Big stage in the Small Olympic Hall: For the presentation of its new seven-series luxury limousine, the Munich BMW group has moved to the opposite side of the local Petuelring.

In the basement, waiters serve drinks and small snacks before Chief Sales Officer Pieter Nota takes the stage to announce a "new era in luxury class".

Henning Peitsmeier

Business correspondent in Munich.

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The new era then comes in the guise of a rather bulky-looking, chrome-clad body, which brings it to an unladen weight of 2.7 tons.

With a length of 5.40 meters, it should also be quite tight in some old inner-city car parks.

Nevertheless, Nota speaks in detail about sustainability after just a few minutes.

When the seven comes onto the market in November, it will first be available in the i7 xDrive60 electric version.

The battery cells, says Nota, are produced using "green energy."

After all, BMW was the first German automobile manufacturer to join the so-called “Business Ambition for 1.5°C of the Science Based Targets Initiative” and has thus committed itself to the goal of complete climate neutrality across the entire value chain by 2050 at the latest.

The promise must now be kept.

BMW aims at the Chinese market

The fact that the new 7 Series will “only” be available in Europe with an in-line six-cylinder and no longer with an eight or even twelve-cylinder engine is mainly due to the strict approval regulations in countries such as France.

The large engines would hardly have harmed the climate balance, especially since BMW recently achieved an EU fleet value of 115.9 grams of CO2/km according to its own calculations and thus significantly exceeded the requirements of 126 grams of CO2/km in Europe.

With the seven, BMW is primarily aiming at an audience beyond the home continent anyway.

When describing the angular body with its divided headlights, the so-called split headlights, BMW designer Domagoj Dukec names “status” as the first attribute.

This is likely to appeal to wealthy Chinese car buyers in particular.

For them, a seven-seater limousine has always been a chauffeur-driven car.

You may like the fact that a flat screen folds out of the sky in the rear.

According to BMW, this 31-inch theater screen takes the infotainment experience to a whole new level.

The press release mentions an “exclusive private cinema on wheels”.

Even if the seventh in its most powerful M version with 660 electric horsepower completes the sprint from zero to one hundred in less than 6 seconds in the coming year, its occupants should gently decelerate on the leather armchairs.

BMW continues to build the seventh generation of its luxury sedan at the Dingolfing plant.

The electric motors and high-voltage batteries for the i7 are also manufactured here.

Unlike arch-rival Mercedes, which has given its electric S-Class its own design, BMW is sticking with just one body variant with a long wheelbase.

This saves costs and BMW has to save iron in these times.

The Bavarians not only follow the Swabians in the luxury class, they also earn less from the sales of their cars.

For their new flagship, they call up a proud price: the BMW i7 xDrive60 costs 135,900 euros at market launch.