Since the launch of the BMW X7, its looks have continuously been criticized for being overly large and having enormous kidney grilles. To be fair to BMW, it’s tough to build a mammoth, three-row SUV and give it delicate, subtle details. Still, as the first Bimmer to sport BMW’s now-infamous large kidney grilles, the X7 always sort of wore the Scarlet “KG”. With this new LCI update, though, not only does it get some new design features that improve its looks but it also get some tech and performance upgrades that improve upon an already excellent luxury car.
I’ve said it for years — the BMW X7 Facelift is the brand’s best luxury car and one of the best overall Bimmers on sale. Despite being the antithesis of what BMW has always supposed to be — “the Ultimate Driving Machine” — the BMW X7 is a great driving car with tons of interior space and real, well-thought out SUV features. Now, its new LCI will fix some of its exterior design issues, while also adding a new engine and new cabin technology. Base MSRP for the 2023 BMW X7 xDrive40i is $77,850 + $995 destination; X7 M60i $103,100 + $995 destination. US launch to commence in Q3 2022.
Will These Headlights Split Your Opinions?
Split headlights are the big news. As with its upcoming 7 Series and XM cousins, the BMW X7 LCI will gain a new split headlight design that’s entirely different from any other headlight design in the brand’s history. It’s a bold new design direction for a car that’s already polarizing.
The headlights are now split into two halves, upper and a lower. The upper half features a modern, slimmer take on the signature dual-halo BMW headlight design, by offering two slim, upside down hockey stick LEDs. They seem to act as daytime running lights, as well as turn signals, leaving the lower half to handle the main and high beams. The lower half is much bigger, due to housing the main lighting elements, and it extends into vertical air intakes in the front bumper. It’s also slightly tinted, to give the impression that the main beams are hiding in the background, until needed.
BMW X7 xDrive40i Exterior Design
This new design is radically different than any other BMW before it, not only the pre-LCI X7. But expect this new design to make its way to other high-end BMWs, such as the next-gen 7 Series and upcoming XM. Beneath the headlights, new front air intakes give the front bumper a bit of added sportiness.
The grille is still a big old X7 kidney grille but it does look more proportionate now that the split headlights add more visual verticality. The pre-LCI X7’s headlights were far too skinny, which made accentuated the size of the grille, exacerbating its design. Now, though, it all looks more cohesive. Additionally, the X7 Facelift gets an optional illuminated kidney grille , just like the X6 and upcoming 7 Series. The illumination is activated when one of the doors is opened and can be tuned on or off through the iDrive system.
Out back, the BMW X7 LCI’s taillights are nearly identical to the pre-LCI taillights, except they have a bit more depth and are darker in color.
Aside from that, though, the outside of the BMW X7 LCI isn’t much different than before. That’s typical of a BMW LCI update, to be fair, and the X7’s front end changes are probably the most radical LCI changes we’ve seen in years.
Some of the option changes include 23″ wheels and a few new colors, including Sparkling Copper Metallic. The top of the line X7 M60i gets a few new shades as well, including M Marina Bay Blue, Ametrine Metallic, and Frozen Pure Grey Metallic. There are of course a ton of new Individual colors available too, including Daytona Violet and Ruby Red. The BMW X7 M60i will also get an optional “BMW M 50 Years” emblem on the hood, tailgate and hubcaps.
New Tech, Same Great Interior
Inside, the BMW X7 LCI is mostly the same as before, with only a few small, but meaningful, updates. That’s not a bad thing, though, as the cabin of the X7 was always lovely to spend time in. Now, though, it gets some new tech and a couple of interesting features that keep it fresh for 2022. The main update you’ll notice is the massive new iDrive 8 screen, borrowed straight from the BMW iX. Not only is it the same screen but it’s implemented the same way, with a floating design, so it now hangs over the expansive piece of wood trim on the dashboard.
BMW X7 xDrive40i Interior Design
Along with the iDrive 8 screen, the BMW X7 LCI now gets the same new digital dials as the iX, which is joined with iDrive 8 to make one massive screen. The digital dials in the iX, and now the X7 LCI, are a marked improvement over the current set in most other BMWs, with better visibility and improved customization.
More subtle updates include the light bar on the passenger side of the dashboard, which reads “X7”, and the iX-style shift toggle, which replaces the old shift lever. The lack of protruding shift lever gives the center console a more open look and feel, which adds to the airiness of an already airy cabin.
Heated front seats are also standard now, leaving the second and third row seat heating as optional extras. Speaking of seats, a new vegan-friendly Sensafin seating material is available, which comes with the same quilting and stitching as the real leather, but is only available in four colors; Black, Silverstone, Cognac, and Coffee.
S68 Engine Makes its Debut
Split headlights aren’t the only thing to debut on the BMW X7 LCI. BMW’s first all-new V8 engine in ages will also first hit the scene on this new X7. It’s internally known as the “S68” engine and will be a proper M Division V8 that will also be used in some M Performance cars, such as the X7 M60i.
Just like its predecessor, the S68 will be a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 and will get some proper motorsport tech, such as a cross-bank exhaust manifold, bank-symmetrical turbochargers, external engine oil cooling with an all-new oil pump, a reinforced crankshaft, and a lightweight oil sump.
More importantly, it also gains 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, with added power from an electric motor. BMW claims the 48-volt mild hybrid motor makes 12 horsepower but up to 147 lb-ft (200Nm) of torque. It’s also said to aid the smoothing of auto start/stop technology.
Total system power for the BMW X7 M60i is 530 horsepower and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque. According to BMW, the M60i gets from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
The S68 engine won’t be the only new engine, though. An updated B58 3.0 liter turbocharged straight-six will be used in the BMW X7 xDrive40i, which will also gain 48-volt tech. Impressively, the mild-hybrid setup in the ’40i model can actually drive the car under electric power only at very low speeds. BMW doesn’t say what sort of speeds but don’t expect anything faster than parking lot speeds. The B58-powered X7 xDrive40i will make 380 horsepower and 383 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque, but it can be boosted to 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) of torque, with some temporary help from the hybrid motor. BMW claims a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds.
In addition to the B58, there will also be another 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six, this time a diesel, in the BMW X7 xDrive40d. The blown-six diesel will also get 48-volt mild-hybrid tech, along with new steel pistons (replacing old aluminum ones) which allow for higher combustion pressure, and a new common-rail direct-injection system with solenoid valve injectors. Power is up to 340 horsepower and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. With the added hybrid boost, torque jumps to 531 lb-ft (720 Nm) temporarily. BMW claims a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds.
All BMW X7 models are paired with an eight-speed automatic and xDrive all-wheel drive, but that sort of goes without saying at this point.
Same Great Drive
Standard on all X7 models will be two-axle air suspension and electronically adaptive dampers. For the M60i model, integral active steering (rear wheel steering) and active roll stabilization are also standard. Additionally, the M60i model also gets stiffer front control arm mounts and specifically tuned shock and spring characteristics.
As with the current X7, the air suspension can raise the ride height by up to 40mm, to improve ground clearance for any soft-roading it might do. Or it can lower the ride height by up to 20mm, giving it a sportier, more athletic stances. The latter of which will happen automatically if speeds go above 86 mph (138 km/h).
There are four different off-road driving modes, which will adjust the ride height and suspension accordingly; xRocks, xSand, xSnow, and xGravel. If you plan on taking your BMW X7 off the beaten path, an xOffroad package is available, which adds protective plates underneath the car.
New Face, New Engines, New X7
With most BMW LCI updates, you get some new headlights, maybe a tech upgrade inside, and some new color options, but it’s mostly the same car. This new BMW X7 LCI, though, is so comprehensively updated that it feels like a different car altogether. Its entire front end is different, its user interfaces inside the car are different, and its engines have been completely overhauled. If you’re an X7 owner, upgraded to this new LCI model will look and feel dramatically different and make your ownership experience feel brand new.
Is it better looking now than before? That’s a discussion for another time. However, as it now stands, the BMW X7 LCI has been massively updated over its predecessor and that should keep it looking fresh for the rest of its life cycle.
BMW X7 LCI Highlights
BMW X7 Design
BMW X7 Design Sketches