The X7 has long sat proudly at the top of the range of BMW's luxury SUVs, putting big power in a big body for those with big wallets. As you might expect, the new 2023 model continues with that same formula, aiming to bring more technology and features to the segment than any of its rivals.
As far as the basic fundamentals go, BMW has seen fit to bump horsepower for the base model, with the X7 xDrive40i receiving a 40 hp increase up to 375 hp from its 3.0-liter turbo inline six engine. Meanwhile, the X7 M60i gets a 4.4-liter turbo V8 good for 523 hp, in line with the existing 2022 M50i model. The engine has received updates with an eye to improving efficiency, including a lightweight oil sump along with a 48V mild hybrid system.
Acceleration is swift across the range, with the V8 model accelerating from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. The inline six will still deliver a swift 5.6 second sprint which should be more than enough for weekend trips to the yacht club. However, for those eager to dominate all, the ALPINA XB7 model is the way to go, replete with its tuned version of the 4.4-liter turbo V8. Good for 630 hp and a top speed of 180 mph, it will dash from 0-60 mph in just 4.0 seconds. That kind of performance will let you slay the odd Ferrari 360 driver on a good day when your reactions are double-shot-espresso sharp.
All models use a 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission complete with Launch Control to help you tear away from a standing start. There's also the Sprint function, sure to appeal to budding Jason Bournes out there. Hold the downshift paddle for a second, and the X7 will jump down into the lowest suitable gear, while simultaneously switching the powertrain and chassis into maximum attack mode. It's perfect for executing a fast getaway at a moment's notice once you notice the bad guys in your rear view mirror.
As for aesthetics, fans of big rims will be pleased to know the X7 can be optioned with gigantic 23" wheels. There's also a fancy "digital tire diagnosis" function that can track treadwear over time. BMW also claims it can "detect pressure loss far sooner than the vehicle’s Tire Pressure Monitor can." How it can detect this quicker than a pressure sensor literally mounted in the tire is unclear, but The Drive has reached out to BMW to learn more and will update accordingly.
The X7 design also features split headlights, seperating the daytime running lamps from the main headlights in the front end. The proud BMW nostrils are naturally here, too, though aren't quite as large as some other recent designs.
Really, though, the X7 is all about comfort and tech. Air suspension and electronic dampers, paired with active roll stabilization technology, all work together to help keep the ride as plush as possible. There's even predictive technology that uses camera and navigational data to smooth out the ride when it comes to lumps and bumps in the road. Naturally, all-wheel steering is available too, improving the turning circle and maneuverability at low speeds while providing for smoother lane changes on the highway.
As is customary in the luxury segment at this point, screens are a focal point of the X7 interior. The design is built around the BMW Curved Display, which pairs a 12.3-inch display behind the steering wheel with a larger 14.9-inch unit in the center of the vehicle, built into one continuously-curved glass surface. The display is subtly angled towards the driver, but remains accessible to the passenger as well.
The X7 will run new-generation iDrive 8 software, complete with 5G connectivity. There's also gesture control as well as a voice assistant trained to respond to natural language commands. Ambient lighting is also present and accounted for. A light bar built into the interior trim strip provides mood lighting for the cabin in a trend we're seeing more and more of in all sorts of vehicles.
A particularly interesting feature of the infotainment system is the new Augmented View technology. When navigating, live video from the vehicle's cameras is overlaid with directional arrows and other guides to show the driver exactly where to go when driving through difficult junctions or confusing highway exits.
BMW are also proud of the new "Welcome Scenario" which greets the driver as they walk up to the X7. Thanks to ultra-wideband technology in compatible smartphones, the car can detect the driver and can engage the welcome mode when they approach within 3 meters of the vehicle. Exterior and interior lights are engaged, doors unlocked, and the interior display shows a welcome message as the driver enters the vehicle.
While various self-parking systems have become mainstream over the last decade, the X7 features the new "Maneuver Assistant" technology. With the aid of GPS data and stored trajectory information from steering movements, the X7 can memorize and execute up to 10 different maneuvers up to a distance of 200 meters (~650 feet). Upon arriving at a set point, such as a driveway entrance, the X7 can be instructed to complete a parking or other maneuver itself. The driver can even command the X7 to do so from outside the vehicle via the My BMW smartphone app.
For its part, BMW has thrown everything and the kitchen sink at the new X7 as it prepares to go toe to toe with a new generation of SUVs from competitors like Mercedes and Range Rover. The spec sheet is certainly full to bursting with new toys and tech; the real test will be in how elegantly and seamlessly these features make life easier for drivers and passengers in the real world. With any luck, we'll explore all that in a review real soon.
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