Automotive

Gargantuan X7 Concept iPerformance previews a bold BMW flagship

Gargantuan X7 Concept iPerform...
The BMW X7 iPerformance is a gargantuan vision for the future of BMW SUVs
The BMW X7 iPerformance is a gargantuan vision for the future of BMW SUVs
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The giant panoramic roof on the X7 iPerformance is designed to make the cabin feel light and airy 
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The giant panoramic roof on the X7 iPerformance is designed to make the cabin feel light and airy 
Behind the wheel of the BMW X7 iPerformance 
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Behind the wheel of the BMW X7 iPerformance 
The cabin of the X7 iPerformance is almost production ready 
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The cabin of the X7 iPerformance is almost production ready 
The displays in the X7 iPerformance are designed to create a wraparound widescreen feeling
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The displays in the X7 iPerformance are designed to create a wraparound widescreen feeling
Back seat passengers are well looked after in the X7 iPerformance 
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Back seat passengers are well looked after in the X7 iPerformance 
The roof detailing in the X7 iPerformance is pure show-car theater, but it looks very cool nonetheless
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The roof detailing in the X7 iPerformance is pure show-car theater, but it looks very cool nonetheless
The tall windscreen and panoramic roof on the X7 iPerformance create an airy feeling in the cabin
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The tall windscreen and panoramic roof on the X7 iPerformance create an airy feeling in the cabin
The first two rows of seating in the BMW X7 iPerformance are luxurious "captain's chairs" 
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The first two rows of seating in the BMW X7 iPerformance are luxurious "captain's chairs" 
The X7 iPerformance Concept will be on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show 
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The X7 iPerformance Concept will be on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show 
The BMW X7 iPerformance is a gargantuan vision for the future of BMW SUVs
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The BMW X7 iPerformance is a gargantuan vision for the future of BMW SUVs
The lighting details on the X7 iPerformance are similar to those on the 8 Series 
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The lighting details on the X7 iPerformance are similar to those on the 8 Series 
The windows on the X7 iPerformance are massive
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The windows on the X7 iPerformance are massive
No, it isn't a helicopter, but BMW has chosen a helipad as the perfect place to shoot the X7
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No, it isn't a helicopter, but BMW has chosen a helipad as the perfect place to shoot the X7
The BMW X7 iPerformance will be powered by a hybrid powertrain 
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The BMW X7 iPerformance will be powered by a hybrid powertrain 
The iPerformance has been conceived in a similar vein to the Audi Q7 Concept 
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The iPerformance has been conceived in a similar vein to the Audi Q7 Concept 
The BMW X7 iPerformance will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show 
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The BMW X7 iPerformance will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show 
The X7 iPerformance will sit above the X5 in the BMW SUV lineup
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The X7 iPerformance will sit above the X5 in the BMW SUV lineup
That grille will certainly take some getting used to
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That grille will certainly take some getting used to
The X7 iPerformance certainly doesn't lack presence 
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The X7 iPerformance certainly doesn't lack presence 
The massive grille on the X7 will hopefully be scaled down for production
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The massive grille on the X7 will hopefully be scaled down for production
BMW is hoping the X7 will compete with the Audi Q8
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BMW is hoping the X7 will compete with the Audi Q8
The X7 iPerformance is powered by a hybrid powertrain... we think
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The X7 iPerformance is powered by a hybrid powertrain... we think
The X7 iPerformance Concept 
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The X7 iPerformance Concept 
The X7 iPerformance isn't likely to spend much time off road, but BMW wants to prove it could, theoretically, go there
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The X7 iPerformance isn't likely to spend much time off road, but BMW wants to prove it could, theoretically, go there

BMW has unveiled a gargantuan new concept SUV ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. The X7 Concept iPerformance follows in the footsteps of the Audi Q8 with an expansive interior, bold styling and a modern plug-in hybrid powertrain, most of which is likely to make the leap to a production model next year.

It says concept on the badge, but the X7 is a thinly-veiled teaser for a production car that will launch next year. Just as the 7 Series is bigger than the 5 Series, the X7 will be bigger than the already-large X5. In pictures, it looks absolutely monstrous, with a vertical nose and high sides. The massive windows provide a peek into the interior – ideal, given this is a concept car – while the slim rear lights share their shape with those on the 8 Series.

The most arresting element of the design is undoubtedly the car's massive grille. BMW has been playing around with the kidney grille – a brand staple – for a while now, but nothing could have prepared us for the chromed snout of the X7. It definitely has presence, be that good or bad.

The lighting details on the X7 iPerformance are similar to those on the 8 Series 
The lighting details on the X7 iPerformance are similar to those on the 8 Series 

Inside, the iPerformance Concept strips things back to the essentials. The center console is aggressively angled toward the driver, and houses a touchscreen that blends into the 12.3-in screen in the instrument binnacle. Mercedes-Benz has tried to achieve a similar effect with its dual widescreen displays in the E- and S-Class, and Volkswagen Group has the excellent Virtual Cockpit, so it will be interesting to see if BMW pushes the tech into the real world.

Below the screens, there are artfully designed air vents and a walnut-trimmed transmission tunnel. The crystal gear selector could have been lifted from a modern Volvo, while there are conventional buttons for drive mode and the iDrive infotainment system. The design is unusually grounded for a concept car, which suggests things won't change all that much in the transition to a production model.

Rear seat passengers haven't been forgotten, either. There are two individual seats in place of the traditional three-person bench, each of which faces a touchscreen monitor on the back of the front seats. The screens are able to deliver entertainment in the form of music and video content, or act as a mobile office display. Rear seat passengers are able to share content with the main display at the front, backed by a light show designed to signify the flow of information.

The tall windscreen and panoramic roof on the X7 iPerformance create an airy feeling in the cabin
The tall windscreen and panoramic roof on the X7 iPerformance create an airy feeling in the cabin

All six seats are contained under a giant panoramic roof, and trimmed in lush-looking leather. It's finished in two-tone olive-bronze and white up front, while their seat backs are also finished in leather. BMW says the decision serves to deliver a high-end, luxurious feel, though this is one aspect that may not make it to the production model.

Although it wears iPerformance badging, BMW hasn't released any details about the plug-in hybrid powertrain expected to drive the production X7. At the moment, the plug-in hybrid versions of the X5 and 7 Series are powered by the combination of a 190-kW (255-hp) gasoline engine and an 83-kW (111-hp) electric motor, for total outputs of 240 kW (322 hp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft). There's no guarantee the X7 will have the same outputs, and it's likely to be offered with a range of gasoline and diesel engines when it launches in production form, but those figures can serve as a guide nonetheless.

The X7 iPerformance Concept launches at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action. Stay tuned for the latest.

Source: BMW

4 comments
tou
Wow - it looks like the ugly brother of Volvos XC90. I just turned blind.
Alien
Very ugly grille. It would be better if it could look refined rather than merely aggressive. Unfortunately BMW seem to be following the pack in this respect.
fen
I basically came to say it looks like an ugly xc90 too.
Robert in Vancouver
Too bad BMW's have become so ugly over the past 10 years. None of them look like German cars anymore. I have a 2004 325i which is one of last model years that still looks somewhat like a German car. But even it doesn't have the real German car styling that my 1991 325i had. Next car is going to be an Audi. Equal quality, about the same price, but MUCH better looking than BMW.