Upcoming X7 Will Be BMW’s Biggest SUV

Conceived to give BMW a greater presence in the growing upper-luxury SUV market, the X7 aims to provide both the comfort and luxury of the German automaker’s 7-Series sedan and the versatility and off-road prowess of the new fourth-generation X5.

Greg Kable

October 16, 2018

5 Min Read
New X7 slots in upper-luxury segment but has off-road credentials.
New X7 slots in upper-luxury segment but has off-road credentials.

BMW is targeting the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover with the new X7, its seventh and largest SUV model to date.

Pictured here in production guise for the first time ahead of its public debut at next month’s Los Angeles auto show, the upmarket 7-seater is set for U.S. delivery in March 2019.

Prices are yet to be revealed, though officials suggest the least-costly of new X7 models bound for North American showrooms, the X7 xDrive40i, will retail for about $75,000. By comparison, the smaller and less comprehensively equipped X5 xDrive40i is priced at $60,700.

Conceived to give BMW a greater presence in the growing upper-luxury SUV market, the X7 aims to provide both the comfort and luxury of the German automaker’s 7-Series sedan and the versatility and off-road prowess of the new fourth-generation X5, with which it shares much of its mechanical and electrical architecture.

Key markets for the new leather-lined SUV likely will be the U.S., China, Russia and the Middle East, according to BMW.

Previewed by the Concept X7 at last year’s Frankfurt auto show, its key design elements include a large kidney grille integrated into a near-to-vertical front end, angular LED headlamps (below, left) with optional laser projectors, a heavily contoured hood, tall glasshouse and a 2-piece tailgate that opens electronically.

In keeping with its upmarket aspirations, the new model also makes extensive use of chrome within its exterior.

At 202.8 ins. (5,151 mm) in length, the X7 is 9.1 ins. (231 mm) longer than the new X5 and just 3.5 ins. (89 mm) shorter than BMW’s lengthiest production car, the existing long-wheelbase 7-Series. By comparison, the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover run to lengths of 198.9 ins. (5,052 mm), 203.2 ins. (5,161 mm) and 204.7 ins. (5,199 mm), respectively.

The new BMW is 78.3 ins. (1,989 mm) wide and 70.7 ins. (1,796 mm) tall.

BMW’s latest SUV rides on a lengthened version of the CLAR (cluster architecture) platform used by the X5 and other recent new models, including the latest 3-, 5-, 7- and 8-Series. Its 122.2-in. (3,104-mm) wheelbase is 5.1 ins. (130 mm) longer than that of the new X5.

Inside, the X7 follows the same design theme as the latest X5 with a multilayered dashboard housing a digital instrument panel and a standard 12.3-in. (31-cm) touchscreen infotainment display. Both use BMW’s latest ID7 operating system.

Standard equipment on all models includes four-zone air conditioning, ambient lighting, a three-piece glass sunroof and a park-assistant function with reversing camera. Options include a head-up display, Bowers & Wilkins audio system, conversational speed-recognition control, gesture control and a touchscreen rear-seat entertainment system.

The X7 receives front seats positioned 4.3 ins. (109 mm) higher than in the X5 owing in part to the new SUV’s greater nominal ground clearance, making them the highest-positioned front seats offered among existing BMW models.

A 7-seat layout in a 2-plus-3-plus-2 configuration is standard. All seats, including those in the third row, are electrically adjustable. Buyers also will be able to option the new SUV with six seats in a 2-plus-2-plus-2 configuration with individual second-row seats.

The second row of seats are claimed to offer 3.5 ins. (89 mm) more legroom than those in the X5 when they are extended all the way back. The third row of seats also boasts 1.2 ins. (30 mm) more legroom than the X5’s.

Luggage capacity varies from 11.5 cu.-ft. (325 L) with all seven seats in place to 26.1 cu.-ft. (739 L) with the two rearmost seats folded into the cargo-area floor in a 5-seat layout. With the second-row seats stowed via a standard electric mechanism accessed by a button within the cargo area, maximum load capacity is 74.9 cu.-ft. (2,120 L).

BMW confirms a lineup of four X7 models, though the U.S. initially is expected to receive just two of them. They include the X7 xDrive40i, which runs a turbocharged 3.0L gasoline inline 6-cyl. with 335 hp and 332 lb.-ft. (450 Nm) of torque, and the X7 xDrive50i, which uses a turbocharged gasoline 4.4L V-8 with 456 hp and 479 lb.-ft. (649 Nm) of torque.

The X7 xDrive40i accelerates from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.1 seconds and reaches a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). The X7 xDrive50i is credited with an official 0-62 mph time of 5.4 seconds and the same 155 mph top speed as its less powerful sibling.

For other markets there is the X7 xDrive30d, whose turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cyl. diesel produces 355 hp and 457 lb.-ft. (620 Nm), and the X7 M50d M-Performance, which gets a quad-turbocharged version of BMW’s 3.0L inline 6-cyl. diesel with 394 hp and 560 lb.-ft. (759 Nm) of torque.


All X7 models receive an 8-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive 4-wheel-drive system, with the X7 M50d also featuring a standard, electronically controlled M Sport differential. An optional Off-Road Package brings four added driving modes, including xSand, xGravel, xRocks and xSnow.

Despite offering the new X5 with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, BMW has not yet confirmed it for the heavier X7 due to concerns about its electric range being below the 50-mile (80-km) target laid out in the latest Chinese market regulations.

Wards sources say plans exist to modify the gasoline-electric system used by the X5 xDrive45e I Performance with newer lithium-ion batteries or even a whole new generation of solid-state battery technology in a move that could provide the big SUV with an electric range well over the 60-mile (96-km) mark.

The X7 will be produced alongside the X3, X4, X5 and X6 at BMW’s Spartanburg, SC, factory in the U.S. The automaker doesn’t disclose planned volumes, though sources say internal estimates expect a level of sales similar to those of the smaller X6, which found more than 48,000 buyers worldwide in 2017.



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