The BMW 7 Series has never received a full-on M-fettled model. Rarely, if ever, has the M badge appeared on BMW’s largest sedan save for the previous generation’s M760Li, a V12-powered flagship. But that short lineage is about to get a new member. Meet the new 2024 BMW i7 M70. When it hits the road, it will be the most powerful electric car BMW has ever made, essentially guaranteeing that it will be quicker than the standard i7 (and perhaps any other 7 Series to come before it). It will also feature a number of M-specific modifications that should help it be more engaging to drive.
BMW differentiates its trim levels by powertrain, and when it launched in 2023, this big EV came in one state of tune: the i7 xDrive60. That now base version of the i7 is rated to achieve 296 to 318 miles on a single charge, depending on the wheel and tire option. Despite having much more power (more on that later), the new-for-2024 i7 M70 is right up there, with a manufacturer-estimated max range of 295 miles on a single charge. That’s on the low end for big, luxurious EV sedans. Rival Mercedes, Lucid and Tesla sedans all have versions that will do more than 400 miles on a full battery.
All i7 variants utilize a battery pack with 101.7 kWh of usable capacity. The big difference between the xDrive60 and M70 is how the two electric motors (one on the front axle, and the other on the rear) have been tuned. The M70’s rear motor is 25.5% more power-dense than the standard i7’s, and the result is a total system output of 650 hp and 748 lb-ft of torque in Sport mode. The car musters up to 811 lb-ft when the boost paddle is used or when launch control is engaged. Use the latter, BMW says, and the M70 will rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
For comparison, the standard i7 xDrive60 makes 536 horsepower and 549 lb-ft of torque, which is strong enough to accelerate the i7 to 60 mph in an Edmunds-tested 4.3 seconds. That’s a respectable figure, but the M70 model brings the i7 significantly closer to the pace of cars like the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S — though it’s still no Plaid. Both versions of the i7 can charge at up to 195 kW on a DC fast charger, which isn’t quite as speedy as some other EVs.
BMW has also fiddled with the suspension to make the car drive more like something deserving of an M badge. The standard i7 is hugely comfortable, but it’s a bit floaty at times. According to BMW, the electric all-wheel drive, steering, dampers, and stability systems have all been tuned to make this version of the i7 one of the sportiest offerings in its class without sacrificing long-distance comfort. The i7’s interior helps, too.
As you’d expect given the 7 Series underpinnings and substantial price tag, the i7’s cabin is a genuinely luxurious place to sit. The overall design is handsome, with plenty of nice materials on all of the surfaces. Leather is available, though we really like the available cashmere seating surfaces. We’d like to see more premium fabric interiors like this one. We weren’t as fond of some of the glossy interior trim as it tended to reflect light in bright sunlight.
The driver-oriented dashboard is topped by two large screens under one long, slightly curved piece of glass. BMW’s latest infotainment system packs a lot more features than the outgoing system, and the system in the M70 also gets unique designs to make the car both look and feel more sporty. This is illustrated by M-specific performance pages and different gauges in the instrument cluster. However, one of our biggest gripes with the i7 (and other BMWs that use iDrive 8) was that the interface simply isn’t very intuitive.
Thankfully it seems like BMW has recognized this issue and is launching the M70 with the updated iDrive 8.5. (Presumably BMW will roll this update out to other models.) It now comes with what BMW calls QuickSelect. The function essentially mimics your smartphone’s homescreen and aims to make selecting various functions much easier. The result, BMW says, is a “focused, assured driving experience.” We’ll be sure to vet that claim.
On the complete other side of the performance spectrum is the new Max Range mode. Here, electric motor power and top speed are restricted (and some comfort functions are scaled back) in order to help increase efficiency and, as a result, maximize range. The feature is designed for those mid-journey moments where you look down at the dashboard and go, “Am I going to make it?” The idea is that giving you and your car a better chance at making it home or to a nearby charger will help curb range anxiety. Range isn’t typically why you buy a performance-oriented EV, but it’s a nice touch.
Pricing for the i7 will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date, but expect it to cost a pretty penny more than the current i7’s $120,295 asking price. We expect something near the $145,000 mark. Get your checkbooks ready — the i7 M70 hits dealerships near the end of this year.