The CXCR4 receptor binds with meaningful affinities only CXCL12 and synthetic antagonists/inverse agonists. We recently described high affinity synthetic agonists for this chemokine receptor, obtained by grafting the CXCL12 N-terminus onto the inverse agonist T140. While those chimeric molecules behave as agonists for CXCR4, their binding and activation mode are unknown. The present SAR of those CXCL12-oligopeptide grafts reveals the key determinants involved in CXCR4 activation. Position 3 (Val) controls affinity, whereas position 7 (Tyr) acts as an efficacy switch. Chimeric molecules bearing aromatic residues in position 3 possess high binding affinities for CXCR4 and are Gαi full agonists with robust chemotactic properties. Fine-tuning of electron-poor aromatic rings in position 7 enhances receptor activation. To rationalize these results, a homology model of a receptor-ligand complex was built using the published crystal structures of CXCR4. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal further details accounting for the observed SAR for this series.