, which is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 pumping out 400kW/750Nm and propelling the big sedan from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.

But two new M models will eventually sit atop the range in the coming years. The M760e xDrive plug-in hybrid pumping out 420kW/800Nm, and the i7 M70 xDrive EV with more than 1000Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of less than 4.0 seconds, making it the “most powerful BMW model ever registered for road use”.