Update: ‘No apparent plans at BMW to add a PHEV to the X7’ added.
The X7, BMW’s largest SUV, turned three years old in October 2021, and in April 2022, BMW introduced the LCI or ‘facelift’ in the common language. Besides the optical changes, the 2023 BMW X7 was expected to come with plug-in hybrid variants, but instead, BMW has only released the SUV with a 48V mild-hybrid option on all the three engine variants. BMW has reserved the PHEV variant for the BMW XM.
No apparent plans at BMW to add a PHEV to the X7
Since the time the X7 has been on sale, its internal combustion engines have been paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system to boost efficiency. However, there hasn’t been a fully-electric or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) spin-off of this full-size SUV. According to an August 2022 article by BMWBlog, engineers at BMW aren’t too keen on an X7 PHEV – reason, weight & space!
The X7 is heavy as it is. Adding a battery pack and the other required hardware for a plug-in hybrid would pile on the pounds pretty quickly. There’s also the question of space. While sourcing a PHEV-friendly powertrain won’t be too challenging, engineers would likely need to rob the X7 of valuable space currently allotted to third-row passengers and for rear cargo – all for a few miles of full-electric range.
That said, BMW is reportedly working on a pure-electric X7 (iX7), as customer demand for that would exceed that of the PHEV variant.
2023 BMW X7 Design
The front end of the 2023 BMW X7 appears rather complex with the split headlamp design; the LED DRL signature looks incredibly sleek, and the headlamp beams are positioned in a rectangular housing below. There are three air inlets; two vertical curtains on the sides of the front bumper and a lower air dam under the reasonably large kidney grille. The non-conventional design has drawn mixed reactions from fans across the globe, but styling and looks being a subjective matter, we’ll leave it to you to decide whether the X7 suits your taste.
The massive kidney grille, which is pretty much the same size as the outgoing model, has the option of illumination. The illuminated kidney grille is standard on the 2023 BMW X7 M60i xDrive. The X7 boasts a sharp character line parallel to the chrome window surround from the side profile. The SUV also gets roof rails and runs on up to 23-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, the 3D design taillamps are united by a chrome strip and appear very distinctive of BMW SUVs. They display a geometric graphic and BMW lettering.
M60i and Alpina XB7 with unique details
The M60i comes standard with the BMW illuminated grille, while the XB7 stands apart with its distinct front apron. Additionally, the M Marina Blue Metallic shade is available only on the M60i. Enthusiasts can distinguish the M60i instantly thanks to the M badge on the grille and aero-optimized M mirrors. Moreover, the double-spoke dual-tone 22-inch alloy wheels are standard on the M60i, and so are the quad exhaust pipes.
The X7 xDrive40i can be specced with the optional M Sport package, which adds gloss black make-up to the SUV’s exterior. The package adds distinct front and rear aprons, a more prominent lower intake and a gloss black grille surround, blacked-out window surrounds and exterior trim, 21-inch alloy wheels, and trapezoidal exhaust pipe finishers to elevate the visual perception of the SUV as something sporty.
Interior & Features
As with all BMWs, the interior quality seems visibly exquisite. BMW Individual Merino leather trim in Ivory White or Atlas Grey is optional, with an Extended Merino leather standard on the X7 M60i. What’s standard in the X7 xDrive40i is a vegan interior theme christened Sensafin. Additionally, for the 2023 BMW X7 LCI, a panoramic sunroof and heated front seats are standard features. Not a surprise given the hefty amount BMW charges customers for this 7-seater mammoth. Another nice touch in the cabin is the illuminated ambient lighting bar on the dashboard with X7 or M graphics.
iDrive 8.0 OS
The interior is familiar and reminiscent of what we’ve seen on modern BMWs like the iX and the i4. The curved dual-screen panel takes center stage with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch central touchscreen infotainment system. The entire unit is slightly tilted towards the driver. The screens run BMW’s latest iDrive 8 operating system, which offers more computing power. The iDrive 8 can be frequently upgraded and supports touch operation, natural language support, and gesture control—customers can choose the communication method that suits them the best.
What’s more, BMW has made navigation simpler with a new augmented view function. The system streams a live video with the driver’s perspective on display with context-specific information. The information displayed can help the driver take the correct turns at confusing junctions. Moreover, the screens are enabled for 5G connectivity, and the Personal eSim is offered as standard on the SUV. The sim makes the SUV as connected as a smartphone thanks to the 5G antenna. The Personal eSim is linked to the owner’s BMW ID so that it can be used on other compatible BMW cars also.
An exciting feature in the cabin is the updated Personal Assistant. Natural language can be used while speaking to the assistant, which can adjust the climate and operate the panoramic sunroof and roll up/roll down the windows. Moreover, the Personal Assistant ‘turns’ towards the speaker, meaning it knows where the voice commands are coming from. The Personal Assistant graphics can appear on the digital cockpit, heads-up display, or the center screen depending on who is speaking.
Sporty interior on the M60i
The M60i comes with an ‘M Sport Design’ with specific details. It comes with high-quality illuminated door sills with M60i lettering. The steering is stitched with M colors, while the interior trim oozes character with Fineline wood and gloss metal finishing. Additionally, even with the ambient lighting, if offered with M-specific colors white, the headliner is covered with Anthracite Alcantara. What enthusiasts love is the optional carbon-fiber interior trim, available only on the M60i.
New ADAS Features
The ADAS suite comes with additional features. The SUV now includes a parking assistant, trailer assistant, maneuver assistant, etc. The trailer assistant simplifies reversing while towing a trailer. Meanwhile, the maneuver assistant can memorize maneuvers up to 200 meters, taking complete control of the accelerator, brakes, steering, and gears. However, drivers must monitor the surroundings when the vehicle performs automated maneuvers. That said, the U.S-spec X7 comes standard with a front collision warning updated to detect pedestrians and cyclists and reacts to oncoming traffic.
The 2023 BMW X7 can be had with two petrol engine options in the U.S. market. The range-topping X7 M60i xDrive comes with a 4.4-liter petrol V8 that delivers 523 bhp and 553 lb-ft, propelling the X7 M60i from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 4.5 s. The second petrol engine option is a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder, with 375 bhp and 383 lb-ft. Thanks to the 48 mild hybrid system, torque can be boosted to 398 lb-ft, which accelerates the BMW X7 xDrive40i from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.6 s.
The Alpina XB7 also comes with the same mild-hybrid powertrain as the X7 M60i xDrive, but it’s tuned for higher output. Its 4.4-liter bi-turbo V8 makes 630 bhp and 590 lb-ft, which is enough to hustle the SUV to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. Its top speed is 180 mph. All variants of the new BMW X7 come with an 8-speed automatic transmission whose shifting characteristics can be changed by altering the drive modes.
Adaptive air suspension and rear-axle steering
The rear-axle steering feature is becoming increasingly common among modern cars. The feature comes as standard fitment on the M60i, and it comes as an option on the xDrive40i with the Dynamic Handling Package. The speed-sensitive Active Steering turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction at low speeds and the same direction at higher speeds, improving agility significantly.
The X7 is famous for its supreme ride quality that’s enabled by a sophisticated air suspension. Customers seated at the rear wouldn’t want to feel the bumps or even a minor undulation, and that’s taken care of by Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview. The suspension can gather road data from navigation and from the front camera feed to pre-select damper settings to ensure that the ride is always settled and comfortable.
Release Date & Production
The new BMW X7 price starts at USD 77,850 + 995 destination charges for the xDrive 40i. BMW X7 M60i price is USD 103,100 + 995 destination fees. The X7 is manufactured at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg, South Carolina. Meanwhile, the Alpina XB7 is priced at USD 145,000 + 995 destination fees.
North America is a strong market for BMW. BMW SUVs, especially, have been doing well in the U.S., outperforming sedans. BMW sold 30,706 units of the X7 in the U.S. in 2022, 33.2% higher than in 2021 (23,046 units). BMW delivered 57,905 X7s globally in 2022, and compared to 2021 (54,957 units), that marked a 5.4% growth.
2023 BMW X7 FAQs
What is the 2023 BMW X7 release date?
The new BMW X7 is now available in the United States.
What is the BMW X7 price?
New BMW X7 price starts at USD 77,850 + 995 destination charges for the xDrive 40i. BMW X7 M60i price is USD 103,100 +995 destination fees.
Featured Image Source: BMW