The updated BMW X7 will wear a distinctive new face when it debuts, potentially later in 2021 or early in 2022.

    The latest set of spy photos of BMW’s flagship (for now) SUV give us our best look yet at the new split-level lighting up front.

    The upper lighting array will include the indicators and LED daytime running lights, while the main headlights will sit in a tier of lighting below.

    This same lighting arrangement is expected to be used on the redesigned 7 Series as well as the upcoming BMW XM.

    Split-level lighting arrangements like this have become increasingly common, particularly with SUVs. Other vehicles to feature split-level lighting include Hyundai’s SUV range, the Nissan Juke, and the pre-facelift Jeep Cherokee.

    The double kidney grille hasn’t plunged to the depths of the M3 and M4 but it appears to have grown wider, while there’s also a restyled front bumper.

    Expect two different front bumper designs: one for models equipped with the M Sport package, one for those without.

    The changes down back are more subtle.

    The tail light graphics appear to be mildly different, though they retain their shape and look to still be linked by a chrome strip.

    The rear bumper has been restyled and the quad exhaust outlets have a slightly different shape to current M Sport models.

    While we haven’t seen inside the updated X7 yet, it could feature a restyled dashboard.

    This could include the ‘curved dash’ of the new iX, which features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system in one housing.

    Expect the current powertrain line-up to carry over. In Australia, the X7 is available with a choice of two engines.

    The xDrive30d models use a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline six with 195kW of power and 620Nm of torque, while the flagship M50i has a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre petrol V8 with 390kW and 750Nm.

    A 3.0-litre turbo-petrol inline-six is available in other markets, though the X7 lacks a plug-in hybrid option like its smaller X3 and X5 siblings.

    That leaves buyers who want an electrified seven-seater BMW without any options, as both the plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive45e and all-electric iX lack the option of a third row.

    MORE: BMW X7 news, reviews, comparisons and videos

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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