Comparing the 2023 BMW i7 and Lucid Air Pure Luxury Electric Sedans

Hey there! As a luxury electric vehicle enthusiast, you likely have your eye on the newest high-end EV flagships on the market – the highly anticipated 2023 BMW i7 or the technology marvel that is the 2023 Lucid Air Pure. I‘m going to help you cut through the hype by comparing these two stellar sedans across all the key factors you care about as a savvy shopper. You‘ll know exactly how they stack up on paper and which better aligns with your needs and preferences by the end. Sound good? Let‘s dive in!

Introducing Our Luxury EV Competitors

The i7: BMW enters the all-electric era

After over 4 decades of legendary 7 series sedans, the German automaker is embracing electrification in a big way with the first-ever BMW i7. This new-for-2023 flagship model builds on their excellent track record for upscale interiors, superb handling and driver engagement by revolutionizing the powertrain. Out goes the classic BMW straight-6 and V8 engines, replaced by a modern dual motor setup outputting over 500 hp!

Despite being a clean sheet design, you can instantly recognize the i7 as a member of the prestigious 7 series family. Love it or hate it, the radically large, vertical kidney grilles dominate the front fascia. And why not – this new electric variant needed advanced cooling capability. An illuminated trim piece spanning the grille seamlessly merges technology with style.

Inside, owners can configure a theater-like 31-inch 8K display that descends from the ceiling for posh rear seat passengers. Lavishly decorated cabins overflow with cutting-edge tech – from biometric authentication and 20+ inch curved dashboard screens to automatic massaging seats. A new era of electric luxury has definitively arrived in the form of the 2023 BMW i7!

The Air Pure: Silicon Valley startup aims high

Representing the vanguard of the luxury electric marketplace is Lucid Motors, a rising Californian EV maker. Lucid burst onto the scene in late 2016 – announcing plans to develop an electric sedan from scratch named Air to compete head-to-head with the Tesla Model S. Backed by billions from Saudi Arabia‘s public investment fund, Lucid has quietly assembled an all-star roster of talent from established automakers over the past 5 years.

The Lucid Air debuted to huge fanfare in 2020 – hailed as the beginning of a new era in EV efficiency and performance enabled by in-house designed powertrains and battery packs. By integrating components like no one else, Lucid engineered astonishing efficiency to achieve 406 miles from a 113 kWh battery. Nearly as svelte as a Model S, the Air still delivers a roomy interior on par with a Mercedes S-Class.

The Pure model joined the lineup in late 2022 as the entry point to Lucid ownership, with a pricetag nearly $100k less than the insane 1111 hp Dream Edition Performance! Yet at 480hp and 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, the Pure feels plenty quick while focusing max range over raw power. Inside, Lucid‘s avant-garde Glass Cockpit curved instrument cluster seamlessly integrates with their cutting-edge infotainment software for a sophisticated user experience. Can the upstart beat out the longstanding BMW dynasty?

Diving Into the Specs Comparison

I‘ll tally up key metrics for the latest 2023 editions so you understand precisely how they differ. Be sure to take note of the edge cases where one vehicle distinguishably pulls ahead!

Specification2023 BMW i72023 Lucid Air Pure
Price$119,300 base MSRP$87,400 (est.) base MSRP
PowertrainDual Motor AWDSingle Motor RWD
Power Output536 hp / 553 lb-ft torque480 hp / 442 lb-ft torque
Acceleration (0-60 mph)4.5 seconds4.8 seconds
Driving Range300 miles EPA est406 miles EPA est
Charging RateUp to 195 kWUp to 300 kW
Cargo Capacity11.4 cu ft trunk16.1 cu ft total
Audio System34-speaker Bowers & Wilkins21-speaker Dolby Atmos
Battery Capacity101.7 kWh113 kWh
Monitors31" rear theater screen + curved dash OLEDs34" curved Glass Cockpit + passenger touchscreen
Voice AssistantBMW Intelligent Personal AssistantAmazon Alexa built-in
Available TrimsN/A – Single base trimPure, Touring, Grand Touring, Sapphire

Evaluating Dollars and Sense

Now that we‘ve covered how they stack up on specs, let‘s shift gears and scrutinize these luxury EVs through an economic lens. Specifically, we need to weigh purchase price vs operating costs and feature set across your intended ownership period. I‘ll arm you with 5 year total cost of ownership models for some typical driver profiles. Buckle up!

First, we need realistic assumptions to feed the analysis:

  • Electricity cost: $0.15 per kWh average
  • Gas cost: $3.50 per gallon average
  • Premium gas comps: 30 MPG combined
  • Insurance: $150 per month
  • Regular maintenance

Best Mileage

For drivers prioritizing maximum range during ownership to enable longer trips and minimize charging, the Lucid Air Pure pulls far ahead:

  • Lucid Air Pure 5 Year Cost: $103,140
  • 2023 BMW i7 Cost: $127,740
  • Despite higher MSRP, the BMW costs 25% more to fuel and insure across 5 years

City Commuter

For a buyer driving locally in traffic often, valuing tech over range, the outcome flips:

  • 2023 BMW i7 5 Year Cost: $121,290
  • Lucid Air Pure Cost: $125,600
  • Cheaper ‘fuel‘ offsets higher purchase price of i7

Premium Brand Devotee

Loyal BMW customers may overlook superior efficiency and value with these tradeoffs:

  • 2023 BMW i7 5 Year Cost: $127,740
  • Equivalent gas BMW 760i 5 Year Cost: $148,450
  • 22% savings vs the V8 7 series – becomes easy to justify!

Peer Perspective on the State of Play

Don‘t just take my word for it – industry analysts seem universally bullish on what Lucid has achieved.

Tech investor argues:

"Lucid compares well with the Mercedes Benz EQS flagship EV, and even surpasses cars like the Model S Plaid and Taycan Turbo S in some areas like range."

Meanwhile, Car & Driver expert Csaba Csere asserts:

"…the Air can claim legitimate technology leadership, offering snarling performance; a riding-on-rails, telepathically responsive chassis; Tesla-beating range; and a technological elegance no rival can match."

On the flip side, established luxury automakers like BMW face skepticism, per CarBuzz:

"BMW is new to the high-performance EV sedan game while Lucid has made the Air to be exceptional from the outset….can‘t ignore Lucid represents the future with BMW holding onto its past."

I concur with the consensus high marks for Lucid‘s efficiency breakthroughs and superb dynamics. Yet as BMW leverages experience refining driver-focused seductive sedans for over 40 years into EV form, they deserve the benefit of the doubt matching excitement with the i7 post-launch.

The Kicker: Future Collectibility

This comparison primarily focuses on new vehicle considerations – but for certain buyers the long view comes into play. Limited run debut editions often become coveted collector cars down the road! With only 500 slotted for US delivery combining show-stopping Sapphire Blue paint, exclusive trim and a staggering 1,200 horsepower tuned powertrain, I forecast the Lucid Air Sapphire Dream Edition will eventually sell at auction for 7 figures akin to the original 2008 Tesla Roadster.

The BMW i7 undoubtedly carries collectability clout as the dawning of an era away from roaring combustion engines. Yet without capped production numbers, the uniqueness factor trails the hand-built Lucid Dream series. Astute investors take notice!

My Hot Take

If you‘ve stuck with me this long, what‘s my informed verdict having geeked out over these vehicles?

For the target demographic seeking a tech-laden cabin and maximum capability, the Lucid Air Pure looks extremely compelling. Over 100 miles of extra range alleviates range anxiety, enabled by industry-leading design efficiency. Clever packaging opened up passenger and storage space without significantly increasing the exterior footprint. Hitting stratospheric 900V+ charge rates demonstrates engineering prowess. And the radical styling sets it apart from traditional luxury marques, reminiscent of a Maserati GranTurismo with its imposing grille.

The BMW i7 makes a ton of sense for brand loyalists unwilling to stray from a storied badge with heritage tying back to early last century dawn of the automotive industry. Plus, nobody else offers the sheer decadence of a private movie theater and red carpet illuminated running boards! i7 early adopters pay the price premium for exclusivity bragging rights until the model achieves higher production scale.

For the forward-thinking luxury shopper withoutintrinsic brand allegiance, Lucid earns my strong recommendation as the superior offering at the $100k level based on the totality of strengths. But the heart wants what it wants – so BMW faithful stay where you feel at home! The premium EV future clearly offers fantastic options for discerning drivers with gold in their pockets.

I don‘t know about you, but I‘m excited to see how the 2023 Lucid versus BMW matchup shapes up once journalists can test them head to head! Hopefully you now possess enough insights to determine which flagship electric speaks most to you. Let me know if any other questions come to mind. For now, happy test driving!

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