And it looks just like the concept, for better or worse. Have we reached peak grille?
BMW has officially unveiled its new seven-seat SUV flagship, the X7, in four different trim grades.
As you've probably gathered, the X7 is seriously big. Measuring 5151mm long, 2000mm wide and 1805mm tall, with a 3105mm wheelbase, it dwarves the already-massive X5 (4922mm/2004mm/1745mm) above which it sits in the range.
Very little effort has been made to hide that size, with a supersized take on the classic BMW kidney grille dominating the front end. We've no doubt you'll tell us how you feel about the look, but suffice to say it's divided opinion around the CarAdvice office.
There are slim LED headlights (laser units are optional) that feed into the grille, while the lower air intake is finished with chrome around its edges to really ram home the whole 'prestige' angle. 20-inch wheels are standard, but options up to 22 inches are offered.
Two trim lines will be available: M Sport and Design Pure Excellence, each offering a unique focus. The major differences are laid out in the image above, but M Sport is designed to more heavily emphasise the 'sports' side of SUV, while the Design Pure Excellence is all about luxury.
As the biggest, baddest SUV in the BMW stable, the X7 comes standard with three-row seating and space for up to seven. The company claims the third row is fit for 'adult passengers over longer journeys', while captain chairs are available for the second row should your precious little ones demand a more luxurious throne.
Regardless of which seating option is specced, the second row can slide fore/aft by 14cm. With all three rows in place you get 326L of luggage space, expandable to 2120L with all three rows folded. Air suspension is standard, and allows the car to drop for easier loading.
The interior is full loaded with all the technology BMW has to offer, from OS7.0 infotainment with a fully-digital driver's display to a three-panel panoramic sunroof, while there's an optional five-zone climate control system. Heated and cooled cupholders, a 20-speaker audio system, dual-panel rear-seat entertainment system, and a DVD/Blu-Ray player are all available.
Power will come from four turbocharged engines at launch – an xDrive40i inline-six, xDrive50i V8, xDrive30d inline-six and xDrive M50d inline-six will be available, although Europe won't be getting the 50i. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive, combined with a M Sport differential on the M50d.
An off-road package is also available, adding the rear differential along with additional cladding on the underbody and unique drive modes.
Outputs are as follows:
- xDrive40i: 250kW/450Nm
- xDrive50i: 340kW/650Nm
- xDrive30d: 195kW/620Nm
- xDriveM50d: 294kW/760Nm
On the driver assistance front, the car will be offered with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and steering assist, just like the 7 Series. It'll also offer something called Emergency Stop Assistant, which allows passengers to pull the electric park brake if the driver is incapacitated and have the car pull to the side of the road.
The car will pull off any required lane changes between 70 and 100km/h, and can call emergency services by itself.
Given its size, BMW's surround-view camera and parking sensors are both standard, making this seven-seat barge easier to place in town.
BMW says the X7 will be here in the second quarter of 2019. It hasn't confirmed a launch line-up, but we'd suggest it could match that of the X5, with an xDrive 30d and M50d.