Currently reading: 2022 BMW X7 enters high-speed tests at Nurburgring
Munich gears up to usher in a new look for its luxury SUV flagship, but the bold front grille remains

BMW has begun lapping the Nürburgring in the updated version of its new BMW X7 luxury SUV, first launched just three years ago, ahead of an anticipated reveal in 2022. 

The facelifted X7 will retain the current car's striking front grille, in line with the company's commitment to its radical but controversial new styling direction.

These new images confirm that the restyling will instead focus on the headlights, which have moved lower down the front end and adopted a more rectangular shape, similar to those worn by a recently spotted prototype the BMW i7, BMW's new luxury saloon with a 388-mile range. There is also a reshaped lower bumper that appears to do away with the current car's prominent side air intakes.

Following the initial unveiling of the X7 and the updated BMW 7 Series with which it shares its front end design, BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk argued that the SUV's prominent air intakes were in proportion to the rest of the car, and in fact smaller than those of its main rivals.

He said: "Yes, the X7’s grille is bigger than other BMW’s, but so is the X7 bigger than any BMW before it. That one is in proportion.

“Don’t worry, I don’t want the brand to turn into an oversized kidney grille brand - but I believe we understand the reasons for what we have done with the 7 Series and that the issue will solve itself thanks to evolving tastes in the markets for which the grille was introduced.”

It's not clear if BMW's move to visually link the i7 and X7 means the latter will gain an electrified variant.

Previously, BMW has stated that any hybrid version of the X7 would need to offer an electric-only range of more than 50 miles to comply with market regulations in China, a key market for the model. The plug-in hybrid BMW X5 xDrive45e is officially capable of travelling 54 miles on electric power, but its powertrain would need to be uprated to provide a similar range in the heavier X7.

Camouflage wrap makes any changes at the rear hard to spot, but the customary subtle tweaks to the bumper and light cluster designs can be expected.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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The Apprentice 10 June 2021
I will be more impressed the day they start testing cars around places like Nottingham's pot holed main city routes that are rougher than the Dakar Rally course - Instead of lap times, the cars could be rated on how many teeth or vertebrae you lose per 500 miles.
Peter Cavellini 10 June 2021

Having in the past year bought a crossover BMW X2 , I think driving it like a saloon car feels a bit unsafe to me, the higher centre of gravity, it's just not as chuckable as a 3series, so, I'd ima something as big and heavy like this will be like driving a tanker Lorry at sixty miles per hour into a bend, shut your eyes and hope it makes it, no, cars this big shouldn't be driven like a boy racer car.

eseaton 27 November 2020

It looks very much better with the disguse on its nose.