Ranch & Coast Magazine

January 2024

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ranchandcoast.com 86 JANUARY 2024 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE IS A BMW enthusiast and wants to do what he can to save our planet. He's also a former 7 Series owner and was intrigued with the German automaker's i7 luxury electric vehicle offering. My friend especially wanted to know how the car handled the extra 1,100 pounds of battery girth, the equivalent of taking four NFL linebackers along for the ride. Apparently, a few of my colleagues thought the new M70 model was better because it was faster and more sporting. Of course, the additional $44,000 for the M version is simply a text entry for many car critics since test vehicles don't come with a payment book. As it was, our lavishly equipped i7 xDrive 60 took its $124,200 base price to a lofty $162,495 with options. Added power always makes a vehicle seem lighter, especially in the straight-line romps from 0 to 60 the industry appears to vex on these days, but I would consider another comparison: BMW's 7 Series petrol version, the 740i xDrive, is about $25,000 less in its base MSRP than our i7. at's enough to buy a membership in a country club, or a lot of gasoline. And between weight savings and powertrain improvements, the 740i has a combined EPA fuel economy of 27 MPG. In our battery electric i7, the quiet ambience of electrified transportation is a perfect attribute of luxury. I know, some gearheads wish for the bark and snarl of today's factory performance machines. But in this big, posh Bimmer, it's delightful to listen to the Bowers & Wilkins surround audio system without competition from exhaust pipes that are shouting out the back. And if you really miss the aural sense of an engine at work, simply engage the i7's Drive System Soundscapes to hear Hans Zimmer's notion of what throttle inputs should sound like. Yep, the Academy Award-winning composer teamed up with BMW Group Sound Design to develop special drive sounds for the new BMW electric vehicles. Trust me, it won't bark, pop, or snarl. I had the opportunity to test this big BMW land yacht cruising on highways and boulevards as well as corner carving through the twisting two-lane roads of San Francisco Bay Area's Skyline Boulevard. While tossing any big, luxury sedan around as if you're a stunt driver in a Hollywood action movie isn't recommended, the low center of gravity from the i7's battery placement along with solid, on-center steering and well-crafted suspension allows for movement with robust alacrity. I even passed a slower car or two, with the instant electric torque assuring confidence and safety. detour transportation PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BMW GROUP BMW's i7 xDrive 60 is a stately way to signal your virtue BY BRIAN DOUGLAS Luxurious Electric Transportation

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