Plug-in hybrid seven-seat SUV takes shape
The BMW Concept X7 - which previews the company's upcoming X7 SUV flagship - has been leaked online ahead of an expected reveal at next week's Frankfurt motor show.
The Concept X7 sports a large, upright interpretation of the Bavarian manufacturer's double-kidney front grille, flanked by slim headlights with tightly-cropped quad-LED daytime-running light rings.
The high roofline extends right to the tailgate - going against the recent sloping coupe-like trend - allowing for maximum occupant headroom. The long wheelbase again is for rear passenger comfort, as is the large glasshouse on the sides and rear.
Out back, there are very slim wrap-around LED tail-lights that are joined through the centre by a thin chrome strip and ultra-thin light strip. The upright slits in the rear bumper match the ones carved into the front fenders, while large chrome alloy wheels fill the pumped guards.
We can also see three rows of seating, and while the concept appears to have six pews (three rows of two), the production version is expected to offer the option of five, six, and seven seats.
A single image of the cockpit reveals a futuristic steering wheel design, a fully-digital driver's display, and a new look for the floating iDrive infotainment system that gives the illusion that it is joined to the instrument cluster.
There's lashings of chrome everywhere, a two-tone colour scheme, light blue LED interior lighting, and what appears to be touch-sensitive capacitive controls throughout the dashboard and centre console.
The concept actually looks quite similar to the various prototypes that have been spied recently (above), but it's typical BMW fashion to preview new models with near-production show cars.
Going by the charging flap on the front left fender and 'e-Drive' badging on the D-pillars, the Concept X7 will be powered by a plug-in hybrid iPerformance powertrain, likely the same one that does service in '40e' variants of the smaller X5 SUV and 7 Series limousine - which combines a 190kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol with an 83kW/250Nm electric motor for system outputs of 240kW and 500Nm.
Following the reveal of the Concept X7 in Frankfurt, the production X7 is expected to debut sometime next year ahead of a late-2018/early-2019 launch.
The BMW X7 has already been confirmed for our market, with local boss Marc Werner telling CarAdvice in February that the company's largest SUV will be offered in right-hand drive, and thus introduced to Australia shortly after the global launch - though this could be one or two years away.
"[It's] coming and that’s good news. It’s confirmed for Australia, though it’s still a couple of years away. That’s ok," Werner said earlier this year.
Stay tuned for updates during our coverage of the Frankfurt motor show next week.
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