BMW has unveiled the Concept X7 iPerformance, which previews plans for a luxurious SUV to sit above the X5. The new six-seat SUV presages a planned production version of theX7 that is due to reach showrooms late next year, offering conventional petrol and diesel models and, as showcased by the concept, a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid with a zero-emission range of up to 62 miles.
The styling of the Concept X7 iPerformance has clear links to BMW’s earlier Vision Future Luxury Concept, which was revealed at the 2014 Beijing motor show. “The Concept X7 iPerformance introduces the BMW styling DNA to the luxury SUV segment,” said BMW Group design boss Adrian van Hooydonk. “It employs just a few precise lines and subtle surface work.” Features such as the kidney grille, front air vents, brushed aluminium window surround and 23in wheels will be toned down for the X7 production version in much the same way as the detailing of the Vision Future Luxury Concept was refined before appearing on the current 7 Series.
At 5020mm in overall length, 2020mm in width and 1800mm in height, the Concept X7 is 113mm longer,82mm wider and 37mm higher than the existing third-generation X5. It also rides on a wheelbase that is 76mm longer than its smaller SUV sibling, at 3010mm.The dimensions of the concept are said to closely mirror those of the upcoming production model. By way of comparison, the Mercedes-Benz GLS stretches to 5131mm in length, 1981mm in width and 1849mm in height, while riding on a wheelbase of 3076mm.
Inside, the Concept X7 iPerformance provides accommodation for up to six occupants in three rows of seats. Like the Mercedes-Benz GLS, however, the production version has been conceived to offer seating for up to seven. The dashboard and its controls also mark new ground for BMW’s X models, as does the digital instrument display. BMW isn’t giving too much away about the plug-in petrol-electric powertrain used by the Concept X7 iPerformance, although it has confirmed that it has been engineered to deliver a pure-electric range of more than twice that of the existing hybrids offered by the German car maker, at 62miles.
Autocar can reveal that it relies on the same set-up as that used by the 740e xDrive iPerformance, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine operating in combination with an electric motor in the forward section of the gearbox housing, albeit with a larger-capacity battery providing a greater range. Ln the 740e xDrive iPerformance, the plug-in hybrid system produces 255bhp and 295lb ft. The upcoming X7 forms part of a push to further establish BMW’s presence in the luxury car segment. BMW says the X7 production model forms part of an exclusive club of BMW models that includes the 7 Series and upcoming second-generation 8 Series coupe, together with the i8 coupe and the soon-to-be-launched i8 roadster.
“The X7 embodies elements of our corporate strategy to grow our presence in the luxury class,” said BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson. “The X family’s new top model extends BMW’s offering in the luxury class and redefines the concept of luxury for the brand.” In order to underline its upmarket aspirations, BMW’s designers have provided the concept of the new SUV with a revised badge. Harking back to the treatment seen on early B MW models, it combines a black-and-white version of the traditional roundel with the company’s name, Bayerische Motoren Werke, written in full.