After several teasers and concepts, BMW has lifted the lid on its new X7 SUV – the largest car the brand has ever built.
The colossal X7 takes aim at the likes of the Range Rover and Mercedes GLS, looking to inject some of BMW’s sporting heritage into the sector with a rear-biased four-wheel-drive setup and powerful engines.
The X7 is longer than a Range Rover but slightly lower and weighs more than 2.4 tonnes in its lightest form.
Styling is an evolution of the X7 concept and is certainly striking. The largest iteration of BMW’s ‘kidney’ grilles graces the front end, giving it a distinctive – if not exactly pretty – face. Standard LED head- and tail-lights add a sharp edge, while all models get a panoramic glass roof. Wheel sizes range up to a massive 22 inches.
With such a huge body to move around, it’s not surprising that BMW has given the X7 a selection of beefy engines. While overseas markets gain a range-topping ‘50i’ petrol, in Europe there’s only an xDrive 40i on offer – a straight-six turbocharged engine with 335bhp on tap.
Two diesels flank this – badged xDrive 30d and xDrive M50d. The former offers 262bhp and marks the entry point to the range, while the latter – in keeping with its M badging – tops the current line-up with 395bhp. Somewhat surprisingly, there’s no hybrid option on offer – but the X7 is based on similar underpinnings to the new X5, so there’s a possibility the brand will introduce one in the future.
The xDrive moniker signifies that all X7s are equipped with four-wheel drive, as befits an SUV. However, the setup retains a rear bias, potentially injecting some of that handling magic for which the brand is famed.
Inside, the X7 is pure BMW, with a driver-focused cockpit featuring cutting-edge technology as standard. A full digital dial pack consists of a pair of 12.3-inch displays for driving information and infotainment, all controlled through the latest iteration of the firm’s iDrive system. There’s also a full suite of active safety aids.
A seven-seat configuration comes as standard, although uniquely customers can specify a 2-2-2 six-seater option. There’s currently no ‘executive’ model to rival Range Rover’s luxurious four-seater long-wheelbase configuration, though.
Sales of the new X7 begin in April 2019, with prices starting from £72,155. That’s a fair lick cheaper than the £81,900 Range Rover but sits above the £70,615 Mercedes GLS.