BMW X7 will be added to the global fleet late next year; will be available in different seat configurations and with hybrid as well as performance powertrains
BMW were not known as a SUV or crossover manufacturer until 1999 when it launched the original X5. It commenced a journey that led to the German brand being one of the sought-after SUV companies in the world in the following decades. With the growing popularity of full-sized crossovers, BMW will be addressing the needs in the luxury segment with a brand new model.
It has already been confirmed that the flagship X7 will be hitting the dealerships towards the end of next year and we can expect it to arrive at Indian showrooms in early 2019. Hendrik von Kuenheim, Senior VP, BMW Group has told Autocar that the whole SUV series will be sold in India with the X7 topping the range. The news comes hot on the heels of the all-new X2 crossover which is highly impressive on paper with packed technologies and is expected to reach our shores by mid-2018.
To be slotted above the X5 in the growing fleet of comprehensive SUVs, the X7 will compete against the likes of Mercedes GLS as a larger model will allow for seating of seven occupants. Depending on the customers’ preference and specification, it could have as few as four seats for reaching wider audience.
Apparently, the hybrid variants and performance-spec trims allow for deeper interest. We can safely drool over an upcoming M version in different options and seat configurations. It will be fifth model to be rolled out of BMW’s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina.
It has become the largest plant for the brand in terms of utilisation and output. However, in order to accommodate the expanding SUV range, it might have to increase its capacity. In 2016, 4,11,000 vehicles were produced there which was almost as close to the maximum output of 4,50,000 annually.
The new X7 will enable the brand to boast themselves as the largest automobile exporter from US in value. As per US Department of Commerce, the plant has seen investment of $8 billion since kicking off operations in later 1994 and it resulted in over $10 billion worth of export.
The right-hand-drive version of the X7 will be produced by the end of 2018 and is said to be brought into India as full import initially. The production version of the X7 has already been spotted running trails on foreign soil and it takes several design cues from the X7 iPerformance concept showcased at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
It is underpinned by the CLAR architecture shared with the 7-Series and 5-Series. The X7 range is expected to come with include xDrive30i, xDrive40i, xDrive50i, xDrive30d, xDrive40d and xDrive50d variants and will have lightweight material used in its bodywork for optimal performance. The Indian customers are expected to get only the 4.4-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine initially.
The arrival of the eco-friendly 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor connected to an electric motor could happen at a later time. It depends on the same configuration as the 740e xDrive iPerformance with a high capacity battery capable of delivering 100 km electric range. The prices are believed to start at Rs. 1.3 crore and it goes all the way up to Rs. 2 crore for the hybrid version.
It will have extravagant styling as the concept with a distinguishably upright kidney grille. The upcoming BMW X7 will have the most advanced driver assistance and safety features from the brand while top-notch connectivity, plush interior and semi-autonomous driving functions are part of the package.
BMW X7 iPerformance Concept Images