BMW has previewed its plans for a luxurious new SUV
The new model is above the existing third-generation X5. The concept is called the Concept X7 iPerformance. Revealed on Tuesday at the Frankfurt motor show, the new six-seat SUV presages a planned production version of the X7 due to reach showrooms in late 2018. It will offer the choice of traditional petrol and diesel and, as showcased by the new BMW concept, a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid driveline with a zero-emission range of up to 62 miles.
The styling of the Concept X7 iPerformance possesses clear links with BMW’s earlier Vision Future Luxury Concept shown at the 2014 Beijing motor show. It has upright, taut surfacing treatment providing it with 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 sublte surface work,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group boss. “It has a luxurious and sophisticated feel, thanks to its understated use of forms and precise detailing."
It features intentionally exaggerated elements including its kidney grille, front air vents, air breather units behind the front wheel houses, brushed aluminium window surround and 23in wheels. However, Autocar has been told they will be toned down for incorporation on the upcoming production version of the X7.
At 5020mm (198in) in length, 2020mm (80in) in width and 1800mm (71in) in height, the Concept X7 is 113mm longer, 82mm wider and 37mm higher than the existing third-generation X5. It also rides on a wheelbase that is 76mm longer than its smaller SUV sibling, at 3010mm (119in).
The dimensions of the concept are said to closely mirror those of the upcoming production version of the new SUV, which is planned to be produced at BMW’s Spartanburg manufacturing facility in South Carolina, USA.
Inside, the Concept X7 iPerformance provides accommodation for up to six occupants in three rows of seats, but the production version will seat seven. The dashboard and its controls mark new ground for BMW’s X models, as does its digital instrument display.
Information about the plug-in petrol-electric driveline used by the Concept X7 iPerformance, although it confirms it has been engineered to deliver a pure electric range more than twice that of existing hybrids offered by the German car maker at 62 miles.
It relies on the same set-up used by the 740e xDrive iPerformance, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine operating in combination 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 delivers 255bhp and 295lb ft of torque.
The upcoming X7 forms part of a push to further establish BMW’s presence in the luxury car segment under the company’s Number One > Next strategy.
“The X7 embodies elements of our corporate strategy to grow our presence in the luxury class,” said Ian Robertson, BMW sales and marketing boss. “The X family’s new top model extends BMW offering the luxury class and redefines the concept of luxury for the brand.”