NEWS ➤ BMW’s range-topping X7 SUV set for early 2019
By Wayne Gorrett
- New X7 borrows technology from the Rolls-Royce Cullinan
- Three engines available from launch in March
- Specs include seven seats and BMW’s xDrive AWD tech
- All models deploy BMW’s eight-speed automatic
In borrowing the latest high-end technology first deployed in the Roll-Royce Cullinan, BMW is going after the Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GLS with its new X7 flagship SUV revealed this week ahead of its UK launch in March next year.
Like wine-tasting, all opinions on automotive styling are subjective. So, whatever you’re opinion of BMW’s new behemoth, you can’t say it doesn’t have road gravitas. With its massive grille, tall ride height, slab-like sides and huge wheels, the X7 is certainly less of an SUV and more a luxurious land-yacht.
With seven other models in the current SUV line-up, there can be little wonder that this type of car accounts for more than a third of all BMWs leaving showrooms.
When in production later this year, it will be the largest SUV ever made by the Bavarian automaker and, at 5,151mm long and 2,218mm wide, the X7 is larger than a Range Rover. However, it has a slightly lower profile at 1,805mm tall. It’s also the heaviest production car BMW has made, tipping the scales at over 2.4 tonnes in its lightest, range-entry guise. Wheel options range up to 22 inches and there’s LED head and tail-lights as standard, plus a glass panoramic roof. Laser headlights with a penetrating 600m range are optional.
Two diesels and a petrol engine will be offered in the UK from launch, all of which will send power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The xDrive30d has a 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel producing 262hp / 620Nm and will be the range-entry model when the car goes on sale next year.
In the middle of the three-tier X7 power scale will be the xDrive40i which is a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol option with 335hp / 447Nm. At the top of the X7 line-up will be the omnipotent M50d model developed with help from BMW’s M-division. Its extra power is aided by a set of triple turbochargers blowing into its six cylinders and produces 395hp / 740Nm.
The xDrive all-wheel-drive system will retain BMW’s rear-drive-biased set-up. For those intending to take their X7s a bit further off the beaten track, an off-road package with driving modes tailored for snow, sand, gravel and rocky surfaces will be available on the options list.
The X7 is a seven-seat SUV, with a full-size third row capable of seating two adults. As standard it features a middle bench that seats three people, straddled across a flat transmission tunnel. However, in a move unique for the class, buyers can opt for a six-seat set-up instead; it features two large seats complete with armrests in the middle row.
Keep all seven seats in place and the boot’s capacity is 326 litres – just a little more than you’d get in an average family supermini. Fold the third row flat and 725 litres are on offer, while folding all five rear seats down opens up a cavernous 2,120 litres of load space.
Up front, the basic layout of the dash is similar to those of other recent BMWs but the X7 stands out thanks to its selection of metal and wood trims, ambient lighting strips and fancy crystalline gear selector. BMW’s iDrive 7.0 in-car control and infotainment tech features across dual 12.3-inch high-definition displays.
➤ Call and have a chat with our friendly Customer Service Team on 01565 656 666 to register your interest in the all-new 2019 BMW X7 SUV.