The BMW X7 seems like it's only just arrived but a major facelift is already on the way for the big SUV, as evidenced by the recent sighting of camouflaged prototypes.
The facelift will serve as a mid-cycle refresh, which in BMW tradition should be introduced in 2022 as a 2023 model.
That's also when BMW will introduce a redesigned 7-Series, and the facelift for the X7 will help align the SUV's styling with the more radical look pegged for the next 7er. Yes, BMW is finally shaking up its styling, under the guidance of Domagoj Dukec who took up the design reins at the automaker in 2017. The first BMW fully influenced by the new designer is the latest 4-Series.
The face of the X7 will be completely revised, thanks to what appears to be split headlights and a new grille. The main headlight unit also looks to be positioned lower, which should result in a more sinister, brooding look, while the conjoined kidneys of the grille on the current X7 may be split with this facelift.
The new look was previewed on BMW's recent Concept XM, which is set to spawn a production model later this year. The production XM is expected to be a standalone model for the M division which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022.
But getting back to the X7, the changes at the rear are likely to be less dramatic. There's a new design for the lower fascia and exhaust tips, as well as a slightly revised design for the taillights.
It's possible the interior is also updated with the technology designed for the next 7-Series which we hear will also mark a major step up in luxury compared to the current generation.
It isn't clear what BMW has planned for the powertrains. The X7 currently offers inline-6 and V-8 options, including a high-performance V-8 in an Alpina model that's also about to be updated. A plug-in hybrid option is likely, but the jury is still out on whether a battery-electric X7 is planned. The vehicle's CLAR platform is capable of supporting electric powertrains and we know one is destined for the next 7-Series. In fact, prototypes for the electric 7-Series are already testing.
Production of the X7 is handled at exclusively at BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and this will also be the case for the updated version.