BMW’S massive new X7 SUV
Six-seater points to future luxury SUV from German brand Production car due next year
AFTER a healthy supply of spy shots, BMW has provided the clearest glimpse yet of its Range Rover rival by unveiling its Concept X7 iperformance at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s set to morph into a production car in 2018 as the brand looks to expand its influence in the SUV and luxury sectors.
Described as a “new model concept for the luxury segment”, the flagship SUV moves the German company’s large car design on from the current 7 Series – with which the production X7 will share its platform. The concept introduces a more exaggerated version of BMW’S trademark kidney grille, pinched LED ‘laser’ headlamps and a horizontal chrome-lined lower air intake.
The shape of that intake is mirrored on the rear bumpers, while a singlepiece light bar stretches across the tailgate with a chrome strip. Previous spy shots led us to believe the details will be toned down for production, including the elaborate door mirrors and flush-fitted handles.
BMW suggests that the large glasshouse and steeply raked tailgate mean the inside will be light and airy with “huge swathes of space”.
The concept features three rows of two seats, with the second-row chairs pushed towards each other to give passengers a better view out of the front. We expect the production car to be offered in a seven-seat configuration as well.
The cabin design adapts BMW’S current layout with more advanced materials and what’s described as “interactive LED choreography”. Minimalist switchgear sees a pared-back display for the climate control, while a handful of haptic touch buttons surround the backlit crystal glass gear selector.
Unsurprisingly for a concept car in 2017, connectivity is a dominant theme. A 12.3-inch instrument cluster links with the central touchscreen through a single panel, with touchscreen monitors for the rear seats that connect with the front displays. Passengers can pass information or instructions to other screens in the cabin.
The Concept X7 on display is badged ‘iperformance’ and features a plug-in hybrid powertrain using BMW’S Twinpower turbo petrol engine paired with an electric motor. It’s said to offer an all-electric range for town use, but an actual figure hasn’t been released.
When it goes on sale, the X7 will sit alongside the 7 Series and forthcoming 8 Series, with the SUV expected to feature a broader range of petrol, diesel and hybrid variants at launch. Prices are expected to start from around £70,000.
“Concept features a plug-in hybrid powertrain pairing BMW’S Twinpower turbo petrol with an electric motor”
LUXURY Raked tailgate means lots of space, and three rows of two seats are arranged so passengers get good view
Minimalist dash uses haptic controls; large touchscreen offers great connectivity