Our old BMW X5 rendering works on the new X7, too.
Remember the BMW XM concept? We sure do. That's largely because of the way the XM concept made us feel. We didn't like it then and we don't like it now. However, we did take some of the XM's styling cues and graft them onto the body of a BMW X5. The result was a rather handsome SUV if we do say so ourselves.
Then the BMW X7 came along. To say the least, it's yet another chapter in BMW's controversial styling playbook. The general public's reaction to it has been fairly mixed. Some say the new, big-grille design isn't that bad, others say they like it, and others still vehemently oppose it. Well, we think we might have improved the X7 via that X5 render we did a while back.
Obviously, the similarities between our render and the new BMW X7, especially the X7 M60i, don't stop with the paint. Our render features the skinny headlights from the XM concept, and they're almost a dead ringer for the ones on the X7. We'd still keep those, as we think BMW would too. Below the headlight, however, is where things need to change.
The current X7 looks squinty for two reasons: First, those headlights. Second, the DRLs below the headlights add a sort of "cheekbone" effect, enhancing the squint. We'd ax those and keep the angular intake shape from our BMW X5 render, and run the DRLs vertically along the outermost line of those intakes, sort of like the new Hyundai Palisade's.
Underneath the grille and DRL/intake section, we think the render cleans things up a little bit and would work well on the X7. Keeping those cues from the XM concept and our render also makes for a much stronger resemblance between BMW's concept and the production X7, something BMW's designers would surely love.
Now, the grille. There isn't anything objectively wrong with the grilles on the XM concept or the X7. It's their size that hurts things. They're just too big. We understand that BMW has said it's needed for cooling, but c'mon. There's got to be a better way to do it and we think BMW knows it. That said, if you've got to go big on the grille, it's our opinion the render simply does it better. It looks less busy than the existing one and again helps maintain some callbacks to the concept.
As for the rear of the car, we actually think BMW did a better job than the render or the XM concept did. It's clean and ties in well with the rest of the BMW lineup.
In all, some minor tweaks that shouldn't affect any of the X7's physical underpinnings could have made for a much more handsome SUV. Maybe next time, BMW.