Update: ‘Specifications’ section updated and ‘Neue Klasse platform a more logical choice for the iX7?’ section added.
The BMW iX will remain the brand’s only battery-electric SUV in the upper-class segments for the foreseeable future. While early info about the BMW iX6 and the BMW iX7 have emerged, they are not due until the second half of the decade.
BMW iX7 release date
According to a September 2022 post from BimmerPost forum member ynguldyn, who holds a good track record for revealing BMW’s internal plans, a BMW iX7 is part of the company’s long-term strategy. As per the forum post, the iX7 will share the CLAR platform with the next-gen X7 (G67). Production will be alongside the gas-powered donor at the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the U.S. from August 2027.
BMW could be waiting to lay hands on more efficient battery technology and the demand for large electric SUVs to pick up before approving new cars. An autocar.co.uk report had said in 2020 that an all-electric BMW X7 alternative was already under consideration, but that the project was in the very early stages, far from the final design lock. The British website’s sources had even indicated that the BMW Group worked on some designs for its largest all-electric SUV.
TopElectricSUV.com’s rendition of the iX7 is imagined as a conversion of the first-gen BMW X7. While an all-electric BMW X7 is inevitable in the long run, the company would play catch up as the competition (Mercedes, Cadillac, Jeep, Lucid, and Land Rover) has begun introducing fully-electrified large SUVs.
The BMW iX7 in the rendering is only a pictorial reference. A converted X7, it features modified front and rear aprons, an enclosed kidney grille, more aerodynamic wheels, and blue accents all around for a distinctive identity.
Given that the BMW iX7 is years away from dealers, safely assume that it will be technologically superior to the BMW i7.
The i7 xDrive60 uses a 101.7 kWh battery pack, and a similar capacity could be suitable for the entry-level iX7. The onboard AC charger allows topping it up at up to 11 kW, while with a public DC charger, it’s possible to charge at 195 kW, figures that will improve with BMW’s future 800V architecture. Two motors spin the wheels, one at the front that generates 255 hp and 269 lb-ft, and one at the rear that develops 308 hp and 280 lb-ft. BMW Group is expecting an EPA-est. range of 300 miles with this configuration.
Alternatively, the iX7 could have a battery pack consisting of BMW Group’s newly-developed round battery cells. The sixth generation of the company’s lithium-ion cells will offer an improvement of over 20% in energy density, up to 30% in charging speed, and up to 30% in range, Frank Weber, the company’s R&D boss, has said. In the U.S., the German automaker will source them from an upcoming Envision AESC plant located in South Carolina.
The cylindrical cells can allow a 50% reduction in costs, compared to the currently used fifth-gen cells. The new cells should be crucial for the company in realizing its goal of bringing the manufacturing costs of EVs to the same level as vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Regardless of the battery type and cell chemistry, customers would expect around 350 miles of EPA range from a family car like the BMW iX7, and that is likely to be the standard for upper-end luxury SUVs this decade.
Neue Klasse platform a more logical choice for the iX7?
On October 19, 2022, BMW Group announced a USD 1 billion investment in the Spartanburg plant to prepare the site for EV production and a USD 700 million investment for establishing a nearby battery assembly facility in Woodruff. The sizeable investment suggests that it will be upgraded thoroughly, ready to make Neue Klasse platform EVs.
For large models where weight savings, efficiency, and charging rate are of utmost importance, the Neue Klasse platform offers significant advantages over the CLAR. For example, Neue Klasse platform EVs with sixth-gen cells will deliver up to 30% higher WLTP range than the current CLAR platform-based EVs with fifth-gen cells.
Another advantage over the CLAR platform is double the normal voltage for the battery, drivetrain, and charging technology – 800 volts. What this means for customers is 30% quicker 10-80% charging sessions at Electrify America’s 350 kW stations. Neue Klasse is the way to go, but only time will tell whether the iX7 will be a bespoke EV or a CLAR -based ‘conversion.’
As BMW’s first full-size, pure electric three-row SUV, the iX7 will have to compete with some familiar models, most of which would also be made-in-America vehicles. Like its gas-powered sibling, the all-electric X7 should focus on the U.S. market, where large SUVs have greater demand. It should appeal to BMW customers who prefer tough, boxy, and relatively conventional-looking SUVs.
BMW iX7 FAQs
What is the BMW iX7 release date?
The BMW iX7 will reportedly start arriving at U.S. dealers in 2027.
What is the expected BMW iX7 price?
The BMW iX7 could start at around $110,000 in the U.S. market.
Featured image: Rendering of the BMW iX7 by TopElectricSUV is only for illustration and doesn’t preview the actual design.