Cars

BMW’s largest SUV X7 arrives with largest kidney grille

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That’s right. The production X7 has carried over the incredibly large kidney grille of the X7 iPerformance concept, which a lot of them found unappealing. But hey, a flagship model has to have a large grille anyway. I mean, look at the GLS and Q8, for example.

The largest BMW X model measures 5,151 mm in length, 2,000 mm wide (2,218 mm with mirrors) and 1,805 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 3,105 mm. Unladen ground clearance is at 221 mm.

On the exterior, the full-size SUV gets LED headlights as standard while the Laserlight with Adaptive LEDs are optional. Integrated discreetly into the front apron on either side of the aluminium underguard are slim LED fog lamps.

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The side profile has been kept neat with chrome outlined windows. The eye-catching character line rises up and sort of connects to the bumper and then to the tail lamps. The roof rails are optional. At the rear, the LED tail lamps are narrow too and are connected by a chrome strip. Rounding off the exterior looks are 20-inch light-alloy wheels. Buyers can opt for sizes up to 22-inch.

Overall, the designers seems to have taken the “love me or hate me, its entirely up to you” approach, which is not really a bad thing isn’t it?

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Naturally, the interiors are a lot more interesting than the exteriors, thanks to the usage of materials. As you can see in the pictures here, the cabin appears to be extremely spacious and airy, thanks to that large wheelbase and Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof. The Live Cockpit Professional which we’ve seen in the latest BMW models are present here too. The screen sizes measure 12.3-inch each. BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant performs the role of a digital co-driver and vehicle expert.

Other features include four-zone automatic climate control system, ambient lighting, and 10-speaker audio system. The ambient lighting system includes Dynamic Interior Light which emits pulsating light signals in pre-defined situations. These signals appear on the inner panelling of an open door when the engine is running and on the instrument panel in response to an incoming phone call.

Options list includes five-zone climate control with separate control panel and additional air vents for the third row, Ambient Air package, 16-speaker Harman Kardon or 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, Rear-seat entertainment Professional system with a pair of 10.2-inch full-HD touchscreen displays, and M Sport package with bespoke interior elements.

The sports seats for the driver and front passenger are heated and can be ordered with ventilation function as an option. The seats in the second and third rows are also heated, while the front row can be specified with optional multifunction seats with massage function.

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When darkness falls, the aforementioned Sky Lounge can illuminate more than 15,000 graphic patterns and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky. The colour scheme of this atmospheric light show can be adapted as desired.

Depending on the market, the driver assistance systems include optional Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and optional Driving Assistant Professional which includes Steering and lane control assistant, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assistant and side collision protection, evasion aid, Crossing traffic warning, Rear Collision warning, Priority warning and Wrong-way warning. Latest generation Head-Up Display, Emergency Stop Assistant (not available in Europe), Parking Assistant including rear view camera and Reversing Assistant are standard.

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As for the luggage capacity, the X7 offers 326 litres when all seats are in use. This increases to 2,120 litres when the backrests of the second and third row seats are folded down. The standard air suspension allows the car to be lowered (at the touch of a button in the boot) to make loading easier. Hands-free opening of the tailgate is optional.

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Which then brings us to the business end. At launch, there’ll be xDrive40i which is powered by a 3.0-litre (2,998 cc) in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine, with an output of 340 hp at 5,500 – 6,500 rpm and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque at 1,500 – 5,200 rpm.

The second variant will be xDrive50i and apparently, it wont be offered in Europe. It is powered by a 4.4-litre (4,395 cc) V8 petrol engine, with an output of 462 hp at 5,200 – 6,000 rpm and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque at 1,500 – 4,750 rpm.

There’ll also be xDrive30d which is powered by a 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine, with an output of 265 hp at 4,000 rpm and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque at 2,000 – 2,500 rpm.

Finally, there is the M50d, powered by the same 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine which is tuned to produce 400 hp at 4,400 rpm and 760 Nm (560 lb-ft) of torque at 2,000 – 3,000 rpm. This one and the xDrive50i are the quickest of the bunch, with 0-100 km/h acceleration in 5.4 seconds. Top speed appears to be limited to 250 km/h.

All engines are paired to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. An M Sport differential is standard on the X7 M50d.

As for the ride comfort, the X7 is equipped as standard with two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling, which is linked-up with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. When Sport driving mode is engaged or the vehicle speed exceeds 138 km/h (86 mph), the ride height is automatically lowered by 20 mm. The driver can also adjust the ground clearance by pushing a button in the cockpit to raise it in two stages to a maximum 40 mm above the standard setting.

Production will take place at BMW’s facility in Spartanburg, United States. Market launch in March 2019.

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