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LA LIVE: 2019 BMW X7

It's aimed right at the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Audi Q7.

We now have live photos of the 2019 BMW X7 from the Los Angeles auto show. The first-ever X7 stands out as BMW's largest SUV to date.

The design won't catch you off-guard if you've kept up with BMW news in recent years. We saw the X7 as a thinly-veiled concept at the 2017 edition of the Frankfurt auto show. It wears the proportions you expect to see on a 203-inch long SUV but it receives a distinctive front end design that helps it stand out from the smaller X5.

BMW proudly boasts the X7 wears the largest kidney grille its designers have ever sketched. Around back, the lights and the chrome bar connecting them are reminiscent of the 7 Series. That's fitting; the X7 is presented as the 7 Series of the SUV world.

The colossal dimensions clear up space for up to seven passengers spread out over three rows of seats. There's a six-seater configuration available for buyers who want second-row captain's chairs instead of a bench. BMW promises average-sized adults can comfortably ride in the third row.

Trunk space checks in at 48.6 cubic feet with six or seven (depending on the configuration) passengers on board, according to BMW. Fold down the second and third rows and you'll have 90.4 cubes to fill. The cargo compartment is accessed via a power-folding two-piece tailgate.

There's plenty of technology on-board. BMW replaced the analog instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch screen and installed a second, identically-sized unit to display the infotainment system. It's touch-sensitive, though buyers can access the various menus via voice commands or gesture control technology. And, properly equipped, the X7 lets drivers take their hands off the wheel in a traffic jam at speeds of up to 37 mph. The catch is that they need to pay attention to the road ahead. An optic/infrared camera integrated into the instrument cluster tracks their eyes and nose to make sure they stay focused.

The X7 line-up includes two models called xDrive40i and xDrive50i, respectively. The xDrive part denotes standard all-wheel drive, i corresponds to fuel injection, but the numbers don't represent the respective engine displacement of each model.

Instead, the xDrive40i comes with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six engine rated at 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive50i receives an upgraded version of BMW's twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 good for 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Both engines shift through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 40i takes 5.8 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop while the 50i performs the same task in 5.2 seconds.

Made in South Carolina, the 2019 BMW X7 will arrive in showrooms in March 2019. It stands out as the first BMW that buyers can pre-order online. Pricing before options ranges from $73,900 for the X7 xDrive40i to $92,600 for the X7 xDrive50i.

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