This is what the production BMW X7 should look like – at least according to patent images which have surfaced on the Brazilian car portal 'Allthecars'. The SUV's styling is a near match to the controversial Concept X7 iPerformance with relatively toned-down features.
The images show the SUV's full exterior styling, complete with the car's oversized kidney grilles and distinctive tail-light treatment. Wheels will be offered in a wide range of sizes, from 19-22 inches – none are illustrated in the patent images, though.
An X7 development car was also recently spotted testing with M package trim, showing how sportier versions of the future Range Rover rival will look.
BMW's upcoming seven-seater will initially feature a naturally aspirated engine, rather than the hybrid powertrain of the X7 iPerformance. However, a hybrid variant will come later. It is too soon for BMW to confirm the full engine line-up of the X7, but it's known that an X7 M50d M Performance, as well as xDrive40i, xDrive50i and xDrive30d variants will be available from launch. The meat of the range is expected to comprise of the 3.0-litre diesel in 30d, 40d and 50d guises and the twin-turbo 4.4-litre petrol V8 from the X6 xDrive50i.
It's not known if an upper M Performance model is will sit above the M50d M Performance. Since The seven-seater X7 is currently aimed at the US and Chinese markets, where an equivalent to the M760Li could act as the range-topper. X7 xDriveM60i badging could be used.
Previously, it was thought that the X7 would be built on an extended version of the X5’s underpinnings, but in conversation with our sister publication, Autocar UK, Ian Robertson, BMW head of sales and marketing, said that many of its parts are actually bespoke.
Robertson also hinted that the X7 would use engines from a wide range of BMW models, rather than just the X5 and X6. It will offer the choice of traditional petrol and diesel, along with, as showcased by the X7 iPerformance, a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid driveline with an all-electric range of up to 100km.
The X7 has been spotted testing several times in the past few months, offering glimpses of the future SUV's design and scale. It will be BMW's largest SUV yet and adopts a typical SUV body shape with a boxy passenger area and (as confirmed by the new BMW shots) a flat-faced front end that has been toned down from the controversial styling of the X7 iPerformance. However, the extra large kidney grilles and slim headlight clusters remain.
The production version's styling will be toned down ahead of its sales debut, but its dimensions are expected to be roughly the same as the spotted test car. This means a length of 5,020mm, 2,020mm width and 1,800mm in height, as well as a 3010mm wheelbase, will all remain largely the same, while the car will be roughly 113mm longer, 82mm wider and 37mm higher than the existing third-generation X5, with a 76mm longer wheelbase. Beneath the camouflage will be familiar BMW design features, such as halo daytime running lights and kidney grilles. The light bar seen on the X7 iPerformance is not carried over to the production model.
The X7 has been in development since late 2015. The car, spotted testing in Scandanavia, wore weights on its roof to replicate the higher centre of gravity of the future SUV.
The first pre-production models of the German automaker's range-topper rolled off the production line in Spartanburg, in the US state of South Carolina, earlier this year. The SUV is due to be revealed at the Los Angeles motor show in November. In addition to the Range Rover, it will also go up against the Mercedes-Benz GLS. It's around 110mm shorter and a little wider than the Mercedes-Benz GLS and around 30mm longer than the Range Rover. The seven-seater is heavily inspired by the X7 iPerformance concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show, last September.