BMW has lifted the lid on the 2023 X7 SUV and chances are some of you are begging them to put it back.
Spy photos and renders had already given us a solid indication of what BMW had planned for the facelifted X7, but it’s still a shock to see this new face with its dramatically split light clusters. Better get used to it, though. BMW says this is the new corporate look for its luxury models, meaning the upcoming 7 Series, i7 and Alpina XB7 are also in line for the same treatment.
Related: BMW and Audi Jump on the Split Headlight Design Trend
The narrow strip of lights mounted just below the bonnet are not actually headlights but LED daytime running lights which also serve as indicators. The real headlights are slyly located in a dark bumper, the idea being that other road users won’t even notice they’re there unless an X7 is heading their way at night.
With your eyes naturally drawn to the new lighting arrangements and satin aluminum inlays at the base of the bumper, you could almost forget the fuss we all made about the X7’s giant grille a few years ago. . It hasn’t been bigger for 2023, but now features a two-tone design, and X7 xDrive40i buyers can pay extra for the illuminated grille feature that’s standard on the M60i. Rear styling changes are limited to two new LED lamp units and a glass cover for the chrome bar that connects them.
Don’t expect an XM7, but M Sport and M60i look the part
Opt for the optional M Sport package and your X7 xDrive40i will be fitted with M-specific front and rear bumpers and side skirts, gloss black accents, dark-finished trapezoidal tailpipes and 21-inch two-tone double spokes. wheels.
The M60i flagship takes things a step further with air-friendly M exterior mirrors, gaping air intakes, an M-badged grille, quad tailpipes and 22-inch rims, and if you want really bringing the motorsport theme home, the M Sport Professional package includes additional Shadowline trim and black or blue brake calipers. Or better yet, spec “BMW M 50 Years” emblems for the hood, tailgate, and wheel center caps to show your appreciation for the M division’s half-century of running BMWs (or, in this case, just watch) faster.
New curved dashboard display, but where’s the shifter?
The biggest visual change after the headlights, however, is inside the X7. Instead of the traditional instrument cluster and separate touchscreen of the old car, the facelifted SUV gets a combined curved display including a 12.3-inch digital gauge pack and a 14.9-inch touchscreen with BMW’s latest iDrive 8 software. The screen is subtly angled towards the driver like most BMW dashboards of the last 45 years, but can still be seen and operated by the passenger.
Another big change is the absence of a traditional gear lever for the ZF eight-speed automatic, with the old car’s shifter lever giving way to a much smaller rocker located next to the trusty iDrive rotary controller. How long until this thing bites the bullet?
We’re hoping it’s still a few years away, though that might be wishful thinking now that the roles of the voice-activated BMW intelligent personal assistant have been extended to even include opening the windows and the panoramic sunroof. Other labor-saving technologies include the Digital Key Plus option, which allows drivers to lock and unlock their X7 using a smartphone.
Welcome power boost for the entry-level xDrive M40i
X7 interiors can be configured with either six or seven seats, and to ensure you still have enough performance to hand even if you’re hauling seven bodies, the base xDrive40i gets a 40bhp (41PS) boost to 375 hp (380 PS), while torque increases by 52 lb-ft (71 Nm) to 383 lb-ft (519 Nm) and can reach 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) when 48V mild-hybrid technology steps in to help on the 3.0-litre straight-six. Send this batch to the pavement with the standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system and you’ll hit 96 km/h (60 mph) in 5.6 seconds, according to BMW.
But if you like the idea of cutting more than a second from that number, you’ll have to upgrade to the M60i. The hotter X7’s 4.4-liter V8 also gets 48V mild-hybrid technology for 2023 and breathes through a standard sports exhaust. Curiously, despite the technical improvements, the 2023 M60i produces the same 523 hp (530 hp) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) as the older M50i it replaces, and clocks an identical 4.5-second zero at 60 mph (96 km/h) time.
Which might be reason enough for you to wait for the next Alpina XB7, whose 4.4-liter V8, according to BMW, goes from 612 hp (621 hp) to 630 hp (639 hp). Again, however, torque is unchanged at 590 lb-ft (800 Nm), and the 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds and top speed stats of 180 mph (290 km/h) do are no better than those of the current car.
But 2023 X7 models might feel a bit quicker on the street thanks to a new Sprint feature: Pull the shift paddle to the left and the transmission shifts to its lowest available gear, while engine tweaks and chassis all switch to their sportiest settings.
This chassis includes standard air suspension on both models. The M60i adds active roll stabilization and rear-wheel steering, but if you want either on the xDrive40i you’ll have to tick some boxes in the options list. Get carried away with adding a kit like BMW’s first-ever 23-inch wheel option, and you might find your $77,850 xDrive40i (plus $995 destination) starts to come so close to the M60i of $103,100 you might as well go for the big dog. American cars arrive in fall 2022, so you’ve got some time to make up your mind, and even more if you’re considering the Alpina XB7, which doesn’t land until early 2023.
Do you like BMW’s styling revisions for the X7? Or are these new lights even worse than the grille? Leave a comment and let us know.