The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, unveiled at Frankfurt, is a preview of what’s to come from Munich – a flagship SUV that sits above the X5 and “a whole new take on luxury for the BMW brand.” The carmaker has confirmed that the production BMW X7 will make its debut in 2018, spearheading Munich’s new push to grow its presence in the luxury class.

“The new BMW design language employs just a few, extremely precise lines and subtle surface-work to raise the bar in terms of presence and prestige. The BMW Concept X7 has a luxurious and sophisticated feel to it, thanks to its understated use of forms and incredibly precise details,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, senior VP at BMW Group Design.

Yes, but it’s that nose that will hog attention. The large, vertical kidney grille on the upright front-end has a frame and bars that are single-piece and solid in design, as if hewn from a single piece. There are contrasts between gleaming edges and matt surfaces. The laser headlights, on the other hand, are very slim and have blue X signatures within.

A prominent bar extends across the full width of the front apron, before rising vertically to frame the air intakes. On the flanks, a chrome strip in the door sills frames the Air Breathers in a vertical accent, following the front-end look. For the first time in an X model, the wheel arches feature a circular cut. Those multi-spoke wheels are 23-inch items.

At the back, vertical aero lips mark out the rear clearly from the flanks. The slim rear lights, which sport a 3D L-shape, break up the body volumes and a chrome bar connects the two sides. A bird’s-eye view of the X7 Concept reveals the glass roof’s transparent, Y-shaped supporting structure.

BMW says that the X7’s sheer size gives it an interior experience unmatched by any BMW, past or present. It sits six in a 2-2-2 formation, and four of the chairs have a four an exclusive individual design. Dark, olive-bronze leather with discreet gold pigmentation covers the seat bolsters. Smoke White leather cover the remainder of the seats, and hide is also found on the shell-like backs of the individual seats.

The large panoramic roof gives the interior a light and airy, open-to-the-sky feel. At night, one can observe strands of laser light in the roof.

The cockpit retains a driver focus that will be familiar to BMW customers. As with recent concepts, there’s a “wrap around” for the driver, and this giant of a car provides a great view out from its raised seating position. The “reduced to the essentials” instrument panel is a 12.3-inch screen that visually connects to the central touchscreen. BMW says that a new operating concept allows interactive use of the two displays.

Partially backlit crystal glass in the dark Silver Night shade lends a sophisticated feel to control elements like the selector lever, iDrive Controller and steering wheel buttons. The production BMW X7 plug-in hybrid SUV will surface next year.