BMW rewrites its luxury code with the Concept X7 iPerformance

The long wait for BMW’s range-topping SUV continues, but at least we have a better idea of the full-size luxury vehicle’s design. BMW revealed a Concept X7 iPerformance ahead of this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

BMW says the concept is not just a preview of the production X7, it is a “whole new take on luxury for the brand.” The concept is designed to accommodate six people in a minimalist cabin. Embodied within the teaser vehicle is BMW’s next generation of styling, interior technology, and powertrains.

The German automaker hopes the X7 will expand the group’s luxury sales considerably.

“Since BMW founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment with the first X5 back in 1999, every subsequent X vehicle has broken new ground,” Ian Robertson, a member of the BMW AG Management Board, said in a statement. “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.”

In terms of exterior style, it is clear BMW is reaching for a futuristic aesthetic, though the effectiveness of the design is unclear. Specifically, we cannot get over how BMW keeps warping its classic kidney grille. The last few concept vehicles have gone buck-toothed, making us cringe a bit. The remained of the exterior is clean, finished in a Manhattan metallic paint, with just a few, precise lines and subtle cues. Twenty-three-inch light-alloy wheels sit within circular cut wheel arches for a more elegant stance than current BMW X models.

Inside, the cabin looks and feels large thanks to a huge panoramic sunroof and six large seats in three rows (BMW’s first three-row design). Dark, olive-bronze leather covers the seat bolsters and contrasts white leather on the rest of the surface. Other interior materials include open-pore ash trim panels and polished aluminum surfaces. The roof also incorporates strands of laser lights.

On the tech front, the Concept X7 iPerformance uses a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and central touchscreen. The effect is one continuous display. Below are controls within a backlit-crystal glass surface. An updated BMW iDrive controller and new steering wheel mounted controls are part of the futuristic cabin.

Powering the Concept X7 is a BMW eDrive motor paired with a TwinPower Turbo gas engine (a combination we quite enjoy in BMW’s X5 xDrive40e). It is unclear what has been updated for this motor but we can all but guarantee more all-electric range and more power than the current eDrive setup.

The flagship SUV concept debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show before a production version goes on sale in 2018.

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