BMW’s new concept X7 hints at a new seven-seater SUV to come
With the unveiling of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, the BMW Group is not only pulling back the covers on a new model concept for the luxury segment, it is also introducing a whole new take on luxury for the BMW brand. The Concept X7 iPerformance embodies this understanding of luxury in the form of a striking exterior composed of intently focused lines, and combines it with a generously-sized, six-person interior pared down to the essentials: elementary forms, high-class materials and a state-of-the-art infotainment system brimming with connectivity. The Concept’s iPerformance badge denotes the presence of groundbreaking BMW eDrive technology allied with a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine to create an exceptionally efficient and dynamic plug-in hybrid powertrain that excels in all driving situations – including running with zero local emissions.
A taster of the production version.
This study car offers a look ahead to the future production model set to make its debut in 2018. The forthcoming BMW X7 forms part of the largest model offensive in the company’s history. As part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy, the BMW Group is seeking to substantially increase its sales and revenues in the luxury class. The BMW X7 has a key role to play here, as Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Management Board responsible for Sales and Brand BMW explains: “Since BMW founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment with the first X5 back in 1999, every subsequent X vehicle has broken new ground. The BMW X7 continues this tradition: the X family’s new top model extends BMW’s offering in the luxury class and redefines the concept of luxury for the BMW brand and beyond. It also embodies one of the most important elements of our corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, to grow our presence in the luxury class. Furthermore, the BMW Concept X7 demonstrates it’s perfectly possible to combine a large sports activity vehicle with an electrified drivetrain.”
A case study in modernity, luxury and presence.
The status of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance as a luxury-class BMW SAV is instantly apparent. The spectacular exterior, imposing dimensions and skilfully judged proportions endow it with an extraordinary sense of presence and an ultra-modern aesthetic fused with innate dynamism. “The Concept introduces the BMW Sports Activity Vehicle DNA into the luxury segment. The new BMW design language employs just a few, extremely precise lines and subtle surface-work to raise the bar in terms of presence and prestige,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance has a luxurious and sophisticated feel to it, thanks to its understated use of forms and incredibly precise details.”
The luxurious character of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is brought alive by its cabin, in particular. The vehicle’s sheer size forms the basis for an interior experience unmatched by any BMW past or present. As a result of the interplay between precise, pared-down forms and an open sense of space, the driver and passengers find themselves immersed in a very modern setting with an equally exclusive feel. The wealth of possibilities offered by personalised, digital connectivity allows the vehicle’s interior to be turned, as desired, into a personalised place of either retreat or productivity.
Inside the roomy cabin of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, clear forms, warm colours and select materials combine to create a highly exclusive, sophisticated ambience. In addition, the large panoramic roof provides a remarkable amount of room above the occupants’ heads while also giving the interior a light and airy, open-to-the-sky feel. The six amply proportioned seats are arranged in three rows, and four of them have an exclusive individual design. Secured to the vehicle floor by nothing more than a slender seat base, the individual seats allow those sitting directly behind to enjoy generous legroom. The dark, olive-bronze leather – with discreet gold pigmentation – covering the seat bolsters carries the air of exclusivity through to the finer details and the Smoke White leather adorning the remainder of the seats provides an intriguing contrast. The shell-like backs of the individual seats are likewise trimmed in leather and serve to enhance the high-class, contemporary ambience.
Personalised infotainment through the seamless integration of the owner’s digital world into the car.
The two individual seats in the second row offer all the benefits of the front pair. The first sign of an attachment between the panoramic roof and body comes comfortably to the rear of the second row of seats in the form of a Y structure, which means the passengers in the centre row experience the same sensation of freedom and lightness as those in the front. Second-row passengers also enjoy personalised infotainment comfort courtesy of the rear-seat entertainment system’s touchscreen monitors. Here, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance showcases the BMW Group’s vision of seamless integrating the customer’s digital world into the car via BMW Connected. For example, passengers here have access to highly personalised, digital services such as their choice of infotainment / office content, with which they can make their journey more comfortable, more entertaining or more productive. And content can even be shared with others on board. For instance, they can send a track to the car’s music system by touch gesture, forward an interesting article to the next-door display for the person sitting alongside them to read or transfer an address from their email directly to the car’s navigation system. Interactive LED choreography via the doors and instrument panel traces the communication flow between the rear screens and the display at the front of the cabin.
A new face in the BMW X family.
The front end of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is one of its most eye-catching angles, the vehicle’s height alone ensuring it rises prominently over the road. In an all-new interpretation of classical BMW elements, the front-end design groups together the various facets of the vehicle into a powerful visual statement. The large, vertical kidney grille at the heart of the upright front-end silhouette hogs the attention. The grille frame and bars are single-piece and solid in design, as if hewn from a single piece. Look at it again, though, and fascinating contrasts emerge between gleaming edges and matt surfaces, all of which breathes extra vibrancy and class into the frontal impression.
The upper sections of the slim, elongated twin headlights with BMW laser light link to the large kidney grille. A blue X signature in BMW laser light provides a confident pointer to the Concept’s membership of the SAV family from BMW. The headlights and kidney grille combine to create an exciting contrast of horizontal dynamism and vertical solidity, bringing traditional BMW front-end design cues into the future. Large, tautly sculpted surfaces surround the familiar BMW design icons, underlining the car’s cohesive and muscular front-end aesthetic.
A prominent bar extends across the full width of the front apron in its lower section, before rising vertically to frame the outer air intakes at their upper edge. This lends the front end additional stature. Quasi-vertical aero lips further accentuate the car’s powerfully assured stance on the road. Customary X features like the trapezoidal bumpers and underguard, meanwhile, are merely hinted at, their understated design serving the cause of clear and exclusive surfacing.
Distinctive brand presence for BMW’s luxury-segment cars.
As part of its forthcoming model offensive, BMW has developed a new presence for its luxury cars that sees the profile and positioning of the most exclusive members of its range refined into a distinct product category.
The new BMW 8 Series, new BMW X7, BMW i8 and new BMW i8 Roadster will join the BMW 7 Series in the brand’s significantly expanded luxury segment line-up. The identity and attitude shared by BMW’s elite models are echoed in a newly designed logo which combines a black-and-white version of the manufacturer’s roundel first used 100 years ago with the company name “Bayerische Motoren Werke” written out in full.
With its classical, understated aesthetic and the company’s original name spelt out, the logo highlights BMW’s inimitable history. The boldness to explore standalone solutions and concepts, and the ability to take on challenges and emerge from them stronger, are deeply-rooted elements of BMW heritage. This approach – encompassing everything from the first altitude-world-record-breaking aero engine to the launch of the BMW i brand – has proven to be a recipe for success, as well as showcasing the company’s passion, confidence and gift for bringing the future into the present day.