With a gaping maw at the front end looking ready to swallow traffic jams whole, the new BMW X7 will certainly sets the hearts of the local blue-light brigade racing but, it is a global new challenge to the luxury SUV market segment that continues to reshape it importance.
According to the carmaker: “The new BMW X7 represents the next stage in the premium carmaker’s ongoing model offensive in the luxury segment. Its increased presence in the class and the systematic expansion of the BMW X model portfolio are among the key areas the BMW Group has identified – as part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy – to ensure sustained growth in the world’s car markets in the future”.
At 5,151 millimetres in length, 2,000 millimetres wide and 1,805 millimetres tall and with a wheelbase of 3,105 millimetres, the X7 is undeniably big and establishes itself very clearly as the new head of the BMW X model family.
The largest kidney grille ever designed for one of the brand’s models dominates the front end of the new BMW X7. Together with the slim twin headlights extending up to the grille, it emphasises the width of the car and creates a daunting presence.
The new BMW X7 comes as standard with LED headlights, while BMW Laserlight with Adaptive LED Headlights can be specified as an option. This system employs a BMW Laserlight spotlight with Selective Beam to optimise the high beam function and, as a result, the range of the non-dazzling high beam has been increased to a maximum 600 metres.
The rear doors are longer than the front doors, making it even easier to get in and out the dimensions of the new BMW X7 are also expressed at the rear end, which is broken up by horizontal lines and bordered by vertical separating edges.
The new BMW X7 is fitted as standard with 21-inch light-alloy wheels. The selection of light-alloy wheels available on the options list includes 22-inch variants.
The Design Pure Excellence equipment line, the M Sport package and exclusive BMW Individual options offer scope for customers to tailor the standard specification of their new BMW X7 to their personal style.
With grille bars in Aluminium matt and an array of accents in High-gloss Chrome, plus 21-inch light-alloy wheels in Y-spoke design, Design Pure Excellence underlines the rich elegance of the new SAV model. The M Sport package showcases the dynamic potential of the new X7 with extra-large air intakes, 21-inch light-alloy wheels in M twin-spoke design and a distinctive look for the front apron, rear apron and side skirts.
Its sporting aura is accentuated by additional design elements in High-gloss Black or Black Chrome, the latter a shade reserved for BMW’s luxury-class models. Trim elements in High-gloss Chrome can be specified as an option. And classy options from BMW Individual are also available from the launch of the X7.
Among the items lending the car’s exterior design an even more rarefied air of exclusivity, meanwhile, are the BMW Individual paint finish Sunstone metallic and 22-inch BMW Individual light-alloy wheels.
The BMW X7 comes as standard with a sports leather steering wheel and the newly designed display grouping which comes as part of the standard-fitted BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a Control Display and a fully-digital instrument cluster – each with a screen diagonal of 12,3 inches – and teams up with the classily designed control panel on the centre console to create a progressive re-interpretation of BMW’s customary driver focus.
The roominess is underlined by the standard fitment of three rows of seats (offering space for seven people in total) and the two passengers in the third row can settle into full-size seats that are also capable of accommodating adult passengers over longer journeys.
The second row includes three seats as standard in a conventional rear seat bench configuration however, two individual seats can be specified for the middle row as an option. These are comfort seats and offer the same functionality as the seats for the driver and front passenger when it comes to seating position adjustment.
In both standard and optional configuration, the second-row seats in the X7 can slide longitudinally through 14,5 centimetres (seven-seater). Adjustment of the fore/aft position – like all other seat positions and backrest angles – is electric for the first, second and third row of seats. The backrests of the seats in the second and third rows also fold down and back up again electrically.
When all six/seven seats are in use, the new BMW X7 offers 326 litres of load capacity. This increases to a maximum 2,120 litres when the backrests of the seats in the second and third rows are folded down.
The standard air suspension allows the car to be lowered (at the touch of a button in the boot) to make loading easier. The new BMW X7 features a two-section split tailgate, both elements of which have electric opening and closing as standard. If the optional Comfort Access is specified, the tailgate opens and closes automatically and hands-free.
Standard specification for the new BMW X7 also includes four-zone automatic climate control. A five-zone automatic climate control system with separate control panel and additional air vents for the third row of seats can be ordered as an option.
The likewise optional Ambient Air package enables air ionisation and infuses the interior with eight individually selectable scents. A ‘thermo’ version of the cupholders arranged foremost in the centre console can be specified as an option to keep their containers cool or warm as required. The telephony with wireless charging option allows compatible mobile phones to be topped up wirelessly in the tray ahead of the cupholders.
With its 10 speakers, the standard-fitted hi-fi speaker system can be upgradd to the optional Harman Kardon surround sound system (standard in the X7 M50d) with 16 speakers provides an even more intense musical feast for the ears.
Further, the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System with 20 speakers and 1 500-watt amplifier lays on a particularly sumptuous listening experience. A digital seven-channel amplifier and additional sound sources in the roof area generate an absorbingly clear and multi-layered 3D sound experience for people in all seats.
The line-up of engines available at launch comprises a pair of six-cylinder in-line diesels to power the BMW X7 xDrive30d and BMW X7 M50d M Performance model. The BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for the diesel engines features a raft of technological measures including turbo-chargers and common-rail direct injection with piezo injectors.
All the engines channel their power via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, the most recent incarnation of which boasts a wider gear ratio spread and new control electronics. This reduces engine speeds, particularly in higher gears, which in turn helps to increase the drive system’s overall efficiency.
The eight-speed Steptronic transmission is fitted with a new generation of torsion dampers to limit rotational irregularities in the powertrain. The result is enhanced ride comfort and smoother gear changes. Comfort is given a further boost by reduced converter slip, while the optimised hydraulic control enables even sportier shifting.
Drive comes from the latest generation of the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which now varies how the drive torque is split between the front and rear wheels with greater precision than ever.
The electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system links up with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to provide the basis for handling, whatever the road and weather conditions.
An M Sport differential is fitted as standard to complement the powertrain’s sporting characteristics. This electronically controlled rear differential lock also hooks up with the DSC system. It works by limiting the equalisation of the rotational speeds of the wheels on the inside and the outside of the bend and thus optimises the transfer of power to the road in dynamic driving situations.
Ride comfort in the new BMW X7 is enhanced by its two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling, which is also included as standard. When SPORT driving mode is engaged or the car’s speed exceeds 138 km/h, the ride height is automatically lowered by 20 millimetres.
The BMW X7 comes as standard with Cruise Control with braking function, as well as the Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, which also now alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected.
The optional Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function is capable of braking the car to a halt then setting it back on its way automatically. To make the driver’s life easier in stop-start traffic, the maximum length of time the car can wait before pulling away again automatically after it has come to a halt is 30 seconds. The speed limits detected by the Speed Limit Info traffic sign recognition system can be incorporated into the system’s automatic speed modulation, with a preset adjustment of up to 15 km/h.
The safety package includes the Steering and lane control assist as well as the Lane Keeping Assist with active side collision protection, Crossing traffic warning, Rear Collision warning and Lane Change Warning.