In September, BMW will finally unveil the highly-touted X7 SUV. The ultra-luxurious and large SUV has been teased for years now and it’s finally ready for public viewing. Due out early next month, the X7 will go to the Frankfurt Auto Show in a concept guise and according to our sources, with a fuel cell drivetrain.
In 2015, BMW unveiled their vision of a future fuel cell-powered BMW. At their secret facility in Miramas, France, BMW let us test drive a 5 Series Gran Turismo equipped with the new technology. At the time, the chief developer of BMW, Klaus Fröhlich said that a hydrogen fuel cell platform only makes sense in vehicles above the 5 Series.
The reasons for this are simple: a car with a fuel cell offers the possibility to cover extremely long distances, a requirement that doesn’t apply to most city drivers who can with an emission-free electric drive. Thanks to fast advancement of batteries, more and more electric cars will have a range of 400 kilometers or more, even without a fuel cell, which is more than sufficient for the customers in the compact class.
BMW now seems ready to apply the technology to their biggest car-to-date. Packing three full rows, the BMW X7 will also be the brand’s first true seven-seater. It will also have comparable luxury to the Range Rover and will even have trim levels that challenge the ‘Rover’s Autobiography line. So not only will it be the largest vehicle ever made by BMW but it should also be the most luxurious.
Aside from the fuel cell tech, BMW is likely to offer the X7 with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, alongside conventional engines. Sources have previously speculated that it will feature a selection of six and eight-cylinder engines, such as the 3.0-liter diesel in 30d, 40d and 50d guises and the twin-turbo 4.4-liter petrol V8 from the X6 xDrive50i.