Africa|Automotive|Business|DIGITALISATION|Electric Motors|Motors|Power|Road|Screen|System|Technology
Africa|Automotive|Business|DIGITALISATION|Electric Motors|Motors|Power|Road|Screen|System|Technology

BMW SA adds new i7 to EV mix, says iX1 to follow later this year

17th February 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The total battery electric vehicle (BEV) market in South Africa grew by 137% in 2022, says BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA).

Just under 420 BEVs were sold in South Africa in the first 11 months of last year, according to data from Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council.

BEV sales totalled 218 units in 2021.

Last year’s BEV sales were boosted by the launch of several new premium-brand models, with no mass brand yet selling an EV locally.

BMW SA, which includes the Mini brand, accounted for close to 75% of BEV sales in the country’s premium segment, says BMW SA spokesperson Hailey Philander.

BMW SA offers a range of BEVs in the local market, namely the Mini Cooper SE (currently the most affordable BEV), BMW iX, BMW i4 and BMW iX3, alongside the newly introduced BMW i7 xDrive60.

The BMW iX1 xDrive30 will be added to the mix by the second half of this year.

The first electrified high- performance model, the BMW XM, will also be introduced in South Africa this year, says Philander.

The New 7 Series
The new 7 Series line-up adds the all-electric i7 to its fold.

The range starts from R2.16-million if you buy a ‘standard’ vehicle, and from R2.82-million if you wish to acquire the fully electric version.

As always, the 7 Series is as much about the rear-seat passengers as it is about the driver.

Unlike its predecessors, the new 7 Series is available worldwide exclusively as a long-wheelbase model that maximises the space in the rear.

This sees the almost limo-style vehicle offering a theatre screen that drops down from the roof behind the driver and front passenger seat, offering content similar to a home entertainment system.

The screen has a 31.3-inch touchscreen and 8K resolution, a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system with optional exciters in the seats, and 5.5-inch touch-controlled displays in the rear doors.

This means passengers can stream videos, play games, listen to music, get information, and watch downloaded programmes, all while on the road.

Touch command control units in the doors now also allow rear-seat passengers to make phone calls using the car’s audio system.

An Executive Lounge option for the rear offers a reclining seat position, with a merino leather/cashmere wool interior trim offered as a new option to buyers.

For the driver, technology such as Manoeuvre Assistant offers aid for automated parking and manoeuvring.

On models fitted with Parking Assistant Professional, the Reversing Assistant can now carry out steering movements for distances of up to 200 m.

The Manoeuvre Assistant helps the driver to an even greater extent.

On prestored manoeuvring routes, this system automatically carries out all the tasks required, such as controlling the accelerator, brakes and steering, as well as changing gear to move forward or reverse.

Inside the cockpit of the new 7 Series, there is a significantly lower number of buttons, switches and controls than in the outgoing model.

The key here is the digitalisation found in the BMW curved display screen.

This fully digital screen grouping consists of a 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel, and a control display of 14.9 inches.

The driver and front passenger can also use YouTube video- on-demand streaming on the control display for the first time.

A 5G-compatible aerial system in the new BMW 7 Series provides high-speed connectivity.

Outside, a variety of two-tone finishes adds to the standard colours available.

Under the hood, so to speak, the electric i7 is powered by two electric motors, which together develop 400 kW and an array of innovations that increase its range to between 590 km and 625 km.

In South Africa, two models with 48 V mild hybrid technology are also on offer from the start of sales.

A six-cylinder in-line diesel engine developing 220 kW of power in the form of the BMW 740d will be added to the portfolio in the second half of this year.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor




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