BMW just pulled the wraps off its next-generation flagship 7-Series sedan, and it's quite the technological tour de force. We don't typically cover automobiles in great detail at Tom's Hardware, but the new 7-Series packs a few tricks up its sleeve that might be interesting to the PC gaming audience.
For starters, the 7-Series is all about riding around in style, and the rear passengers, in particular, are treated to a truly luxurious experience. In this case, as if the reclining seats with leg rests in the back weren't enough, there's a massive, optional 31-inch widescreen that folds down from the ceiling. The so-called BMW Theater Screen features a 32:9 panoramic format with an 8K resolution (actually, 7,680 x 2160).
BMW has infused the entire vehicle with 5G connectivity, so you have access to an Amazon Fire TV interface with the Theater Screen, where you can stream video from Prime Video and Netflix, among other services. We'd imagine that BMW also has HDMI hookups back there so that you can bring your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X along for some intense rear seat gaming action.
But that high-tech goodies don't stop there. Also available is a "Sky Lounge" panoramic glass sunroof with "LED thread lights" that create a dizzying pattern above, which should be pretty trippy at night. And in what is an odd feature for a sedan (and one that I don't think I've ever seen before), BMW incorporates 5.5-inch touch displays in the rear door that can be used to adjust the rear lighting, temperature controls, and the aforementioned Theater Screen.
The rear passengers aren't the only ones treated to screen overload: the driver has access to two large displays that sit side-by-side behind a curved glass panel on the dash. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster sits directly behind the steering wheel, while a 14.9-inch infotainment display is centrally-located and is accessible by the passenger. The majority of the vehicle's controls are accessible through this touch screen interface, and interior buttons have been reduced to the bare minimum (a strategy that was first employed by Tesla a decade ago). The infotainment handles typical operations such as navigation and can also be used to playback YouTube videos.
However, the most significant addition with this model changeover is a first: an all-electric i7 trim. The i7 xDrive60 features a 101.7 kWh battery pack that powers two electric motors, one for the front axle and one for the rear axle. It generates 536 horsepower and 549 lb-ft of torque, enough to shuttle this massive executive sedan from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds (up to a top speed of 149 MPH). In addition, BMW says that the i7 xDrive60 has a driving range of around 300 miles before it will require a recharge.
If electric propulsion is not for you, BMW will still offer a range of gasoline-powered 7-Series models, including a twin-turbo inline-6 (375HP) and a twin-turbo V8 (536HP). Both gasoline engines are paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
The new 2023 7-Series goes on sale in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2022, priced from $94,295 for the 740i. The flagship, all-electric i7 xDrive60 will start at a whopping $120,295.