Remember when Tom Cruise drove the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics electric concept car in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol back in 2011? That concept car ended up as base for BMW’s i8 hybrid-electric vehicle which saw production in 2014, and is today one of the most iconic electric vehicles on the road.
Fast forward to 18 July 2018, where BMW Group Malaysia unveiled the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance at Bangsar Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur – a vehicle billed to be the brand’s new icon that exemplifies the brand’s new definition of visionary mobility and progressive luxury. BMW’s Concept Vehicles are a demonstration of the BMW Group’s new take on the luxury segment which encapsulates the brand’s modern understanding of visionary mobility and progressive luxury.
Following the launch, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance was showcased at the mall from 18 July 2018 to 22 July 2018 during the BMW X Range Roadshow, giving consumers and fans a glimpse into the future of automobiles.
The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance’s debut in Malaysia comes hot on the heels of the success of BMW Group Malaysia in the first half of 2018. With a delivery of over 6,400 vehicles, the company recorded an impressive 11% of growth compared to the same period last year, bucking the trend of the rather depressed local market of late. BMW charted an 11% increase having delivered over 5,300 cars to new BMW owners in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of last year. Likewise, MINI grew significantly by 18% with a delivery of over 550 MINIs, while BMW Motorrad also enjoyed a rise of 8% with over 540 new owners.
The success in Malaysia echoes that of the BMW Group worldwide which saw a 35th consecutive quarter of sales growth with its best-ever first-half-year sales with a total of 1,242,507 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles delivered to customers. Additionally, year-to-date deliveries of electrified BMW and MINI vehicles totalled 60,660.
Locally, BMW Group Malaysia’s portfolio of Plug-In Hybrid deliveries in Malaysia now accounts for more than half of the total vehicle deliveries at 56% with over 3,200 new owners, which is great news for the environment as the hybrid vehicles have less of a carbon footprint than conventional automobiles.
“The progressive take on luxury is closely linked to the number 7 in the BMW model scheme. The BMW 7 Series luxury saloon has served as a paragon of exclusive driving pleasure for over 40 years now. Game-changing innovations, benchmarking comfort and contemporary design and dynamics mark out its progressive character in the current family of luxury BMWs. Taking it a level higher is the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance which introduces the BMW Sports Activity Vehicle DNA into the luxury segment,” Harald added.
The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance features a striking exterior composed of intently focused lines, combined with a six-person interior pared down to the essentials: elementary forms, high-class materials and a state-of-the-art infotainment system brimming with connectivity. The ‘iPerformance’ badge denotes the presence of the ground-breaking BMW eDrive technology coupled with a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine to create an exceptionally efficient and dynamic plug-in hybrid powertrain that can also run with zero local emissions.
The status of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance as luxury-class BMW Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) is instantly apparent. The BMW SAV design language is infused in the exterior with understated use of form and incredibly precise lines, adding an air of finesse and extreme agility to the considerable size and grand proportions of the car.
The prominent feature on the front-end is the striking vertical kidney grille, the unmistakable BMW signature. The grille frame and bars are single-piece and solid in design. The eye-catching grille and air inlets give form to a strong visual statement, with gleaming edges and matte surfaces bringing out contrasts that add nuance to the grandeur of the design language.
The upper sections of the slim, elongated twin headlights with BMW laser light link to the large kidney grille. A blue X signature in BMW laser light provides a confident pointer to the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance’s membership of the BMW SAV family. A prominent bar extends across the full width of the front apron in its lower section, before rising vertically to frame the outer air intakes at their upper edge.
The exclusive exterior colour shade Manhattan metallic immerses the car’s surfaces and forms in a dark olive-bronze that highlights the confident styling of the flanks with sophisticated flair.
The car’s vertical aero lips as well as subtle, body-coloured under guard form a striking frame for the rear. The silhouette is punctuated with slim rear lights with its sharp three-dimensional L shape, and a classy connecting chrome bar, which bring a technical, high-quality aspect to the rear. Between the wheel arches, the rear apron with practical tailgate opening provides a strong platform for the rear structure. The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance’s plug-in hybrid identity is also alluded to by the absence of tailpipe embellishers.
The interior of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is immensely spacious, providing comfort with highly exclusive, sophisticated ambience. The large panoramic roof provides a remarkable amount of room above the occupants’ heads which is great for taller persons like myself.
The six amply proportioned seats are arranged in three rows, and four of them have an exclusive individual design. The second row allows smooth access to the third row, and the slender seat base provides generous legroom for the passengers behind. The glass panoramic roof turns the cabin into a light and airy space, with the attachment between the panoramic roof and body extending comfortably to the rear of the second row of seats in the form of a Y structure. This means the passengers in the centre row experience the same sensation of freedom and lightness as those in the front.
The dark, Olive-Bronze leather – with discreet gold pigmentation – covering the seat bolsters carries the air of exclusivity, while the Smoke White leather adorning the remainder of the seats provides an intriguing contrast. The shell-like backs of the individual seats are likewise trimmed in leather and serve to enhance the high-class, contemporary ambience.
The selective use of open-pore ash in a dark-stained, matte finish sets the seal on the natural material experience. Matte and polished aluminium elements have likewise been carefully incorporated to further accentuate elegance.
The new BMW design language, featuring amply-sized surfaces and clear edges, gives the instrument panel a “reduced to the essentials”, modern aesthetic. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen and central touchscreen information display are located at close quarters to one another, for a continuous and sophisticated display. A new operating concept allows interactive use of the two displays. Below them, in the centre stack and centre console, the grouping of functions within the clean and tautly chiselled surfaces underscores the minimalist approach. Partially backlit crystal glass in the dark Silver Night shade lends sophisticated flourishes to control elements like the selector lever, iDrive Controller and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel.
State-of-the-art infotainment is intuitively accessible to second-row passengers at their fingertips through the rear-seat touch screens as well. Digital connectivity as a premium form of progressive luxury is fully realised by BMW Connected, which makes seamless infotainment integration possible between the front row and second row. For example, passengers here have access to highly personalised, digital services such as their choice of infotainment or office content, with which they can make their journey more comfortable, more entertaining or more productive.
Content can even be shared with others on board. For instance, they can send a track to the car’s music system by touch gesture, forward an interesting article to the next-door display for the person sitting beside them to read, or transfer an address from their email directly to the car’s navigation system. Interactive LED choreography via the doors and instrument panel traces the communication flow between the rear screens and the display at the front of the cabin.
The forthcoming BMW X7 forms part of the largest model in the premium automaker’s history and is slated for launch in 2019.
For more info, head over to https://www.bmw.com.my/
Visuals courtesy of BMW Malaysia.