IT started with BMW’s X1 back in 2009, now, 10 years on, the X factor has already reached 7.
The new SUV is a biggie, more than 5m in length and 2m wide and it’s scheduled to arrive in May, at about the same time as the general election, in a two-model diesel-powered range.
The seven-seater X7 will be sold from $119,900 for the twin-turbo xDrive 30d and the quad-turbo M50d will cost $169,900.
The 3.0litre straight-six engines produce 195kW/620Nm in the 30d and a massive 294kW/760Nm in the M50d, with respective sprints to 100km/h in 7.0 and 5.4 seconds.
Both models get 8-speed Steptronic transmission with all-wheel drive and two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling.
Ride height is adjustable via a toggle for off-road driving, or by activating a ‘loading mode’ that can lower the vehicle 40mm for easier access.
It’s a hard thing to miss: The X7 kidney grille is BMW’s biggest one yet, more of a one-piece than the twin grilles of the past, and could easily be mistaken for one of the flashy new Chinese SUVs until the familiar BMW roundel comes into focus.
Both models are high-spec.
The xDrive30d runs on 20-inch wheels with run flat tyres and features adaptive headlights, electronically adjustable seats in all three rows, seven USB points, wireless phone charging, Vernasca leather trim, four-zone climate control, three-part panoramic sunroof and a head-up display.
“This experience can be further augmented by the optional Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge,” BMW says.
“Once dark, LEDs light up over 15,000 graphic patterns, bringing an expanse of
It also has Parking Assistant Plus, with Reversing Assistant, Lateral Parking Aid,
Then there’s Live Cockpit Professional, which includes a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, 12.3-inch BMW operating system 7.0 display and ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant.’
And a 10-speaker audio system.
The M50d comes with an M
Inside it has Alcantara trim, a
Both models have 40/20/40 split-fold seats and 326litres of cargo space, expandable to 2,120 litres via the seat-flattening process.
Plus, of course, every bit of safety electronica known to mankind.
“This game-changing BMW X range topper sets a new benchmark for opulence, unrivalled by anything in the premium Sports Activity Vehicle segment,” BMW Australia CEO Vikram Pawah said.
For example, “to amplify the luxury experience, customers can opt for the stunning ‘CraftedClarity’ application, which includes a handmade diamond-cut glass gear selector, embellished iDrive Controller and audio system control.”
That huge grille, by the way, has air flaps which open or close as needed for increased cooling and aerodynamic efficiency.
Driving in the X7, BMW says, is a ‘presidential experience.’
But I wonder how I’ll explain that ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ to my wife.