Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - NEWS -

Al­most ex­actly 20 years af­ter BMW in­tro­duced the X5, the Ger­man brand has now un­veiled its grand­est SUV to date: the X7.

As you can see from the im­ages, the X7 makes quite an el­e­gant state­ment. Mea­sur­ing in at over five me­tres long and two me­tres wide, the X7 utilises strong tra­di­tional de­sign cues to cre­ate a car that has pres­ence but not in a crude sort of way. Ev­ery X7 will come as stan­dard with a split rear tail­gate and 20-inch al­loys.

With so much space on the in­side, the X7 is ob­vi­ously a seven seater but the lay­out op­tions are amaz­ing. The third row con­sists of two full-size seats (com­plete with arm­rests, cuphold­ers and USB ports), while the sec­ond row can be ei­ther a three-seat bench, or two in­di­vid­ual com­fort seats. All seats ad­just elec­tron­i­cally, which means the boot space can be in­creased from 326 litres to a max­i­mum of 2 120 litres. The X7 comes as stan­dard with

leather trim, four-zone au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol, a three-sec­tion panoramic glass roof and am­bi­ent light­ing, in­clud­ing the wel­come light car­pet and dy­namic in­te­rior light. Among the high­lights on the op­tions list are five-zone au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol, the am­bi­ent air pack­age, the panorama glass roof sky lounge, con­trols with glass ap­pli­ca­tions, the Bow­ers & Wilkins di­a­mond sur­round sound sys­tem and the rear-seat en­ter­tain­ment pro­fes­sional sys­tem.

The ini­tial line-up of en­gines con­sists of the 340kW petrol V8 in the xDrive50i, the six-cylin­der tur­bocharged petrol xDrive40i with 250kW and the xDrive30d tur­bod­iesel that de­vel­ops a healthy 195kW. There will also be an xDrive50d, which de­vel­ops just un­der 300kW. Not bad for a diesel en­gine.

All the en­gines are mated to an eight-speed step­tronic trans­mis­sion, while the task of trans­fer­ring their power onto ei­ther as­phalt or loose ter­rain falls to the BMW xDrive in­tel­li­gent all-wheeldrive sys­tem, com­plete with op­ti­mised ef­fi­ciency and rear-bi­ased set-up.

The BMW X7 boasts a wealth of chas­sis tech­nol­ogy as stan­dard, in­clud­ing adap­tive sus­pen­sion with elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled dampers, and air springs at both axles.

The ve­hi­cle’s ground clear­ance can be var­ied by up to 80mm at the press of a but­ton.

An off-road pack­age is avail­able for all model vari­ants aside from the BMW X7 M50d. This pack­age in­cludes an ex­tra but­ton for choos­ing be­tween four driv­ing modes: xSand, xGravel, xRocks and xSnow.

The BMW Live Cock­pit Pro­fes­sional fit­ted as stan­dard in the BMW X7 com­prises a fully dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter and a con­trol dis­play, each of which have a screen di­ag­o­nal of 12.3 inches.

The X7 will be in­tro­duced lo­cally in March next year.

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