Meet BMW’s all-electric spearhead: the i7 M70 xDrive

Clinging onto its dynamic reputation, BMW has unveiled its fastest zero-emission car of the range. Out of a completely overhauled dual-motor powertrain, the model is called i7 M70 xDrive. This topliner can hit 100 km/hour from a standstill in 3,7 seconds with launch control, propelled by a combined output of 660 hp.

The i7 lifts itself above the iX M60 xDrive, which was the most powerful battery-powered BMW so far in the configurator but has been surpassed with 40 hp.

In the performance limousine, the front motor now delivers 255 hp, but especially the rear unit draws attention with a staggering 483 hp. It’s the most powerful electric motor BMW has deployed so far, and also 25% stronger than the unit in the not so slow either i7 xDrive60.

Double winding

Technically, the unprecedented output has been achieved by double windings. There are six instead of the regular three excitation windings. According to BMW, this solution is superior to the set-up of two motors, as it is more compact and lighter.

The top speed of the i7 M70 xDrive is governed at 250 km/hour, so as not to drain the pack in two minutes. Even though the usable battery capacity of 101,7 kWh, as on the other i7 model, has more than enough juice for ample range.

BMW gives its owners a choice. Activate M Sport Boost, and the torque rises from an already abundant 1 015 Nm to 1 100 Nm, the mode in which that blistering acceleration is met.

Taming the beast

But when choosing MAX Range, the beast is tamed. Drive power and top speed are carefully restricted (90 km/h), while the M Sport suspension suddenly shows its comfy side, honoring that limousine vocation.

In this function, the brake energy recuperation can reach up to 228 kW. It’s the mode for those moments when the driver realizes that there’s no mid-journey charging available after fooling around.

Under its milder temper, the most potent i7 can still reach 488 to 560 kilometers on a single charge, corresponding to an average consumption of 20,8 to 23,8 kWh per 100 kilometers. That’s the theory. Bring it to the cooking point, and that thirst will probably rise by 50%. Luckily, a heat pump, to optimize efficiency, is standard.

The bigger fish

As for charging, the i7 comes from the factory with a 22 kW charger, double the rate of the i7 M60 xDrive. Fast charging can be performed up to a comparable 195 kW, translating into recovering as much as 170 kilometers in around ten minutes.

Though the i7 M50 xDrive is the most powerful all-electric BMW, Mercedes tops it with the EQS-AMG 53 4Matic+. The zero-emission limousine from Stuttgart peaks at 761 hp, capable of hitting 0-100 km/hour in 3,4 seconds. Yes, there’s always a bigger fish.



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