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The BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion, Toronto

The Concept X7 makes its North American debut.

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Located on Bay Street in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District, the BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion is a pop-up environment dedicated to highlighting the brand’s focus on luxury design and technology. Open to the public from October 16 to 29, the Excellence Pavilion showcases not only the future of BMW’s automotive design, but the brand’s relationship with the arts, architecture, luxury goods, and more. Having debuted in Berlin in early 2017, Toronto is the only North American stop for the experience, which includes the North American debut of BMW’s new Concept X7 iPerformance SUV.

While very much still in its early phases, the Concept X7 iPerformance offers a glimpse of where BMW is headed in terms of both accessing a new segment (six passenger large SUVs) and in the evolution of their overall design language.

Slated for a 2018 release as the X7, the Concept X7 is much closer to the format established by the recent Concept 8 (or even the i8), than that of its sibling X5. Tight angular lines form an exterior that is both bold and distinctly BMW, thanks largely to the oversized kidney grills and their characteristic headlight design. What is markedly new are the large vertical accents on the front air intakes. This wideset and squared-off design looks unlike anything on a modern BMW and recalls the square chin of the new Rolls Royce Phantom VIII.

The Concept X7 looks futuristic, architectural, and certainly much larger than what we’ve come to expect from BMW.

Operating as a plug-in hybrid with the promise of a full-electric drive mode, the Concept X7 iPerformance looks to apply much of what BMW has learned from their production i-series hybrid vehicles. With a hybrid powertrain and a light, airy cabin, the Concept X7 looks futuristic, architectural, and certainly much larger than what we’ve come to expect from BMW.

Considering the very successful large SUV offerings from competition like Audi, Land Rover, and Mercedes, it’s no surprise that BMW would want to enter the space with a new model. That said, the large luxury SUV space is one where design and luxury are placed at a very high premium. To play at this level a brand must have a qualified grasp on interior and exterior design, comfort, quality, and advanced technology. The Excellence Pavilion offers a beautifully designed environment in which BMW can display these strengths alongside exhibits and events with other brands and creators, including Isabella Briatico, Montblanc, and Glashütte Original watches.

In describing their key audience for the BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion experience, Hildegard Wortmann, senior vice president of the BMW brand said, “For these people, life is all about making the best possible use of the time available to them. Their motto is ‘to own the moment’ … to max out every snapshot of time with meaningful and beautiful things.”

The BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion is open daily until 4 p.m. Alongside the displays and the opportunity to see the Concept X7 in the metal, BMW is also offering test-drives of a wide range of vehicles from their current line up.

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October 20, 2017
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