All is set for the release of the fiercest Land Rover Range Rover Sport rival yet. I am talking about the upcoming BMW X7 set to debut for the 2018 model year. The 2018 BMW X7 will also go head to head with Mercedes-Benz GLS and Cadillac Escalade. In the automotive world, you can obtain market leadership by always staying ahead of competition by churning out new models one after the other or you can understudy your competition and improve on their offerings. Well, BMW uses both strategies for different models. For its SUV lineup, the automaker has opted for the latter strategy.
For ages, BMW has been shelving production of a full-size SUV. However, increased demand of SUV powered by a decline in fuel prices has finally swayed the automaker to enter into the full-size SUV field. We have already captured prototypes of the model undergoing testing runs on the streets though under heavy camouflage. Having had plenty of time to study its competition, expect BMW to produce a very attractive model with all the luxury trappings, captivating design and convenience common with full-size luxury SUVs. Read along to find out more:
2018 BMW X7 Exterior
The automaker has confirmed that the SUV is underpinned by a rear-wheel-drive platform with an option for all-wheel-drive. The exterior structure and panels will be made of high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber. This means the model will be very light. In terms of size, it will be the biggest ever BMW you have ever seen. However, BMW will certainly hook it up with a sporty character.
Although the prototype we have captured testing was under heavy camouflage, we can see that the model has a typical SUV body including a boxy cabin. Its front fascia looks rather flat. Due to the heavy camouflage, it is difficult to describe its side or rear profiles. However, I do not expect the automaker to depart significantly from the current SUV design language evident on its crossover-SUVs.
2018 BMW X7 Interior
As a full-size SUV, the 2018 BMW X7 will accommodate 7 passengers across three rows. The SUV will be a hit in the USA and China where demand for full-size SUVs for rich, big families is at an all time high. According to reports, the cabin styling will be borrowed from that of the 7-Series.
Like new BMW models, the layout will be driver-focused. The cabin will be roomy with plenty of legroom for the front and second row passengers. The third row will be slightly tight, convenient for children only. It will also leave plenty of cargo room with the ability to expand it by split folding second- and third-row seats. Storage cubicles for drinks and smartphones will be spread all over the cabin.
The cabin spaces will be covered in wood and metal trims with premium leather upholstery on seats, door panels and on the dash. I expect the model to also feature various noise insulation technologies to guarantee quiet rides.
The model will also be equipped with the latest technologies, entertainment and safety systems in the industry. An upgraded version of the iDrive infotainment system will likely be on offer along with a huge display. Audiophiles can anticipate a top-of-the-range Harman Kardon system.
There will be optional packages and stand-alone options to enable buyers to further customize their X7.
Engine specs and performance
BMW is yet to confirm drive-trains that will power the X7. However, I expect the automaker to use its already existing, impressive range of inline-six as well as V-8 mills. Most likely, the pair of 3.0 L, inline-6 diesel power-plant that powers the 30d, 40d and 50d models as well as the 4.4 L, V-8 gasoline mill that currently powers the X6 xDrive50i will be used on the X7.
The automaker may tweak them to provide more output than they currently do. The inline-6 diesel is currently rated at 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque while the V-8 produces 225 horses and 480 lb-ft of torque. Power will be channeled to the rear wheels via ZF, 8-speed automatic transmission system. An AWD system is optional.
Price and release date
It is too early to talk about prices of the model as the X7 is in the early production stages. However, going by the level of its competition, expect a starting price in the range of $75,000. I expect the price to rise above $100,000 for fully equipped trims. As for the release date, the model will break face sometimes in 2018. According to reports, the new BMW X7 will be produced locally at the automaker’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In addition to the Cadillac, the Beemer and the Land Rover Range Rover highlighted in the introduction, the new 2018 BMW X7 will compete against the likes of Infiniti QX80, Audi Q7 and the Lincoln Navigator.