7 vs. 7: 2023 BMW 760i xDrive vs. 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60


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From the September 2023 issue of Car and Driver.

Having options is a great thing. Succession or Ted Lasso tonight? Nikes or Skechers to the office today? French fries or a side salad with lunch? BMW is now offering buyers of its all-new max-luxe 7-series sedan an intriguing choice: Gas or electric? With either, the rest of the menu is the same.

BMW isn’t the only carmaker building internal-combustion and battery-powered vehicles on the same platform; Ford, Genesis, and Volvo are doing it too. BMW is, however, the first in the upper-crust luxury-sedan space to try it. The 7-series competes with the Mercedes-Benz S-class, but BMW’s rival puts its lozenge-shaped EQS EV on bespoke underpinnings. BMW’s twofer strategy offers the opportunity for a different kind of comparison test: pitting a car against itself. We gathered the gas-fired 760i xDrive and the electric i7 xDrive60 and drove them back to back in hopes of revealing whether one of those propulsion systems better supports the 7-series’ luxury mission.

The 760i and the i7 are a natural match for this platform comparison. The 760i’s S68 twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and the i7’s pair of current-excited AC synchronous motors spin up an identical 536 horses. (The other gas model in the 7-series lineup, the six-cylinder 740i, puts out 375 horsepower.) Torque output is within four pound-feet of each other too. Serendipity.

The gas and electric 7s hide their true identities beneath a cloak of virtually identical bodywork. Hint: If you don’t see exhaust tips, it’s the EV. Their mirror-image cabins are a haven of peace, haute design, and plush materials. Climb behind the wheel of either, and you’ll feel like your net worth just shot up faster than a SpaceX rocket. It’s a long scroll down the list of standard equipment, as it should be with cars that start at these prices—$117,395 for the 760i and $120,295 for the i7. From the super-soft leather covering almost every surface and the glass control knobs to the 655-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system with its delicately hewn metal speaker grilles, every detail is beautifully executed.

Greg Pajo|Car and Driver

2023 bmw 760i xdrive vs 2023 bmw i7 xdrive60

Greg Pajo|Car and Driver

That’s just the start. The 7-series offers a tempting menu of decadent, labor-saving, and driver-assist side dishes. Both of our test cars had enough delectable extras to rival a Rolls-Royce. The good stuff included massaging front and rear seats, a reclining “lounge” right-rear passenger’s seat with a fold-out footrest, automatic doors that power themselves open and closed at the touch of a button (yes, just like on a Rolls), a 31.3-inch fold-down rear screen for streaming entertainment, and an even more powerful Bowers & Wilkins sound system with 36 speakers. All in, their as-tested stickers were close, at $151,845 for the 760i and $151,995 for the i7.

Of course, it’s what burbles and hums underneath this master-of-the-universe extravagance that distinguishes these doppelgängers. While the 760i’s front-engine all-wheel-drive layout is thoroughly conventional, the i7 snuggles its flat, 4.3-inch-high, 101.7-kWh battery under the cabin. Getting it to fit required raising the cabin floor slightly, which BMW says reduces rear leg-room by a half-inch—not that you can tell. It’s like a limo back there, essentially identical to the 760i, with enough room for a six-foot human to stretch out fully in the reclining lounge seat once the front passenger’s chair dutifully motors forward. The i7’s raised floorpan reduces trunk space slightly, from 19 cubic feet to 18, and there’s no frunk to make up for the loss.

While virtually everything you can see and touch is interchangeable between the gas and electric 7s, their defining personality traits reveal themselves on the road. Where the i7 whooshes, the 760i thrums. The i7 accelerates silently and seamlessly, its progress uninterrupted by a transmission shifting gears. The 760i moves out with the V-8’s expensive-sounding music as a constant, if muted, presence. The gas car’s eight-speed automatic goes almost unnoticed. The V-8 rips too, hurling the 5317-pound 760i to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 117 mph—numbers that are almost dead-on with the new M2’s.

The i7 weighs 6084 pounds—batteries are heavy—so it’s no surprise that its straight-line sprints lag behind the 760i’s. The i7, too, benefits from all-wheel-drive traction, and with a 60-mph time of 4.4 seconds and a 12.7-second quarter-mile at 114 mph, it’s plenty quick enough to cause passengers to spill their champagne. Performance numbers aside, the i7’s dead-quiet, smooth-as-melting-Häagen-Dazs demeanor wowed us. “If you told someone there was a Rolls-Royce V-12 up front,” said executive editor K.C. Colwell, “they would believe you.” Electric propulsion feels like a perfect fit with the 7-series’ mission of separate-me-from-reality luxury.

2023 bmw 760i xdrive vs 2023 bmw i7 xdrive60

Greg Pajo|Car and Driver

2023 bmw 760i xdrive vs 2023 bmw i7 xdrive60

Greg Pajo|Car and Driver

The i7 has the 760i’s moves too, despite carrying 767 more pounds. Our cars wore optional 21-inch summer rubber and had active anti-roll bars. These BMWs proved nimble for such big boats and close in terms of braking distance and skidpad grip, but they’re not sports sedans. Their air-spring suspensions are tuned for isolation and total comfort rather than back-road shenanigans, and they do a convincing job of repaving even the worst roads.

Stress-free convenience is a luxury too, and there’s no question that a car you can fill up anytime, anywhere, with gasoline is easier to live with than one that needs plugging in. Score one for the 760i. But the i7 delivers enough miles between charges to mitigate range anxiety. On our 75-mph highway range test, the electric Bimmer was good for 310 miles, beating its EPA estimate by two miles—though that’s still 40 miles short of what a Mercedes-Benz EQS580 4Matic delivered in our testing.

Recharging at home won’t be particularly quick. The i7’s 11.0-kW onboard charger will take the big battery from zero to 100 percent on a Level 2 charger in 10.5 hours, according to BMW. In our DC fast-charge test, conducted at a 350-kW charging station, the i7’s battery level went from 10 to 90 percent in 47 minutes at an average of 102 kilowatts with a peak charging rate of 194 kilowatts. The EQS580 and the Tesla Model S Plaid fast-charge their batteries quicker. We probably don’t need to remind you, but there’s nothing luxurious about a longer wait.

2023 bmw 760i xdrive vs 2023 bmw i7 xdrive60

Greg Pajo|Car and Driver

2023 bmw 760i xdrive vs 2023 bmw i7 xdrive60

Greg Pajo|Car and Driver

Both the 760i xDrive and the i7 xDrive60 are elegant, plush, and poised. But one of them is better at the luxury sedan’s core mission of isolating passengers from noise, vibration, and harshness. The hushed powertrain of the i7 puts it closer than its gas sibling to that sensory-deprivation-tank ideal. Yet if you plan on taking cross-country road trips, the 760i would be your no-stress travel companion. You could make the same journeys in an i7, but that would require more planning and a little luck, given the spotty state of America’s charging infrastructure. Stay mainly within 150 miles of home, though, and the creamy, dreamy i7 xDrive60 is the 7-series to have. As options go, that’s an easy one.

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2023 BMW 760i xDrive

Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan


Base/As Tested: $117,395/$151,845

Options: Rear Executive Lounge Seating (reclining seat and footrest, Executive Lounge rear console, BMW Theater Screen), $7250; BMW Individual Composition (Alcantara headliner), $5450; Bowers & Wilkins sound system, $4800; Executive package (automatic doors, crystal headlights, front massaging seats), $3700; Autobahn package (Active Comfort Drive w/ preview, active roll stabilization), $3600; Luxury Rear Seating package (multifunction rear seats, rear massaging seats), $3000; Driving Assistance Pro package (Active Driving Assistant Pro, Highway Assistant), $2100; 21-inch M Aerodynamic Jet Black wheels, $1300; Climate Comfort laminated glass, $1300; M Sport Professional package, $950; Parking Assistance package (Parking Assistant Professional, surround view w/ 3D view), $900; interior camera, $100 


twin-turbocharged DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 268 in3, 4395 cm3

Power: 536 hp @ 6500 rpm

Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm


8-speed automatic


Suspension, F/R: multilink, air springs, active anti-roll bar/multilink, air springs, active anti-roll bar

Brakes, F/R: 15.6-in vented disc/15.7-in vented disc

Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4

F: 255/40R-21 (102Y) PNCS ★

R: 285/35R-21 (105Y) ★


Wheelbase: 126.6 in

Length: 212.2 in

Width: 76.8 in

Height: 60.8 in

Passenger Volume, F/R: 58/54 ft3

Trunk Volume: 19 ft3

Curb Weight: 5317 lb


60 mph: 3.5 sec

100 mph: 8.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 11.9 sec @ 117 mph

130 mph: 14.7 sec

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.7 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.0 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 156 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 160 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 331 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.89 g


Observed: 20 mpg

75-mph Highway Driving: 30 mpg

75-mph Highway Range: 580 mi


Combined/City/Highway: 21/18/26 mpg



2023 BMW i7 xDrive60

Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan


Base/As Tested: $120,295/$151,995

Options: Rear Executive Lounge Seating (reclining seat and footrest, executive lounge rear console, BMW Theater Screen), $7250; Executive package (active comfort drive w/ preview, automatic doors, crystal headlights, front massaging seats, active-roll stabilization), $6550; BMW Individual Composition (Alcantara headliner), $5450; Bowers & Wilkins sounds system, $4800; Driving Assistance Pro package (Active Driving Assistance Pro, Highway Assistant) $2100; 21-inch aerodynamic wheels, $1300; climate comfort laminated glass, $1300; Parking Assistance package (Parking Assistant Professional, surround view w/ 3D view), $1250; Smoke White Full Merino leather, $1000;  Luxury Rear Seating package (rear massaging seats), $600; interior camera, $100 


Front Motor: current-excited synchronous AC, 255 hp, 269 lb-ft

Rear Motor: current-excited synchronous AC, 308 hp, 280 lb-ft

Combined Power: 536 hp

Combined Torque: 549 lb-ft

Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 101.7 kWh

Onboard Charger: 11.0 kW

Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 195 kW

Transmissions: direct-drive


Suspension, F/R: multilink, air springs, active anti-roll-bar/multilink, air-springs, active anti roll bar

Brakes, F/R: 14.7-in vented disc/14.6-in vented disc

Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4

F: 255/40R-21 (102Y) PNCS ★

R: 285/35R-21 (105Y) ★


Wheelbase: 126.6 in

Length: 212.2 in

Width: 76.8 in

Height: 60.8 in

Passenger Volume, F/R: 58/54 ft3

Trunk Volume: 18 ft3

Curb Weight: 6084 lb


60 mph: 4.4 sec

100 mph: 9.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 12.7 sec @ 114 mph

130 mph: 18.4 sec

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 1.8 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.5 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 150 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 331 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.92 g


Observed: 73 MPGe

75-mph Highway Driving: 94 MPGe

75-mph Highway Range: 310 mi

Average DC Fast-Charge Rate, 10–90%: 102 kW

DC Fast-Charge Time, 10–90%: 47 min


Combined/City/Highway: 87/85/89 MPGe

Range: 310 mi

Headshot of Rich Ceppos

Director, Buyer’s Guide

Rich Ceppos has evaluated automobiles and automotive technology during a career that has encompassed 10 years at General Motors, two stints at Car and Driver totaling 19 years, and thousands of miles logged in racing cars. He was in music school when he realized what he really wanted to do in life and, somehow, it’s worked out. In between his two C/D postings he served as executive editor of Automobile Magazine; was an executive vice president at Campbell Marketing & Communications; worked in GM’s product-development area; and became publisher of Autoweek. He has raced continuously since college, held SCCA and IMSA pro racing licenses, and has competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona. He currently ministers to a 1999 Miata and a 1965 Corvette convertible and appreciates that none of his younger colleagues have yet uttered “Okay, Boomer” when he tells one of his stories about the crazy old days at C/D.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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