In late November of last year, at the iconic Zeitz MOCAA venue in Cape Town’s Waterfront, BMW previewed its new flagship Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), the 2019 X7. This is the largest ever SAV from the Munich-based marque, but will be built at BMW Plant Spartanburg in the USA. Its market launch will begin in March 2019.

With three rows of seats and space for up to seven passengers, this is definitely the largest and most capable BMW SAV to date. X7 has bags of room inside and a seriously impressive array of high-tech safety innovations; plus some of the most high-end luxury features ever offered by the Bavarian brand.

X7 is the first vehicle to fuse the presence, exclusivity and spaciousness of a luxury model with the agile and versatile driving properties expected of an SAV. It brings a fresh sensation of space to the segment, thanks to an impressive open-plan layout and the high-echelon design signature of its interior, plus its state-of-the-art equipment features.

Although a large SAV, its precise and non-fanciful design radiates presence, luxury and modernity; and with a wheelbase of just over 3m, X7 displays harmonious proportions and fresh design language. This is seen in precise lines and expansive planes reinforcing an authoritative aura; the prominent front end, with its exceptionally large BMW kidney grille, evokes an undeniable sense of presence.

Viewed in profile, X7’s defining features are large windows, high ground clearance and a lengthy roofline. Horizontal linearity, slim LED lights and the two-section split tailgate emphasise contemporary styling at the rear end. X7 is fitted as standard with 20-inch light-alloy wheels, while 21 and 22-inch variants can be selected from the options list.

Interior design is luxurious. Roominess and versatility are underlined by three rows of seats as standard, offering space for seven passengers. The two passengers in the third row settle into full-size seats complete with armrests, cup holders and USB ports. The middle row can be arranged as two individual comfort chairs as an option. All seats are adjusted electrically.

Carefully selected and meticulously crafted materials add to the feeling of luxury within, as does the extensive standard specification. The BMW X7 has as standard: Vernasca leather trim, four-zone automatic climate control, a three-section panoramic glass roof and ambient lighting, including the Welcome Light Carpet and Dynamic Interior Light.

Sublime powertrain technology features muscular engines – the line-up available at launch in South Africa being X7 M50d and X7 xDrive30d, a pair of six-cylinder in-line diesels with outputs of 195kW in the xDrive30d and 294kW in the M50d. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and the transfer of power onto either tarmac or loose terrain is via the BMW xDrive intelligent AWD system – complete with optimised efficiency and rear-biased set-up. Ensuring even more dynamic handling is the M Sport differential at the rear axle, which brings electronically controlled locking. It’s fitted as standard on the X7 M50d.

For the full article see Habitat #269 January / February 2018

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