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BMW's new X7: Want a 7 Series SUV?

2014-10-16 13:14

NEXT X-BADGED BMW: BMW is testing a prototype of what will eventually become its new X7 SUV. Image: Automedia

BERLIN, Germany - BMW has confirmed that it will produce an X7, thought to be a new seven-seat flagship model for its range of X-badge off-roaders.

The announcement came as part of a ceremony at BMW’s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina celebrating 20 years of production in the USA.

BMW chairman of the board, Norbert Reithofer, said: “With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our US plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the US.”

HUGE DEMAND IN THE US

Spy photographers spotted prototype X7 elements using the new 7 Series body.

Rivals for an SUV larger and more opulent than the BMW X5, are few and far between in Europe and the X7 will be taking on the Mercedes-Benz GL and Range Rover Sport. There’s more demand for cars X7-sized in the US where it will compete against the Infiniti QX80 and Cadillac Escalade.

IMAGE GALLERY: BMW X7 spotted in testing

BMW couldn’t confirm which platform the X7 will use but it makes sense for it to use a tweaked version of the one underpinning the next-generation 7 Series, which is due to arrive late in 2015. As BMW begins to introduce aluminium and carbon-fibred elements into its platforms, a process thought to start with the 7 Series, we could even see an X7 that weighs about the same as the smaller X5.

ELEMENTS FROM THE ROLLS-ROYCE GHOST

It will likely be powered by six-cylinder V8 and V12 units, with a development of the eDrive plug-in hybrid system, due in the X5, also likely to be offered. The announcement of the X7 also adds strength to the suggestion that Rolls-Royce will build an SUV.

Just as the Ghost borrows mechanical components from the 7-Series, the new X7 could donate parts to a Rolls-Royce-badged SUV.

The BMW X7 could be revealed in 2017 to be launched in 2018.

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