The covers have been whipped off the BMW X7, with the Munich-based automaker’s largest-ever X-badged model assuming the role of luxury flagship SUV. The seven-seater X7, which will be built at the brand’s Spartanburg plant in the United States, is scheduled to launch in March 2019.
Set to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW promises the new X7 will offer “off-road prowess, excellent ride comfort and agile on-road handling”.
It measures 5 151 mm long, 2 000 mm wide and 1 805 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3 105 mm. The front end is dominated by a particularly hefty version of the brand’s trademark kidney grille (even BMW describes it as “exceptionally large”), along with standard LED headlamps (or optional “Laserlight” items).
The new X7 will ship standard on 20-inch light-alloy wheels, although 21- and 22-inch variants will be optionally available. Round back, you’ll find a two-section split tailgate. Inside, there are three rows of seats, with the two passengers in the third row enjoying what BMW calls “full-size seats complete with armrests, cupholders and USB ports”. As an option, the middle row can be specified with two individual “comfort seats” (rather than the standard three-person bench). All seats are electrically adjustable. The Bavarian brand claims the luggage capacity can be increased from 326 litres to a maximum of 2 120 litres.
Standard features in the X7 will include Vernasca leather trim, four-zone automatic climate control, a three-section panoramic glass roof and ambient lighting. The options list, meanwhile, will include items such as five-zone automatic climate control, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system and rear-seat entertainment.
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional system is fitted as standard and comprises a fully digital instrument cluster and a control display, each of which has a screen diagonal of 12,3 inches. The brand’s new “intelligent personal assistant” function, meanwhile, will later be included in the operating system.
So, what’s under the bonnet? Well, at launch (across the world) the range of engines available will include a 340 kW/650 N.m 4,4-litre V8 in the X7 xDrive50i, a 3,0-litre six-cylinder in-line petrol unit worth 250 kW/450 N.m in the X7 xDrive40i and a pair of 3,0-litre six-cylinder in-line diesels with outputs of 195 kW/620 N.m in the X7 xDrive30d and 294 kW/760 N.m in the X7 M50d.
All engines are mated to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, while the xDrive all-wheel-drive system is suitably rear-biased. An M Sport differential at the rear, which offers electronically controlled locking, is fitted as standard on the X7 M50d and offered as an option on the X7 xDrive50i and X7 xDrive40i.
[UPDATE: South Africa will receive only the X7 M50d and X7 xDrive30d derivatives (from March 2019)].
Adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, plus air springs at both axles, come standard, and allow the X7’s ground clearance to be varied by up to 80 mm. An “off-road package” will furthermore be available for all model variants aside from the M50d.