Down the Road

BMW’S Con­cept X7 iper­for­mance

Road Trip - - CONTENTS -

Fu­ture Mod­els

The Con­cept X7 iper­for­mance, BMW’S take on what the Mu­nich-based man­u­fac­turer terms an “in­no­va­tive new ve­hi­cle con­cept for the lux­ury class”, re­cently cel­e­brated its world premiere at the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show.

Essen­tially, it is an over the-top pre­cur­sor to a lux­u­ri­ous new SUV po­si­tioned above the X5, with styling rem­i­nis­cent to the Vi­sion Fu­ture Lux­ury Con­cept shown at the 2014 Beijing mo­tor show.

Ac­cord­ing to BMW sources, the new six-seat SUV her­alds a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the X7 (with seven-seat con­fig­u­ra­tion), which is set for re­lease late next year. Apart from tra­di­tional petrol and diesel driv­e­trains, it will also be avail­able as a plug-in petrol-elec­tric hy­brid.

The ex­te­rior de­sign of the first uber­lux­u­ri­ous Sports Ac­tiv­ity Ve­hi­cle is head­lined by “im­pos­ing di­men­sions and a cap­ti­vat­ing pres­ence”, in BMW’S view.

With a length of 5,020 mm, width of 2,020 mm, and height of 1,800 mm, the Con­cept X7 is longer, wider, and taller than the X5, with a 76 mm longer wheel­base. In terms of size, it will ri­val the Mercedesbenz GLS and Range Rover Vogue, as well as the mooted lux­ury Audi Q8 from In­gol­stadt.


The Con­cept X7 rep­re­sents quite a de­par­ture from the cur­rent de­sign lan­guage of BMW. It is big, bold and brash, with taut lines and over­sized fea­tures. The or­nate kid­ney grille of the Con­cept is sim­ply huge, and flanked by long, sleek LED head­lights.

It seems as if BMW is tak­ing the Rolls Royce route with this os­ten­ta­tious de­sign ap­proach, us­ing bold and enor­mous de­sign ele­ments, but keep­ing body lines and creases to a min­i­mum.

Ac­cord­ing to Adrian van Hooy­donk, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for BMW Group De­sign, this de­sign lan­guage em­ploys just a few ex­tremely pre­cise lines and sub­tle sur­face-work to raise the bar in terms of pres­ence and pres­tige.

To­gether with the prom­i­nent and up­right grille, the mighty air in­lets and el­e­gantly ac­cen­tu­ated sur­faces pro­duce an au­thor­i­ta­tive over­all im­age which ra­di­ates great­ness and grandeur.

While Van Hooy­donk de­scribes the styling as “dis­creet”, it seems noth­ing of the sort. Rather the op­po­site; and we will have to wait and see how this new de­sign di­men­sion trans­lates into the pro­duc­tion ver­sion.

In­side, the Con­cept X7 un­der­scores the pro­gres­sive sense of op­u­lence, with gen­er­ous space for six peo­ple, ex­quis­ite ma­te­ri­als, and an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem brim­ming with in­tel­li­gent con­nec­tiv­ity.

Fea­tures such as the fu­tur­is­tic steer­ing wheel, idrive con­troller, glass shift lever, and fully dig­i­tal gauge clus­ter, are rem­i­nis­cent of the in­te­rior of the BMW 8 Se­ries Con­cept. Whereas the ex­te­rior is so­phis­ti­cated and im­pos­ing, the in­te­rior is min­i­mal­is­tic in a Volvo-es­que sense.

The Con­cept X7 has four sin­gle cap­tain’s chairs be­hind the front pas­sen­gers (ex­pect the pro­duc­tion model which will have seven seats as stan­dard), and mas­sive screens be­hind the front seat­backs pro­vide the se­cond-row pas­sen­gers with on-road en­ter­tain­ment. In­ter­ac­tive LED chore­og­ra­phy via the doors and in­stru­ment panel traces the com­mu­ni­ca­tion flow be­tween the rear screens and the dis­play at the front of the cabin.

An­other no­table fea­ture is the mas­sive glass roof that pro­vides an open-air feel­ing to all pas­sen­gers on board. The roof will prob­a­bly not make it to pro­duc­tion in its cur­rent form, but the X7 will have some­thing sim­i­lar once it is in­tro­duced. Un­til that time, we ea­gerly await the lux­ury SUV to reach our shores.

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