Call it a natural progression or aggressive marketing but the customer preference has shifted from aspiring for stately sedans to butch SUVs. So much so that the sales of the sedan are declining year on year. No one is unaffected by this trend, not even BMW, the manufacturer with one of the largest sedan lineups and a penchant for making great driving cars. But even the blue propeller had to bow down to the customer demand for more and more SUVs. Hence, the Munich carmaker has been rolling out new SUVs year after year. The newest SUV to join the ranks is the full-size BMW X7.
BMW’s previous idea of a 7-seater was sticking a row at the back of its mid-size X5. But owing to the declining sales of its flagship sedan, the 7 Series in the US market, BMW had another go at the full-size seven-seater SUV and came up with the X7. Think of it as the 7 Series but in SUV guise. It is based on the same CLAR architecture that pretty much underpins everything that BMW makes including the 7-series. The X7 even shares its powertrains with the 7 Series. It is powered by the same 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six and the 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 in two states of tune for the xDrive50i and the M50i.
Another thing we already know about the CLAR platform is that the platform supports electrification. The 7 Series 745e xDrive comes with an 111 hp / 195 lb-ft electric motor which is paired to the aforementioned 3.0-liter turbo straight-six. With this powertrain already available to BMW, the Bavarian automaker can and should consider a hybrid version of the X7. Even the X3, which is also underpinned by the CLAR has been introduced as a hybrid as well and is set to hit showroom floors by the end of this quarter.
So the pieces of the puzzle all seem to fit, but so far there is no indication from the brand that it might be considering a hybrid powertrain for its full-size SUV, sorry, SAV. In our opinion, it would be a viable project to invest in especially given the drive towards cleaner vehicles. What do you think?
Discuss this idea further on the BMW X7 forum