Rumors have swirled for years about BMW's plans to build a three-row crossover larger than the current X5. Now, the automaker's latest concept is proof that it's getting pretty close to bringing that ute to production.
The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, like theand concepts before it, gives us an early look at future additions to BMW's lineup, albeit wrapped up with some pretty pie-in-the-sky design elements. But it's a concept, after all, so it wouldn't be very fun if it weren't at least partially fanciful.
The iPerformance part of its name signals that it's a plug-in hybrid. The car gets its hustle from a mixture of electric motors and a turbocharged gas engine, likely similar to the setups on offer in theand . BMW didn't really give out many details on the powertrain, which is fine, because it's not really the focus here.
The first impression that comes from this vehicle is overwhelming size. The traditional BMW "kidney" grilles take up a sizable portion of the front bumper, and it's only further exaggerated thanks to those headlights, which are as thin as possible. A long, single strip of chrome runs the whole width of the rear end, and tall vertical elements on both bumpers give it a real sense of height.
The interior takes the fancy to new levels, but there are still plenty of traditional BMW design elements in there. The infotainment screen blends into the gauge cluster, and the physical switches surrounding yet another complicated shifter are par for BMW's course. Each of the concept's three rows features a pair of seats with a thin seat base that confers additional legroom. Most of the roof is glass, and just about everything is covered in some mixture of leather, wood and aluminum.
Even though it's a concept, the rear-seat entertainment screens pack plenty of connected tech. Rear seat occupants can access personalized digital services from the screen, send their music to the car's sound system, add directions to the navigation system or send interesting links to other screens in the car. LED lights inside the concept visualize how the information is moving between various parts of the car.
Since the devil's in the details, keep your eyes peeled for our coverage of the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, where we'll be able to get up close and personal with BMW's Brobdingnagian brute.