BMW has unveiled the 2023 X7 – the latest model in its range of Sports Activity Vehicles. The SAV comes with an expanded range of standard equipment and will leverage a suite of new, and improved, technologies to provide a more personalized user experience.
At the center of this offering is the latest generation of BMW’s infotainment technologies – BMW Curved Display and BMW iDrive 8. Through them, the OEM has reduced the number of physical and increased the number of digital controls for numerous functions.
The BMW Curved Display combines a 12.3-inch information display that sits behind the steering wheel with a 14.9-inch Central Control Display. These digital, high-resolution, screens operate as one unit behind a single, anti-reflective, glass surface. While this unit is angled towards the driver, it remains accessible for use by the X7’s front passenger. Here, the passenger can operate the system through conventional touch, voice, or gesture controls, or through the dedicated iDrive controller located in the center console.
The instrument panel sits underneath the central portion of the Curved Display, and has been redesigned to carry a slim form. Beside it is an ambient light bar that sits ahead of the front passenger and communicates key information across a number of scenarios. A key use case highlighted by BMW is its signaling of an incoming telephone call with a dynamic chaser light.
A newly-designed center console control panel houses the majority of the new X7’s physical controls. In addition to the iDrive controller, controls for the electric parking brake and air suspension settings can also be found alongside the Driving Experience Control buttons and gear selector.
Fitted as standard across all new X7 models, the BMW iDrive 8 operating system provides enhanced connectivity and data processing capabilities. Offered as part of the standard BMW Live Cockpit Plus, users can benefit from a wider selection of options around multimodal control of the vehicle, navigation, infotainment and communication functions as well as new digital services.
iDrive 8 also provides enhanced functionality for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Natural speech voice commands can be used to adjust the HVAC, open a window, or operate the panoramic glass roof as well as the vehicle’s ADAS features. The assistant is further capable of recognizing routines and tailoring recommendations to the driver around their individual habits. In extending this personalized experience, the assistant can be displayed on the instrument cluster, central screen, or optional Head-Up Display based on the user’s preference. This preference is memorized by the assistant, which changes where its graphic is displayed based on who addresses it.
The optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional offers a broader selection of features, including the BMW Head-Up Display and the newly-delivered Augmented View function. Embedded into the X7’s navigation system, it enables the driver to accurately navigate their destination by supplementing the system’s own map view. A live video stream from the driver’s perspective is simultaneously broadcasted to the center display and augmented with context-specific information. When dealing with confusing junctions, for instance, an animated directional arrow appears on top of the video and works to advise the best turn-off for the planned route.
In supporting native 5G connectivity, the Personal eSIM fitted across all X7 models allows customers to integrate their mobile devices more closely with their vehicle. The eSIM allows the customer to add their vehicle to their mobile contract – enabling it to support the contract’s key communication and connectivity functions. In linking the eSIM with the user’s BMW ID, it can also be transferred to other BMW vehicles. Upon signing in with their BMW ID, the Personal eSIM is configured automatically and is available immediately. The mobile reception required for this feature is provided by the vehicle’s own 5G antenna system.
The optional BMW Digital Key Plus enables customers to lock and unlock their X7 with an iPhone. Compatible with both NFC and ultra-wideband radio, the digital key can be utilized without removing it from the user’s pocket or bag. Through the My BMW App, available on iOS, the car owner can share up to five additional keys and create a configuration for young drivers which restricts several functions – including top speed, engine power, and maximum radio volume.
Offered in six- and seven-seat configurations, the new X7 will be produced at the BMW Groups’ Spartanburg manufacturing plant in Greer, South Carolina. BMW confirmed that the SAV will launch in the third quarter of 2022 at a starting price of $77,850, with a $995 destination fee, for the BMW X7 xDrive40i.