BMW has revealed the Concept X7 iPerformance, the production version of which will be the new range-topping SUV for the German manufacturer.
Expected to be part of the upcoming Frankfurt motor show alongside the 8-series, i3s and Z4 concept, the six-seater X7 concept will be retailed from the second half of 2018 in international markets. It will be available with a choice of petrol and diesel motors, and a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid driveline with a zero-emission range of up to 100km.
The design of the large SUV is similar to that of the Vision Future Luxury Concept shown at the 2014 Beijing motor show. The upright stance and taut surfacing treatment gives the SUV a clean and contemporary appearance that BMW says reflects its take on the modern luxury aesthetic.
“The Concept X7 iPerformance introduces the BMW styling DNA to the luxury SUV segment. The design employs just a few precise lines and subtle surface work,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, head of the BMW Group.
While the current design is definitely concept-like with the exaggerated kidney grille, front air vents, brushed aluminium window surround and 23-inch alloys, the styling on the production version will be toned down.
The X7 will sit above the X5 in BMW’s SUV line-up and measures 5,020mm in length, 2,020mm in width and 1,800mm in height. The wheelbase, at 3010mm, is 76mm longer than the X5. The dimensions are expected to remain the same for the production-spec SUV that will be produced at BMW’s Spartanburg manufacturing facility in South Carolina, USA.
The X7’s primary rival, the Mercedes-Benz GLS, is 5,131mm in length, 1,981mm in width and 1,849mm in height, while riding on a 3,076mm wheelbase.
In terms of interiors, the Concept X7 iPerformance can seat six on three rows of seats; the production version is expected to be a seven-seater though. The dashboard and its controls mark new ground for BMW’s X models, as does its digital instrument display.
BMW is tight-lipped about the plug-in hybrid’s powertrain, but have confirmed it will deliver a pure electric range more than twice of existing hybrids offered by the German carmaker.
Our sister publication Autocar UK reports that the X7 concept will use the same setup used by the 740e xDrive iPerformance, with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine combined with an electric motor in the forward section of the gearbox housing, albeit with a larger capacity battery providing a greater range. In the 740e xDrive iPerformance, the plug-in hybrid system makes 259hp and 400Nm of torque.
The range-topping SUV is a part of BMW’s plan to make its mark in the premium luxury segment under the manufacturer’s Number One > Next strategy. Other cars included in this strategy include the current sixth-gen 7-series, the upcoming second-gen 8-series Coupe, the i8 Coupe and the soon-to-be-launched i8 roadster.
Underscoring the X7's up-market aspirations, BMW’s designers have given the new SUV concept a revised badge that harks back to the treatment seen on early BMW models. It combines a black-and-white version of the company’s traditional roundel with its name, Bayerische Motoren Werke, written in full.
Also see: BMW Concept X7 iPerformance image gallery