BMW pulled the covers off its first full-size SUV a week before the Frankfurt motor show. The Concept X7 iPerformance seats six people in three rows, and like any good concept, features a bunch of future tech and a super modern exterior design.
“Since BMW founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment with the first X5 back in 1999, every subsequent X vehicle has broken new ground. It also embodies one of the most important elements of our corporate strategy, to grow our presence in the luxury class. Furthermore, the BMW Concept X7 demonstrates it’s perfectly possible to combine a large sports activity vehicle with an electrified drivetrain.”
Speaking of the drivetrain: The Concept X7 comes equipped with BMW’s TwinPower turbo gasoline engine paired with a plug-in hybrid element. BMW says the powertrain will “excel in all driving situations, including running with zero local emissions.”
The Concept X7’s large panoramic roof should make the interior feel more airy. And having only six seats instead of seven or eight should mean more space to move around. Those seats also have shelled backs and are only connected to the floor with a slim seat base, leaving more leg- and kneeroom. The concept features olive-bronze leather with “discreet gold pigmentation” along with white accents.
Although decorative materials are minimal — lots of matte finishes — the X7 does get ambient and contour lighting as well as laser lights in the roof. The instrument panel sticks to the necessities, and the 12.3-inch and central-infotainment screens are connected, a la Mercedes-Benz, making it look like one big screen. The iDrive Controller, gear selector and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel remind us this is still a BMW.
Second-row passengers get rear-seat entertainment options with sharable content that can be zipped back and forth between the rear or front screens. BMW says passengers can “send a track to the car’s music system by touch gesture, forward an interesting article to the next-door display for the person sitting alongside them to read or transfer an address from their email directly to the car’s navigation system.” Continuing, interactive LEDs trace the communication flow between the screens. Sounds cool, if a little gimmicky.
Outside, the X7 gets a more upright nose with a big 90-degree hockey stick character line running down the side. It cribs some 8-Series Concept design that we just saw at Pebble Beach a few weeks ago. The nose looks pinched with narrow headlights while the squared-off air intakes border the bumper edges. The matte and glossy kidney grille was made to look as if it’s made from one piece of metal.
In back, vertical aero bits frame the sides and the taillights stretch end to end. Otherwise, the rear is cleaner than expected, and it looks much more square than today’s X5 and X3.
The X7 is set to battle Mercedes’ GLS and Audi’s Q8. It joins BMW’s new 8-Series, i8 and new i8 Roadster as part of the company’s “expanded luxury segment lineup,” all sporting a new version of the Roundel logo with the company name “Bayerische Motoren Werke” spelled out.
We’ll get a better look at the Concept X7 iPerformance next week during press days of the Frankfurt motor show.