Slowly though surely, BMW’s newest flagship is holding shape. The initial pre-production X7s are already rolling off a line in Spartanburg, USA, conspicuously lonesome in complicated camouflaged cladding. At 5.2 metres prolonged and over twin metres wide, it’s a biggest SUV that BMW has ever built. In fact, it’s bigger than a Mercedes GLC (5.13 metres), and even longer than a not-for-UK Cadillac Escalade (5.18 metres).
To see what’s in store, we were invited to South Carolina for an early expostulate in a German firm’s stirring range-topper. Even in a pre-production disguise, a transparent a X7 won’t remove any of BMW’s recognizable pattern cues. The front is dominated by an oversized kidney grille, while a LED headlights are a curtsy to those found on a latest X3. The 3.2-metre wheelbase means there’s copiousness of space inside, even in a third quarrel of seats.
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The cabin is covered, too, though it’s transparent BMW will lift a ambience with copiousness of high-quality materials. The motorist gets a entirely digital display, that sits behind a steering circle carried true from a 7 Series saloon. The executive shade houses all from sat-nav to media, and is operable around voice, gesticulate or touch, as good as by a informed iDrive controller.
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Lots of a X7 is crafted from lightweight aluminium and combination materials. While engines and specs are unconfirmed, it’s expected European buyers will get a choice of 6 and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel motors, as good as plug-in hybrid versions after down a line. Power is delivered around BMW’s xDrive all-wheel expostulate complement and an eight-speed involuntary transmission.
Our initial ambience came pleasantness of a range-topping 4.4-litre V8 version. It’s a same engine found in a 750i, despite with energy increased to 456bhp, and gives a X7 a twin personality. It feels like a distracted longhorn underneath tough acceleration, though abate things off and a large SUV presents most milder manners.
The pointy controls, all-round atmosphere cessation and active stabilisers seem to cringe a X7 by parsimonious corners. The double glazing and additional sound deadening meant it’s impossibly still during high speed, too. This is an SUV designed from a opening to disagree with a 7 Series for a pretension of quietest BMW.
Pricing for a X7 is not nonetheless fixed, though we design things to start from around £85,000. The automobile will be suggested in full after this year, though tellurian start early in 2019.