After long being rumoured by the world’s automotive press, the BMW X7 – or the BMW SUV that will sit above the immensely popular X5 – has finally been revealed in concept form at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Previewed in six-seat format, the eventual X7 will compete against high-end SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX570, Infiniti QX80, Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover Vogue and even the electric Tesla Model X. The X7 is based on the same CLAR platform as the latest 5 Series and 7 Series, and is expected to carry over much of those cars’ technology, including the plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
As Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Management Board responsible for Sales and Brand BMW explains, the X7 forms the next step in the brand’s ONE > NEXT future product strategy: “Since BMW founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment with the first X5 back in 1999, every subsequent X vehicle has broken new ground. The BMW X7 continues this tradition: the X family’s new top model extends BMW’s offering in the luxury class and redefines the concept of luxury for the BMW brand and beyond.”
“It also embodies one of the most important elements of our corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, to grow our presence in the luxury class. Furthermore, the BMW Concept X7 demonstrates it’s perfectly possible to combine a large sports activity vehicle with an electrified drivetrain.”
The X7 iPerformance concept is certainly styled much more bolder than BMWs before it. The chrome grille in particular is quite large, and like certain rivals, not particularly subtle. Alongside it sit two large chrome grilles on each side that feed air through to the side of the X7, with a similar grille featuring on the side and the rear. One thing is certain from the X7’s overall shape: it’s definitely more upright and boxy than the X5 for maximum interior space and passenger carrying capacity.
Inside the X7 concept, a clear evolution of the current BMW cabin design trend is evident to see with two large screens – one for the driver’s information display and one for the iDrive infotainment system, presumably the latest iDrive 6 system. The dark olive-bronze finishing of the leather with gold pigmentation adds exclusivity to the cabin, according to BMW. The contrasting white leather covering the remainder of the seats provides a ‘sharp contrast’, and ‘further details the finer parts of the cabin’.
A large panoramic roof above occupants’ heads is unlikely to continue in such a large format. The concept X7 features a six-seat layout, which is expected to reach production, though a more traditional seven-seat layout is expected to be standard equipment on most X7 models.
While no details have been given regarding the X7’s drivetrain, its iPerformance moniker suggests that it could be powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo and electric motor plug-in hybrid drivetrain as the X5 xDrive40e iPerformance. Potential drivetrains for the X7 have been rumoured from everything including the 2.0-litre turbo petrol from the 5 Series, 3.0-litre diesel from the X5 and even the twin-turbo V12 as found in the M760Li xDrive.
No details regarding a possible release date for the X7 have been given, but with a new X5 due for release soon, the X7 is bound to be similarly far away. If produced in right-hand drive, BMW Australia is almost 100 percent bound to sell the X7, such is the market for such cars in this country.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for news regarding the upcoming BMW X7.
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