BMW plans to join the seven-seat brigade with its Frankfurt motor show concept, the X7 iPerformance SUV, and compete with the large-class SUVs from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Audi, Volvo and Lexus.
It’s more than a concept, though, with BMW stating it’s almost production-ready and could see showrooms in 2018 with a likelihood of an Australian appearance soon after.
The X7 – which is its production name – is based on the platform of the brand’s largest current SUV, the X5, albeit with stretched proportions for better third-row space and cargo capacity compared with its stablemate.
BMW did not officially state what powers the 5200mm X7, but it is reported to have a 3.0-litre turbo-six with an electric motor.
BMW said the X7 will come as a proper seven-seater though showed the concept at Frankfurt this week with three rows of two seats.
For production, the X7 is also expected to lose some show-stand glitz including the transparent roof with supporting Y-shaped structures, 23-inch wheels and the dashboard’s crystal glass switches.
BMW did not officially state what powers the 5200mm X7, but it is reported to have a 3.0-litre turbo-six with an electric motor. The SUV concept has plug-in technology carried over from the X5 xDrive40e SUV and 530e and 740e sedans.
In profile the X7 has some of the bull-nosed styling and side-glass elements of the Volvo XC90. The pronounced twin kidney grilles are the largest to be fitted to a BMW and are flanked by slim LED headlights that give the face the impression of a squinting rabbit.
The concept is shown with 23-inch wheels, flush door handles, chrome horizontal trim to the lower side edges and the tailgate, and three-dimensional L-shaped tail-lights.
Inside, the X7 concept is an evolution of the latest BMW cabin design with two 12.3-inch TFT screens that flow from the centre to the driver’s binnacle.
Plush cabin materials include olive-bronze leather fascias with gold pigment, open-pore ash, real aluminium accents and crystal glass switches.
The second-row passengers share the personalised infotainment with the front occupants.
The six seats are individual shell-backed lounge seats that ride on slender rails to maximise foot space.
The second-row passengers share the personalised infotainment with the front occupants, including touchscreen monitors with access to digital services and office content.
Users can also send a song they want to hear to the vehicle’s music system using touch gesture, as well as send an article to the person sitting next to them.
The X7 was first hinted at in 2014 when BMW confirmed a seven-seat model would be made at the company’s Spartanburg, South Carolina factory.