BMW X7: America in Bavarian version
NOVELTY. BMW adds a new member to its family of SUVs, the X7. This imposing and luxurious seven-seater model, designed primarily for the American market, is a replica of the Mercedes-Benz GLS.
Certainly, the BMW X7 will be sold in Europe. But it’s really not in our latitudes that we will see the most this new German SUV. 5.15m long, it is positioned as its name suggests at the very top of the range. His size, his luxury and his seven seats put him in direct competition with the Mercedes-Benz GLS. In short, this model is cut for large spaces, and is intended for the US market, where he would almost figure little player against a Lincoln Navigator, 5.33 m long … In short version!
The X7 is the way for BMW to consolidate its position in North America, which is behind its offer of SUV. By the end of the 1990s, the Bavarian manufacturer built a brand new factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to produce the first generation of X5, with the success we all know. This is also the same X5, whose fourth generation has just been unveiled (read our article on the new BMW X5), which serves as the basis for the X7. Here too, the approach is based on a logic identical to that adopted by Mercedes-Benz for its GLS, which is technically an extended version of the GLE.
-An aggressive front
Aesthetically, BMW wanted to differentiate clearly enough its X7, which is absolutely impossible to confuse with his little brother, regardless of the angle from which it is viewed. Thus, the front appears even more impressive and aggressive, in the vein of the concept car presented a little over a year ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show (read our article on the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance). The two grille nostrils appear oversized, to the point that BMW announces that this is the largest grille ever mounted on a model of the brand. In contrast, the very fine headlights contrast with the rest of the range of SUVs. The spirit of the style study is therefore respected, even if the vertical lines are less abundant on the series model.
The profile view testifies that this X7 shares no body stamp with the X5. The profile shows a certain classicism, with fairly square features, reminiscent in some ways of the late Mercedes-Benz GLK. Too bad, the worked thickness of the chrome rush, which gave relief to the profile of the concept car has disappeared here. The set is not very original, and slice with the front. But the BMW style remains perceptible.
-A dashboard shared with the X5
It is inside that filiation with the X5 is the most flagrant, since the X7 is identical to the dashboard of the latter. Certainly, the materials and textures are different to ensure the status of the newcomer. For example the beautiful navy blue and white leather that illustrates these columns is unavailable on the X5. In the second row, the choice is allowed between a bench with three sliding seats, as on the X5, or two individual seats with settings possibilities identical to those of the front. Finally, BMW announces that the two third-row seats, which come standard, can comfortably accommodate adults. However, they are thinner than those in the second row and therefore less fluffy.
Of course, you need powerful engines to animate this colossus, whose lightest version accuses 2.320 kg on the scale. That’s why BMW does not offer anything smaller than six-cylinder. Diesel engines should initially be the main sales in Europe, with a six-cylinder of 3.0 liters declined in two powers: 265 hp (xDrive30d) and 400 hp (tri-turbo, M50d). A petrol alternative is offered with the 340 hp xDrive40i, while a 462 hp V8 (xDrive50i) is reserved for certain markets, but unavailable in Europe. Without a doubt, a rechargeable hybrid version is expected to appear in the months that follow. It was announced in the background of last year’s concept car, betrayed by the suffix iPerformance.
Production of the BMW X7 will begin in March 2019, in the same US factory as the X5. Logically, both models will share their technology, with the presence of a semi-automatic driver on the highway. We also note the presence of a reverse assistant, able to reproduce exactly the last meters traveled forward. Standard headlights are diode, and can be optional adaptive, with a long range laser. This SUV presents itself as the state of the art in terms of equipment and assistance. prices will start from 94,400 € with the xDrive30d version, to reach 120,450 € – excluding options – in M50d.