BMW X7 seven-seat SUV to be the brand’s new luxury flagship
BMW plugs the last gap in its extensive SUV line-up with the flagship X7, a full-sized luxury vehicle to the burgeoning ranks amid such rivals as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Bentley Bentayga and standard wheelbase Range Rover.
The X7's boxy styling fits in well with its competitors, bringing BMW's classic styling to a larger scale - the signature kidney-shaped grille is especially prominent.
BMW aims to make the X7 a tech leader with the inclusion of its new personal assistant that responds to the prompt "Hey BMW" in a similar way to Mercedes' new intelligent interface.
However, BMW's assistant differs from other manufacturers' examples by allowing owners to give the assistant a name to which it will respond. The assistant can be commanded in a more conversational tone with drivers simply saying "I'm cold" and the car will raise the temperature by 1 degree.
The technology will also explain to owners how certain safety features work and can provide current status of information - for example, a driver can ask "is the oil level OK?" and the AI assistant will respond accordingly. These features are in addition to the technology's ability to control climate and infotainment functions.
A wide ranging safety suite enhances the X7 hi-tech feel with lane keep assist, lane change assist, evasion aid, cross traffic warning and parking assistant among the highlights.
The X7 is a larger version of the popular X5 - adding about 150mm in length and 60mm in height.
The longer wheelbase allows BMW to add a third row of seats as standard - unique among the Bavarian brand's SUVs. BMW promises the electronically controlled rear seats are full size, enhanced with armrests, cup holders and USB ports.
BMW will launch four grades of X7 - 40i, 50i, 30d and M50d.
The 40i and 50i are petrol engined, respectively with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo (250kW/450Nm) and a 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo (340kW/650Nm).
The six-cylinder turbo diesel 30d and quad-turbo M50d in turn produce 195kW/620Nm and 294kW/760Nm.
The sole transmission is an eight-speed automatic that delivers power to all four wheels.
BMW will confirm which models it will bring to Australia closer to the car's launch date in the first half of 2019.
The X7 signifies its luxury flagship status with alloy wheels of 20 to 22-inch diameter.
Inside the X7 is kitted out with leather trim, premium audio, panoramic sunroof and a fragrance disperser. The dash is dominated by a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and an infotainment screen of the same size.