When the BMW X7 first debuted, its design wasn’t exactly beloved. The big grilles, skinny headlights, and boxy shape were criticized for straying too far from BMW’s heritage. Now, though, the X7’s LCI facelift actually improves it quite a bit. Or maybe we’re just so used to BMW’s funky design language that this looks good now. Either, way, it’s an improvement. And it seems BMW is eager to show off the improvement by continuing to send the X7 LCI on photoshoots.
The specific X7 in these photos is a BMW X7 M60i, which is the new M Performance variant of the X7. It replaces the old X7 M50i and brings an all-new engine to go along with its name change. The M60i uses BMW’s new S68 engine, a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged successor to the outgoing N63 engine in the M50i. If you noticed the ‘S’ in the new engine’s name and wondered if it’s an M engine, you’d be right. BMW is using a proper M engine in all new V8-powered BMW models, M cars or not. It’s a much improved engine, in terms of refinement, power delivery, fuel efficiency (it’s a 48-volt mild-hybrid, too), and emissions.
In the BMW X7 M60i, though, it doesn’t make any more power. It still packs the same 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque as before. Though, expect it to have more power and performance potential than the S63 used in current M cars, such as the X5 M.
The car in these photos gets a Mineral White exterior finish, which is a metallic white, and is contrasted with black wheels and black accents. It also gets a black interior, completing its full panda bear-spec. Carbon fiber trim only belongs in cars that are genuinely lightweight, so it’s annoying to see a nearly 6,000 lb luxury SUV using the stuff but, otherwise, the cabin is handsome. The X7 always had a great interior, one that combines luxury with practicality so well, and it’s no different after the LCI.
Well, it’s a little different, for both better and worse. The iDrive 8 infotainment system is new and there’s a lot to love but also a lot to be annoyed with. For instance, its functionality is far improved over the previous-gen iDrive 7 but its lack of physical climate controls means changing the cabin temperature is now a pain in the ass. Although, I do think the good outweighs the bad, with iDrive 8.
The BMW X7 was always a car I liked in spite of its looks. Sure, it was always ugly but it was great to drive, fit a family of seven, and had tons of passenger space. It was always comfortable, quiet, and surprisingly pleasant to drive. Now, it looks a bit better and gets new tech. That makes this new BMW X7 LCI a definite win.