2024 BMW I7 M70 Review: First Drive

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Love It

Leave It

Show-stopping interior

How much more?!

Wickedly quick

...but so is the xDrive60

Handles better than any other full-size sedan

...how much does that matter?

The BMW i7 needed extra power the same way I needed an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert.

It isn’t necessary, but what we want rarely is. The 2024 BMW i7 M70 is all about want, because for some buyers, only the best will do. Like the M760i before it, this all-electric sedan is a stormingly quick luxo-barge, one that asks for a lot more coin for a little more speed.

What’s new?

As the name implies, this M-ified flagship leans into the sportier side of the luxury-sport spectrum. Not too far, though: a full-on M7 remains off the cards. Nonetheless, that leaves the M70 as the flagship of the M range, a 650-horsepower, 811-pound-foot limo that, even with a curb weight creeping up towards 6,000 pounds (2,722 kilograms), will snap to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds; the quickest of the fleet.

BMW engineers achieve this the same way it’s always been done: no replacement for displacement. Well, sort of. The rear electric motor is 0.8 inches (20 millimeters) longer, with an enlarged stator and rotor. Inverter phases now number six instead of three in the xDrive60’s unit. The end result is 483 horsepower acting on the rear axle alone. (As an aside: hey BMW, please put just this motor in a single-motor i4, thank you.) The battery pack stays the same capacity as before at 101.7 kilowatt-hours, resulting in a usable range of 295 miles (474 kilometers).

Visual tells are minimal. Beyond the requisite M badging, there are unique side skirts and a different rear bumper with more pronounced diffuser. Enlarged M-badged brakes peek out from behind wheels that can now come wrapped in summer rubber.

Iron fist, velvet glove

Under the skin, M engineers have tweaked the whole adaptive air suspension setup, as well as the adaptive steering. There’s a heftier, more consistent feel to the steering than the last i7 I drove; not sport-sedan heavy, but enough to remind the driver they’re behind something a little more focused. There’s a good range between the available drive modes, though again, the most Red Bull-chugging, Hans Zimmer-scored whirring, stiff-riding setting is too much for these roads. This level of body control is impressive for a vehicle this size.

The M70 is capable of frankly absurd turns of speed, especially in the 10 seconds of Boost mode. Truth be told, it’s too much for the drive route, where some villas feature roads barely wider than the car itself.

Same show-stopping interior

While there are tweaks outside, the interior is pleasantly familiar, because the i7 has one of the most satisfying cabins in the business full-stop. The crystal-clear screens—now running the same upgraded iDrive 8.5 that debuted in the i5—are easy to use. Speaking of crystal, the light-up strip running across the cabin now glows M tri-color, because of course it does. And the seats, wrapped in swanky leather and cashmere-wool, might be some of the comfiest thrones I’ve ever been able to sit in. There are acres of space to stretch out and relax in either row.

The 31-inch, TikTok-friendly theater screen is present too, should you want to drown out Jeeves. He'll have a harder time driving too, since the screen still completely obstructs rearward visibility, and there's no digital rearview mirror as compensation.

Final Thoughts: 2024 BMW i7 M70 First Drive Review

Is the 2024 BMW i7 M70 impressive? Certainly. Something listing for $169,495 ($185,000 CAD) better be.

But so is the i7 xDrive60. An extra hundred horsepower is big news, but this is a gargantuan car, so it goes from quick to slightly more so. For an extra forty grand? For some, the bragging rights are worth it. Yet those who buy the non-M are still the winners in my books.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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2 of 3 comments
  • David David on Oct 19, 2023

    At first glance, I thought it was a stretch Chrysler 300. Yea, it's ugly and yea, it's electric so yea, even if I had a gazillion dollars in my car collection fund, it wouldn't make my garage. Auto Guide....the home for EV lovers. I'll bet you guys can't wait for the first all electric M3.

  • Lionel Arnold Lionel Arnold on Oct 19, 2023

    Just an observation. A "limo " feature without a photo of the back seat?