Wars have always been a catalyst for the development of advanced technologies, some of which indirectly contributed to the well-being of the human race. This is also true for wars in the car market. The most striking example is the war that has been going on for 45 years between the Mercedes S Class and the BMW 7 Series for the title of “the best and most sophisticated luxury car in the world”. The technologies that these two German companies develop and adopt in their flagships have always been several years ahead of the industry. Thanks to them we received important breakthroughs such as airbags, anti-locking systems, computerized cruise control, multimedia systems and more.
● The slowdown in the local car market has skipped the streetcars, and the Mazda that is coming to Israel
This week in the automotive industry
● Miri Regev’s dilemma: give up the congestion charge or huge budgets Analysis
Therefore, when Mercedes introduced the EQS electric flagship two years ago and took the traditional rivalry into the electric-future era, it was clear that BMW would give an equally impressive answer.
The answer came in the form of the I7, which is one of the most advanced technological creations on wheels ever to hit the roads of the world from serial production. But even before we get to the technology, we should dwell on the change of designation that the 7 Series underwent. If the previous generations of the 7 Series were defined as “sporty survival cars for executives who love to drive”, the I7 is clearly a limousine, designed to provide maximum comfort for mega-cars sitting in the back of the department The first. Driving this car is intended for a hired driver and anyway with a length of about 5.4 m and a weight of 2.7 tons it is not a car for adventurous driving.
To the credit of the BMW designers, it can be said that they managed to disguise the colossal dimensions well within a clean, “respectable” and certainly not flashy design. The side profile is square, smooth and devoid of any aggressive bulges or creative tricks. The tail displays a classic BMW design with a pair of modest side lights and a flat trunk lid that sits below a large, upright window; And the computerized headlights look like a minimalist lighting strip.
The only exception in the design is the enormous double grill, the frame of which is illuminated at night as if to inform the drivers in front “a large BMW is approaching you, please give way”. Despite the square appearance, the design is far from simplistic and all the surfaces of the body and windshields are almost “glued” to each other in favor of minimal aerodynamic resistance, like in airplanes.
The “shock of the future” begins as soon as you enter the car when the doors, which are equipped with proximity sensors, open towards you automatically and close with the push of a button. It is less practical when parking next to other cars but this patent is undoubtedly a very effective gimmick for attracting public attention. especially in Israel.
The tour of the passenger cabin should begin at the back, the seats of the passengers are the focal point of this car. Those sitting in the back enjoy every element of comfort that can be imagined in a production car, including a “boss seat”, which turns into a bed at the push of a button by means of a removable electric stand, which moves forward on The account of the seat on the driver’s side. There is also upholstery that gives a feeling of levitation with one of the most sophisticated massage mechanisms we have encountered to date, built-in touch screens in the door handles and, if you wish, also an option for a 32-inch screen with 8K resolution that descends from the glass roof, which at night is illuminated by mesmerizing LED strips. Add to that ” “Privacy mode” that by voice command immediately seals all the blinds in the car as a protection against annoying paparazzi photographers and complete noise isolation and you got the complete escape from the Israeli reality.
Multimedia and cameras
If you hire a driver for the I7, you should make sure that he has a pilot’s license. This is because the command structure of this vehicle can also challenge the spatial vision of an El Al captain. In addition to a horizontal information screen that stretches to a width of almost a meter, there is an overhead display with augmented reality, a strip of touch switches to control essential functions and peripheral lighting strips that are controlled by artificial intelligence and illuminate the cabin according to the nature of driving and the mood of the driver. Fortunately the steering wheel is still round and there are also some clear and simple physical switches to control, which do not distract attention from the road. And it is impossible not to mention the almost autonomous driving assistance system, which allows the driver to take his hands off the wheel (but not his eyes from the road) in a wide variety of driving situations.
The driver and the seat next to him will also enjoy massage seats no less comfortable than those of the boss and an excellent driving position, an essential issue in a vehicle that is longer than a city minibus. The only minus is a trunk with a volume of only 500 liters, which will hold a typical luggage load on the way to Israel, but it is difficult to call it generous in relation to the size of the vehicle.
The quality of production and materials is spectacular, as you would expect from a vehicle of this level, and fully customizable. However the tendency of BMW’s interior designers to use a polished crystal-like transparent material for the gear stick and multimedia selector is a bit too nouveau riche.
The electric drive system of the I7 is quite similar to that of the IX recreational vehicle we drove last year and it includes two electric motors with a combined power of 544 hp and a battery with a net capacity of 101 kWh, which supports fast charging and provides a range of up to 601 km .
engine and range between charges
There is not much to expand on the drive system. It is strong enough to glue the car drivers to their seats under acceleration but also smooth, quiet, and linear enough to allow them to take a nap in challenging stop-and-go conditions on Route 6.
As usual in this segment the official range is quite theoretical and in a combined city/inter-city drive, with the multi-directional climate system fully operational, don’t expect more than 450-470 km.
on the road
Did we forget something? Oh, yes, how is she driving? It’s a bit strange to write about BMW that this issue is not in its focus but it covers it up with complete isolation. The car has a computerized air suspension system, courtesy of the Rolls-Royce subsidiary, which gives a feeling of floating above the asphalt and keeps the chassis balanced in fast turns. The road grip is absolute and the rear wheel steering system helps to maneuver this whale with ease in tight parking lots. So it is true that the role of the human driver is quite negligible, but as we said at the beginning, it is not the focus.
The I7 costs NIS 1.25 million, which is certainly a respectable amount. But if you take into account that this car shares a lot of components with a Rolls-Royce Phantom, which costs two and a half times. And at this price you get the best work/rest/entertainment environment on wheels, which you can buy in the region of one million shekels, plus or minus, it sounds like a bargain and we haven’t even talked about a license fee of 530 shekels and an exemption from gas stations.
Some of the competitions
The Mercedes EQS 580 costs NIS 1.4 million. It has two engines with a power of 523 hp that accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and a range of up to 627 km between charges.
Mercedes EQS580 / Photo: Yeh’ach
Tesla S Plaid
The “Plaid” version of the Tesla S with all the manufacturer’s extras costs NIS 968,000. The Blade has three engines with a combined power of about 1000 hp and a range of up to 600 km between charges.
Tesla S Plaid / Photo: Yeh’ach