X7 is BMW’s new flag­ship SUV

Cynon Valley - - MOTORS WALES - CHRIS RUSSON news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

A NEW flag­ship SUV has been re­vealed by BMW in the shape of the X7 which is out to ri­val the likes of the Range Rover and Audi Q7.

On sale from next April and priced from £72,155 the X7 is a seven seat 4x4 with lux­ury trim­mings.

At a shade over 16ft 10ins long and al­most 6ft 7ins wide it is the largest model in the BMW X line up – big­ger than the Range Rover and sim­i­lar in size to the Q7.

At launch it will be pow­ered by a choice of three en­gines – one petrol and two diesel – and all mod­els will come with air sus­pen­sion, an elec­tri­cally op­er­ated panoramic glass roof and a full suite of driver aids.

Unusu­ally for an SUV BMW has opted to fit two full-size seats with space be­tween them in the back of the X7 - a first for a 4x4 but re­duces lug­gage ca­pac­ity to 326 litres.

How­ever, max­i­mum ca­pac­ity with the sec­ond and third row is 2,120 litres and that is the big­gest of the lot.

The mid-row of seats also slides fore and aft to help with ac­cess.

Three mod­els will be avail­able with the line up start­ing with an X7 xDrive 30d pow­ered by a 3.0-litre diesel with 265bhp on tap.

As such it is good for 0 to 60 in seven sec­onds with a top speed of 141mph and of­fi­cially is rated at 43.5mpg with emis­sions of 171g/km.

It will be joined by a sporty M50d which is boosted to 400bhp tak­ing the ac­cel­er­a­tion time down to 5.4 sec­onds with a max­i­mum up to 155mph.

Fuel re­turn for the M50d is 40.4mpg (185g/km), although the per­for­mance model can­not be fit­ted with BMW’s off-road pack­age which al­lows for spe­cific drive set­tings for snow, sand, gravel and rocks.

The M50d is priced from £87,240 with the petrol X7 xDrive 40i start­ing from £74,155.

The xDrive 40i uses BMW’s newly de­vel­oped 3.0-litre straight six turbo petrol en­gine which in the X7 de­liv­ers 340bhp giv­ing the car a 0 to 60 time of 6.1 sec­onds, a top end of 152mph with 32.5mpg and a CO2 fig­ure of 198g/km.

All mod­els use an eight-speed Step­tronic au­to­matic gear­box which is cal­i­brated to re­duce en­gine speeds in higher gears to im­prove ef­fi­ciency.

In­side, the X7 is fit­ted with the BMW Live Cock­pit which has two 12.3 dis­play screens and in­cludes an adap­tive nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem with 20GB of me­mory.

Other driver aids in­clude a semi-au­ton­o­mous lane change sys­tem, cross traf­fic alerts lane de­par­ture warn­ings and an au­to­matic park­ing sys­tem.

The X7 has a split tail­gate with the lower sec­tion open­ing to cre­ate a bench ex­tend­ing from the boot and the air sus­pen­sion al­lows for the car to be low­ered by al­most two inches to aid ac­cess.

It can also be raised by a sim­i­lar amount to in­crease ground clear­ance over poor ter­rain.

All ver­sions of the X7 come with the BMW In­tel­li­gent Per­sonal As­sis­tant, a dig­i­tal helper that re­sponds to the prompt “Hey BMW” and is an ad­vanced voice con­trol sys­tem that can op­er­ate vir­tu­ally all of the car’s func­tion.

Op­tions will in­clude BMW’s Laserlight head­lamps which re­place the stan­dard LED lights with a beam than can ex­tend up to 600 yards ahead of the car at night.

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