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Mercedes, this is how you build an electric flagship - voila! vehicle


For years, the BMW 7 Series has been trailing the Mercedes S-Class. But it was necessary to move to the electric age so that she would not only close the gap, but also overtake in a turn

It's not meant to be beautiful, it's meant to stand out (Photo: Walla! system, Kenan Cohen)


NIS 1,250,000

We liked:

comfort, equipment, performance, behavior

We didn't like:

system operation, excessive sophistication



Since the BMW 7 was introduced in 1977, it had one very clear goal that filled all its sights and they called it Mercedes S class.

Generation after generation, even though there were some good and very good ones, it crashed into the barren wall of Stuttgart.

Here and there you chipped, but you didn't really score inside.

Up to now.

At the electric crossroads where the German luxury manufacturers stood, Mercedes resorted to the maneuver of splitting and flanking in the form of a dedicated electric model in the form of the EQS, at the same time as the traditional S-Class, while BMW sided with a cannon in a direct configuration with one shell called the Series 7 that seats two systems Driving on a single platform.

Yes, even between Merkava 1 and 2 it looks big (Photo: Keinan Cohen)

Design: Many things can be said about the exterior design of the i7 and in fact about several of the new BMW models from recent years.

Some of them (iX, Series 4, XM) are a bit, shall we say, controversial?

And it's true that design is really a matter of taste and I'll leave that to the eye of the beholder.

But we will say two things about this design that are definitely measurable and about which there is no dispute either;

1. Everyone will see that you have arrived, 2. You cannot see it from the inside.

Additionally, the test car came with the M styling package which includes the tail spoiler, blue calipers and those flashy bumpers, and it's a bit too brash looking for such a car.

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A long list of accessories and an amazing level of finish, quality and attention to detail (Photo: Keinan Cohen)


Inside, it takes a few clicks back from the exterior boldness, which means the cabin is innovative and bold, but definitely easier to digest than the looks.

Easy to digest and quite easy to operate, at least at the level of regular use and after a not long adaptation period.

You just have to realize that you don't need to activate every sub-function in every lower back massage program of the right seat, while heating it in the second degree.

Yes, the business here may be cognitively taxing if you are pumped into its operation.

I didn't like the ingenuity in the form of opening the hidden ventilation holes with a touch panel and their direction with a separate button.

At least in this respect, Mercedes' operating system, the MBUX, mediates content navigation in these cars in a more convenient and friendly way.

The rest of the cabin is a complete display of excellent material quality, sophisticated lighting plays created by the transparent prism-like plastic across the cabin, somehow, in another car it would look too ornate, here it ties into the whole attitude of the i7.

Of course, the assembly quality and attention to detail are also outstanding.

And that's even before the upgraded seats (Photo: Keinan Cohen)

Its arrival in the long wheelbase version means that there is a business class rear seat here, which can be upgraded to first class if you take the Superior finish level which has not only heating but also ventilation, massage and a footrest for the rear seat.

It's adjustable and it's just a pleasure to sink into it with the pillow that makes you want to let your nose blow off steam in the middle of the day.

Actually part of this article was actually written by him.

The central tablet that was in the previous generation is replaced here by two screens the size of a compact smartphone in the doors from which you can control the audio system, air conditioning, opening and closing the curtains and even the driving modes.


The volume of the trunk is respectable, 500 liters.

Its floor is relatively high and takes up a lot of the potential volume.

It was a question that sent me to look at the technical diagrams of the car that reveal the reason.

Its rear sub-chassis is very massive and houses the air shocks and also the rear electric motor.

And that electric motor takes up a lot of space due to the way BMW, quite uniquely, packs the engine, transmission and high-voltage unit into one unit.

So it's compact in terms of engine compartment up front, minus the height it's in the trunk.

The control is done from this panel in the back seat (photo: Keinan Cohen)


the mention of the adjustable rear seats and their control unit, of the massage programs are really the tip of the iceberg.

The electric doors a la Rolls Royce, lighting strips inside the panoramic roof, electric curtains around the vehicle, the navigation system with full support in Hebrew and projection on the windshield, the B&W audio system, the wood, the leather, the light.

And this is a very long list that made me realize that it's lucky that you no longer get the technical specifications on printed paper, because it was a piece of a book.

By the way, technically BMW finally has Android Auto.

Technically, we were unable to connect to it either wirelessly, not with an original cable, not original, sewing thread, an original curl by Yizhar Cohen - nothing.

Safety equipment:

There is also a very long list here.

Of course, it includes the obvious such as lane deviation correction, active correction in detecting a vehicle in a "dead zone", cross traffic warning in front and behind, side collision protection and assistance in emergency maneuvers including independent steering of the vehicle (not tested).

360 degree cameras with excellent resolution and automatic zoom when approaching an obstacle.

Some of these capabilities are derivatives of the Israeli Inoviz lidar system (see the expansion below).

Large trunk, the floor is high due to the rear engine (Photo: Kenan Cohen)


A lot of gasoline has flowed through the 7 Series' cylinders since the first-generation inline-six, go with both V8 and V12 engines (trivia - it was the world's first production V12 to use direct injection) to the i7's electric drive.

And an electric motor, what to do, is a much less good raw material for sensual descriptions of pistons, volumes, water passages, compression and pressure.

But when it comes to feelings, what's his own, and in the i7 he has a lot of feeling.

The two engines here provide 536 hp and a torque of 76 kgm.

And the power is impressive, but it's the torque that makes her move her 2.7 tonnes forward with the determination of a BJ reform. And I'm still a big believer in big petrol engines when it comes to sensations, but it comes really, really close there. It doesn't matter if she pulls out or From 140 km/h it's the same push forward in silence and determination.

And that's before we pulled the lever that activates the 10-second "boost" mode that releases all the power at once.

I haven't had the chance to take the Model S Blade for a spin yet, and I'm sure that with twice the power of the i7, it will surely knock heads on armrests better.

But it's important to say - this i7 is not a performance version on a spaceship.

That is, beyond 4.7 seconds it is expected to be first and foremost a comfortable limousine.

Uneasy sights under the "hood" (Photo: Kenan Cohen)

Power consumption and charging:

before matters of consumption and range, an important note.

We were one of the first in Israel to drive an i7 and we received this test car with a little more than 30 km on the clock. This is an important note because electric cars require a number of cycles of use in order to optimize the electricity consumption.

In our test the i7 consumed about 220 watt hour per km, that's more than the declared 193 watt hour.

The total range was 550 km compared to the declared 600. And still, given the test driving conditions and the pristine car, these are very good figures. The 105 kWh battery is connected to a fast charging system that supports up to 200 kW in the DC position, if and when you find one it will take You have 34 minutes to go from 10 to 80%.

5.4 meters from end to end, there's a reason it's called a "flagship" (Photo: Kenan Cohen)

Comfort and behavior:

remember we said that the i7 is first and foremost a comfortable limousine.

So as far as this matter is concerned, it is definitely in the top percentile of land transportation vehicles.

Go ahead, throw everything you have and the answer will be "excellent".

Wind, road, environment noise isolation, someone shouting something to his friend and pointing at us - excellent.

A wavy, broken road, potholes, cracks, potholes, the neighbor's child's tricycle - excellent.

The air dampers here bring it to a silent hover regardless of the speed or the surface we are moving on.

Once you get over the fact that there are many meters between the steering wheel and the bow, you discover the wonders of the rear steering that makes it maneuver with the ease of a normal family boat.

Even in road behavior, the card with which BMW has played throughout the years and generations of the 7 series, the current one does not embarrass the firm.

So it's true, 2.7 tons is not a weight that can be ignored.

And it still sews a winding road at an awe-inspiring level when the mind realizes that the multiplication of speed and weight creates a completely insane mass here (and before you correct - mass and weight are not the same thing).

It's not the little bastard M240, but relative to its size it's not the heavy and silent electric machines we've met before.

The rear engine also forces these heavy sterns (photo: Kenan Cohen)

The bottom line

We started with the ancient rivalry between the 7 Series and the S Class.

A 46-year-old rivalry is not easy, but as soon as they switched to electric drive, something happened there.

Because the i7 can be oppressive and irritating with its over-sophistication, but this time it managed to crack something that its equivalent from the Mercedes EQS does less well - to be able to apply that magic of luxury limousines with gasoline engines with electric drive, not only to succeed but also to harness the These benefits for an exceptional performance level experience.

Because where the EQS fails to be an electric S-Class, the i7 is the better version that could have been for the 7 series.

At a price of NIS 1,250,000, the i7 is not exactly a means of transportation equal to every soul.

Unless you have an entrepreneurial spirit in the field of real estate or high-tech. But both compared to the prices of the 7 series in the past and compared to the competitor from Mercedes (whose equivalent version costs 1.4 or 1.5 million shekels), it is completely worth the price. And if it makes you want to move Comfort, switch to "Comfort" mode in the air suspension.

Israeli technology is hidden behind the "grill" (photo: Keinan Cohen)

The Israeli angle

It doesn't matter if you are one of those who like the front of the i7 or not, behind its "grill" is hidden a blue and white technology that has made it all the way from the top of the eye to the top of the global automotive industry.

Because the lidar on which the advanced safety systems are based and also the partial and in the future full autonomous capabilities (perhaps, we'll see) of the i7 was developed and manufactured by the Israeli Inoviz.

In a phone conversation from the i7 with Efrat Rotem Lavi, the company's marketing manager, she tells about the work with BMW and the journey towards the implementation of their systems.

A process that started back in 2018 when the world was still awash in optimism that we would all move to cars that would drive themselves from place to place.

The lidar of Invis.

Mapping the area in front of the vehicle using the reflection of a laser beam (Photo: Inviz)

Four and a half years later, the automotive industry looks at the fully autonomous vision with a more sober eye, realizing that the maturation process will extend far beyond the next year or two.

And yet, the company managed to survive, not without shocks, even the upheaval that this field went through.

A shakeup that included sifting through a number of companies in the field and attracting huge investments from manufacturers such as Ford from joint ventures.

As of today, it seems that Inoviz's bet on lidar technology, which allows for more accurate mapping of the car's environment and is not affected by lighting and weather conditions, in contrast to the use of cameras for monitoring and visual analysis that other manufacturers have chosen, is increasingly proving itself to be such that car manufacturers and suppliers of the industry see it as the infrastructure The hardware for future development of autonomous systems.

When BMW was joined by the Volkswagen Group that will integrate the company's systems in the future generation of the A6 and A8, which, like the BMW i7, will offer level 3 and higher autonomous capabilities in road sections approved for such use.

BMW split the 7 series legacy into several drive units (Photo: Keinan Cohen)

On the technical side: BMW i7 M-Ultimate

Engine, drive:

two electric motors, double




single gear


length (m):


width (m):


height (m):


wheelbase (m) :


Trunk (liters):



Acceleration 0-100 (seconds):


Maximum speed (km/h):


Power consumption (test):

220 watt hour per km

Range (test):

about 550 km



crash test score:

not tested

Active safety:

lane deviation correction, blind spot warning, automatic braking, cross traffic detection, assistance in emergency maneuvers, adaptive cruise control

Air pollution:

group 1 of 15


three years or 100 thousand km, 8 years or 160 thousand km for battery


Mercedes EQS

  • vehicle

  • Vehicle tests


  • BMW

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2023-01-27

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