The all-new 2019 BMW X7 made its public debut Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show as the flagship SUV in the German luxury automaker’s lineup.
Everything about the X7 is big. The front fascia is overtaken by enlarged versions of BMW’s signature “kidney grille” front intakes. It has a long, 122.2-inch wheelbase and true seating for up to seven passengers.
The 2019 X7 gives BMW its first entry in the popular large SUV category as the automaker looks to increase sales of light trucks, a category that includes crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks. The X7 goes on sale in March 2019 and will be built at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, S.C.
“It’s big, it’s bold, and it has incredible on-road performance,” said Pieter Nota, sales and brand manager for BMW.
The base X7 xDrive40i model is powered by a turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder engine with 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The top xDrive50i sports a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.
Despite its 8.7-inch ground clearance and curb weight of about 5,500 pounds, the X7 is still required to deliver on BMW’s reputation for sporty handling. Both the X7 xDrive40i and xDrive50i feature all-wheel drive, electronic power steering and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission as standard equipment.
An air suspension is standard. Both models offer a Dynamic Handling Package with high-performance brakes, adaptive suspension that reads the road ahead to select the right drive setting and active steering that turns the rear wheels for high-speed stability. The X7 xDrive50i also has a sporty rear differential.
“We truly believe it offers the very best driving capabilities in its class,” Nota said.
The X7 fills an empty space in the brand’s SUV lineup. It will compete for sales against the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and Mercedes-Benz GLS – all strong performers for their respective brands.
More than 1,500 customers placed preorders for the X7 within 10 days of its unveiling in October, according to BMW.
“It’s important we fill every segment,” Ralph Mahler, head of U.S. product planning and strategy, told Trucks.com. “There’s a real customer demand here.”
More than 50 percent of all X7 models will be sold in the U.S., Mahler said.
SUVs are increasingly important for BMW. Through the first 10 months of 2018, crossovers and SUVs made up more than 50 percent of the company’s total U.S. sales, up from 43 percent during the same period last year.
Pricing starts at $73,900 for the X7 xDrive40i and $92,600 for the X7 xDrive50i before destination.