► Plug-in BMW X7 concept
► Previews new large SUV
► All you need to know
In the not-too-distant future, you’ll be seeing this car clogging up the school run, sitting outside executive airport drop-off zones and probably the golf club.
It’s the new BMW X7, or at least the concept version of BMW’s newest SUV, snappily named the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance. It's be part of the BMW new car onslaught at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.
What’s the name about?
We all know the bigger the number, the bigger, more luxurious the car in BMW’s line-up, and the company is billing the new X7 as 'a new take on luxury for the BMW brand.' So, it’s a high-riding 7-series, with six luxurious armchairs and a whole lot of tech on board.
It’ll be joining the new 8-series coupe, i8, i8 Roadster and existing 7-series at the top end of BMW’s range.
There’s tech under the bonnet too, thanks to that iPerformance badge, denoting a combination of regular TwinPower Turbo engine and electric motor under the skin. A smattering of eDrive badges around the car show it’s running a hybrid system - exact powertrain details will be announced at Frankfurt.
Why does it look like that?
Excellent question. For BMW’s biggest model, surely it deserves the biggest, most imposing front-end, right? But bigger isn’t always better, and those ginormous kidney grilles dominating the front of the car are just too much.
BMW will tell you it’s all about that it represents the pinnacle of the brand and something about a powerful look. However, it just seems a bit over the top, especially lined up against those slick, slime LED headlamp units.
That aside it’s nothing surprising, with a window line that echoes that of the brand’s latest range of SUVs and a much more tightly styled rear end with some eye-catching full-width LED lights - very à la mode.
There are plenty of creases down the side of the car and silver trim running around the edges, with extra details reaching up into the bumpers and by the front doors (haven’t we seen something similar on the Range Rover?). That gives just a hint as to where this car is being pitched.
Is it like a 7-series inside?
It’s a concept car, so there are details that won’t make it to the production car, but it’s not a million miles away from what BMW is doing with its interiors already.
The basic architecture is there with simple lines, a wide-looking dash and a big infotainment screen sitting in the centre of the dash. Digital dials and next-gen iDrive controls make up the rest of the cabin up front, upholstered in plush leather.
Expect to see a simpler steering wheel, much smaller headrests than the pillows in this car and fewer bright shiny bits; there’s backlit crystal glass in here for goodness’ sake. But as it’s billed as a luxury model, we can’t imagine an awful lot will change too dramatically.
Anything else I need to know?
This is a car packed with advanced tech, most of which we imagine will find its way into the X7 that you could have sitting behind your electric gates.
A pair of screens for middle row passengers mean they watch what they want, send things they’re browsing on the internet to another part of the car for others to enjoy (or you could just physically tell them about it), and use the full services of BMW Connected like you can in other BMWs.
There’s a significant focus on productivity and work-related things, confirming that BMW sees this as its high-riding 7 Series, where people will be driven in it, rather than driving themselves.
Munich's photocopier is working - check out the new BMW X3 here