Rumors about an SUV larger than the X7 have been flying around for several years now. In 2014, BMW confirmed the X7 and the big hauler is set to break cover by the end of 2018. Naturally, we can’t help but wonder whether an M version is underway. Does it makes it sense, should BMW build one?

The large SUV market is pretty big in the U.S., where BMW is building the X7, but neither the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator are powerful enough to create demand for an M version. However, Mercedes-Benz is making an AMG version of the GLS, which is taking all market share in the performance department. The AMG-prepped GLS alone is a reason good enough for BMW to roll out an X7 M, but it should also be part of the company’s plans to expand the nameplate now that all crossovers are set to gain M versions. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW X7 M.

BMW X7 M Exterior

  • Sporty bumpers
  • Black trim
  • Bespoke, lighter wheels
  • Lowered suspension
2019 BMW X7
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The M package will alter the standard look by adding bigger vents in the bumper and black trim around the grille and lower inserts

We have yet to see the X7 in the metal, but there are plenty of test vehicles and teasers to ogle at. Granted, the prototypes are still wrapped in swirly camo and the teasers don’t show much, but we’re able to see that the big SUV will borrow many features from the new-generation X5.

Based on recent designs, it’s far from surprising that BMW wants the X7 to look like a bloated X5. The front fascia boasts similar headlamps, as well as the company’s new Laserlight design that are optional on the midsize SUV. The bumper also shares a similar three-element outlet layout, but it looks a bit more massive due to the vehicle being slightly wider and taller. The twin-kidney grille is unique though, boasting a more massive look and thicker frame and vertical slats.

The M package will alter the standard look by adding bigger vents in the bumper and black trim around the grille and lower inserts.

2019 BMW X7
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Will it look as sporty as the X5 M? Definitely not, but it will stand out when compared to the standard X7

When viewed from the side, the X7 stands out thanks to a boxier cabin design toward the rear, larger quarter windows, and bigger wheels. BMW will probably offer sizes up to 22 inches. The M model will obviously get bespoke, lighter wheels, "M" badges on the front fenders, black window trim, and carbon-fiber mirror caps.

The X7’s taillights also seem to be a bit bigger than the X5. The latter just gained a pair of slim, two-piece units, but the X7 will boast bigger light units for a more imposing look. Don’t expect too many changes here above the bumper, as the M package doesn’t add much beyond a badge. But the bumper will get a diffuser-like element and black-painted, quad-exhaust tailpipes.

Will it look as sporty as the X5 M? Definitely not, but it will stand out when compared to the standard X7 and it will be able to match the AMG GLS63’s aggressiveness.

BMW X7 M Interior

  • Black upholstery
  • Extra Alcantara
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Custom displays
  • Extra standard features
2016 BMW 7 Series Interior
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Being the M model, the X7 M will get custom displays for both screens and sportier rev counter and speedo

There isn’t too much info about the X7’s interior and the spy shots include only camouflaged dashboard, but it seems that the SUV will have a lot in common with the X5 and the 7 Series sedan. Much like any expensive Bimmer, nearly every surface will be draped in leather and Alcantara. But unlike the standard model, which will get two-tone options, the X7 M’s cabin will be mostly black, a color usually associated with sportiness.

The X7 will obviously get BMW’s new iDrive system with touch display and gesture control. The system uses 3D sensors to detect pre-selected hand gestures to perform tasks and will be accessible through a 12.3-inch display placed atop the center stack. The instrument cluster will be just as big and provide data on performance and access to the navigation system.

2015 BMW X5 M Interior
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It will also feature carbon-fiber trim on the dash, center console, and door panels

Being the M model, the X7 M will get custom displays for both screens and sportier rev counter and speedo. It will also feature carbon-fiber trim on the dash, center console, and door panels, as well as sportier seats for the driver and front passengers.

While sportier, the X7 M will be as spacious as the standard model. It will offer seating for up to seven people thanks to a standard third-row seat setup, but you will be able to choose between two or three seats for the second row. The third row won’t be too comfortable for adults on long trips, but they will get the job done for kids. The second-row seatbacks will flip forward for easier access to the third row, automatically sliding the front seat forward when more room is needed.

The cargo area won’t take more than a few suitcases with the third-row seats in place, but luggage space will improve dramatically when the seats are folded flat. Needless to say, the X7 will have more cargo room than the X5.

BMW X7 M Drivetrain

  • Beefed-up 4.4-liter V-8
  • Sporty automatic transmission
  • Around 600 horsepower
  • Retuned chassis
  • 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds
2015 BMW X5 M Drivetrain
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The X7 M will probably get the beefed-up 4.4-liter V-8 that BMW is already offering in other M vehicles

Outlets that had the privilege to test X7 prototypes ahead of production confirmed that the regular SUV will get at least three engines. Options will include the familiar 3.0-liter inline-six and 4.4-liter V-8 on the gasoline front and a 3.0-liter inline-six diesel. All will feature turbocharging and mate to automatic transmissions. The most powerful non-M version will get at least 450 horsepower in order to compete with the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.

The X7 M will probably get the beefed-up 4.4-liter V-8 that BMW is already offering in other M vehicles. The latest iteration can be found in the M5, which comes with 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque on tap. This would be enough to push the X7 M to respectable performance figures, but it depends very much on how heavy this behemoth will be. Luckily, the unit can deliver more power, as seen in the M5 Competition Package, which cranks out 617 horses.

BMW X7 Goes into Production, First Teasers Released
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The X7 M will also get tweaked versions of the standard adaptive air suspension and Integral Active Steering

Should the X7 M arrive with these figures, it will be only marginally more powerful than the Mercedes-AMG GLS63, rated at 577 horsepower. And it would deliver slightly less torque, as the Merc is good for 561 pound-feet. BMW definitely needs more oomph given that the GLS is set to get a redesign soon.

Naturally, the sports automatic transmission will get the necessary revisions to handle the extra power. It will also shift quicker for solid off-the-line sprints. Speaking of that, the X7 M will need less than five seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start.

The X7 M will also get tweaked versions of the standard adaptive air suspension, Integral Active Steering, and the Dynamic Drive active anti-roll bar system. Also look for the new variable, electronic limited-slip differential and possible even the tow hitch with the 7,700-pound rating.

BMW X7 M Prices

BMW X7 Goes into Production, First Teasers Released
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Pricing for the standard X7 is likely to start from around $70,000, which will put it on par with competitors from Cadillac and Lincoln. However, the M version will be much more expensive and fetch in excess of $100,000 before options. With the AMG-tuned GLS priced from $125,300, the X7 M could come in at a similar sticker. Basically it could retail from anywhere between $120,000 and $130,000.

BMW X7 M Competition

Mercedes-AMG GLS63

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The GLS63 is basically the only performance SUV in this niche, but it’s been around for a few years, and it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. A new-generation GLS should arrive by the end of the year, with a redesigned AMG likely to follow in 2019. The current model gets its juice from a 5.5-liter V-8 that’s plenty powerful at 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. However, the old mill will be replaced by the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 that motivates almost every other AMG model out there. Should Mercedes go with the familiar two-model lineup, there should be an AMG GLS63 model with 563 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque as a "base" model. The AMG GLS63 S version should get more oomph, likely around 603 horses and 630 pound-feet, like the E-Class-based model. The current AMG GLS63 retails from $125,300, but the new-generation model could start from close to $130,000.

Read our full driven review of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS63.

Cadillac Escalade

2020 Cadillac Escalade
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The Escalade is also due for a redesign, with the new-generation SUV likely to arrive for the 2020 model year. Granted, the current Escalade is nowhere near as powerful with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque coming from the 6.2-liter V-8, but word has it Cadillac may add a more powerful unit. Similar to a V-Sport model, the Escalade could gain a second, more powerful unit in the form of a supercharged V-8. This mill would deliver well in excess of 500 horsepower and it may even surpass the 600-horsepower mark by a bit. Naturally, this model will fetch way more than $120,000.

Read our speculative review of the next-generation Cadillac Escalade.

Conclusion

2020 BMW X7 M Exclusive Renderings
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An M version of the massive X7 SUV may seem like a crazy idea, but BMW definitely needs a competitor for the Mercedes-AMG GLS63. With Cadillac also likely to add a V-Sport version of the Escalade, the X7 M makes that much more sense, especially in the United States. The German firm has yet to confirm that such a model is underway, but chances are BMW will make one soon enough.

  • Leave it
    • * New AMG GLS63 underway
    • * Cadillac could make a more powerful Escalade

Further reading

2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.

2019 BMW X7
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW X7.

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Read more BMW news.

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