Observer writer

Friday, June 07, 2019

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ATL Automotive's state-of-the-art showroom on Lady Musgrave Rd in St Andrew, was filled to capacity for the region's first look at the BMW X2 M35i and the BMW X7. The latter was definitely the show-stopper.

“It's nice to be the first. It's nice to bring to Jamaica as the leading territory in the Caribbean. It's nice to lead from the front with the cars that we have,” Sloane Jackson, head of business at ATL Autobahn told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

ATL Autobahn is the division of the ATL Automotive Group responsible for the BMW and MINI brands.

The X5 is offered with a seven-seat option, but the X7 is built from the ground up to be a true seven-seater. Still, it can be had with six seats.

“The X5 has always been the real SUV, but the new X7 is for the client who really needs more space and more flexibility. Also, it's not just the space, what you'll notice with the X7 is that it's the 7 series of the X models, so it has more luxury fitted into the car. You can actually feel the richness in the X7,” Jackson explained.

With the main aim of carrying six or seven occupants, the BMW X7 has been designed to do so in the most luxurious fashion possible. All three rows benefit from the highest quality leather, full electronic operation, and boast similar comfort features. Those in the front row can operate the second row to allow third-row access, while from third row, access from the second row is just a button push away. From the split section trunk, rows two and three can be laid flat with a single button press as well. The X7 is at its most opulent in six-seater configuration as the middle row bench seat is replaced by two single captains' chairs that match the front's. The last row can handle passengers up to six feet tall and retains 300 litres of trunk space. This is all possible as the X7 is the largest BMW SUV currently in production.

Beyond the leather, piano gloss black, metal and wood trimmings, the X7 is packed with technology, most of which is activated from the large iDrive multimedia screen. Occupants can enjoy music of the highest fidelity from the Bowers & Wilkins stereo system through whatever device they connect to the infotainment. Those wanting a more personal experience have plenty of charge ports for their electronic devices. All driver functions are basically automated and can be set and forgotten.

Motivating the X7 is a three-litre inline turbocharged six-cylinder engine making 340bhp and 331lb/ft of torque. This carries it to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 245km/h. All the power and torque make their way to all four wheels allowing the X7 plenty of grip for driving confidence on road and more than enough off-road capability.

Pricing on the X7 xDrive 40i as launched was $28,000,000.

There was little doubt that the waiting crowd wanted to see the BMW's latest and greatest, but before, they were given a tease at the smaller end of the SUV spectrum, another first in the region, the BMW X2 M35i.

“It's the first in the Caribbean. It's the first M car with the two-litre engine that makes 306bhp. It's all things to all people. It's an SUV to someone who wants an SUV. It's a race car to someone who wants the power. It's that wonderful sweet spot between very practical and very sporty,” Jackson added.

The BMW X2 M35i is listed at $13,200,000.

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