Rumors of a potential new V8 engine have been swirling around for years but it’s only today the “S68” is making its official debut. Rather than premiering next week in the 7 Series G70, BMW has chosen the X7 Facelift to lead the way. It won’t be installed in a full-fat M version of the luxury SUV, but rather a new X7 M60i replacing the M50i.
The twin-turbo 4.4-liter is an evolution by adopting mild-hybrid technology. There’s more to the V8 than electrification since it also has upgraded turbocharging with a blow-off valve. BMW’s engineers have developed a new oil pump and a lighter oil sump to bolster the powertrain’s efficiency. It’s worth noting the eight-cylinder mill utilizes bank-symmetrical turbos, a cross-bank exhaust manifold, and external engine oil cooling – all for the sake of improved thermodynamics.
The small electric motor has been integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic Sport gearbox and brings the best of both worlds. Not only does it boost efficiency, but it also adds a bit of performance. BMW mentions comfort is also slightly improved when the start/stop function kicks in as well as when idling and coasting. Speaking of which, the X7 M60i will coast with the combustion engine turned off when in ECO PRO mode.
Despite being promoted from the M50i to the M60i suffix, the M Performance version of the facelifted X7 soldiers on with the same power if we’re strictly talking about the ICE. Indeed, it has 523 hp (390 kW) from 5,500 rpm and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) from 1,800 rpm. The electric motor delivers an extra 12 hp (9 kW) and 147 lb-ft (200 Nm)
The 2023 BMW X7 M60i needs 4.7 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill. Alternatively, it takes 4.5 seconds if you prefer the 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) evaluation. Flat out, the fullsize SUV will reach an electronically governed 155 mph (250 km/h). As you would expect from an M Performance model, it gets a sports exhaust system from the factory.
The X7 M60i Is More Than Just The New S68 Engine
Beyond its revamped V8, the M60i receives rear-wheel steering and active roll stabilization as standard equipment. In addition, there are stiffer upper mounts at the front, along with bespoke tuning for the dampers and springs. BMW says it has sharpened up the steering and will fit 22-inch wheels or an optional 23-inch set. The latter is the largest wheel installed from the factory and comes with 275/35 front and 315/30 rear tires.
Right out of the box, the M60i has illuminated kidneys and aero-optimized M mirrors. To sweeten the pot, BMW offers the M Marina Blue Bay Metallic paint exclusively for this version, along with more than 40 Individual hues. The imposing front grille is adorned by matte black bars with a high-gloss surface and a dark “M” logo.
Stepping inside, you can immediately tell it’s the M60i by the namesake lettering on the illuminated door sills. Of course, BMW is installing plenty of M-branded goodies just about everywhere you look as even the ambient lighting and Alcantara headliner are M-specific. As standard, the top dog in the X7 family gets Extended Merino leather upholstery. At an additional cost, carbon fiber can be added, along with the retro BMW M 50 Years emblems.
Naturally, the whole shebang comes at a steep price as the 2023 BMW X7 M60i begins from $103,100 plus $995 destination. That’s going to make it $3,300 more expensive than the M50i it replaces. The Spartanburg-built SUV will go on sale in the third quarter of the year in the US while Germany will have it from August.