BMW's largest SUV will focus on the US and Chinese markets but will be sold in Britain; due to be revealed next year
Sam Sheehan
21 November 2016

The BMW X7 has been spotted testing on public roads in Germany, revealing the new large SUV's design and scale for the first time.

The Mercedes GLS and Range Rover rival will be the largest SUV yet produced by BMW and adopts a typical SUV body shape with a boxy passenger cabin and flat-faced front end. Beneath the camouflage will be familiar BMW design features, such as halo daytime running lights and kidney grilles.

The seven-seat X7 is being developed with the US and Chinese markets in mind but was confirmed for UK sales by BMW head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson earlier this year.

Speaking to Autocar at the New York motor show in March, Robertson said: “We will have some versions that are top-end luxury, as well as more mainstream versions. I can’t talk about pricing now, but given that this car will have all the technology and luxury of the 7 Series, it gives you a pretty good idea of the price point we’re talking about.”

Previously, it was thought the X7 would be built on an extended version of the X5’s underpinnings, but Robertson said many parts are actually bespoke for the new car. “If you put both cars next to each other, the resemblance is small in terms of wheelbase etc. We’re not going to just extend the wheelbase, it’s a complete new panel cell.”

It is too soon for BMW to confirm which engines will go into the X7, but sources have previously speculated that it will feature a selection of six and eight-cylinder engines, such as the 3.0-litre diesel in 30d, 40d and 50d guises and the twin-turbo 4.4-litre petrol V8 from the X6 xDrive50i.

Robertson also hinted that the X7 would use engines from a wide range of BMW models, rather than just the X5 and X6. A hybrid model will almost certainly going be offered, because BMW “sold more hybrids to the UK in the first two months of 2016 than in all of 2015 put together".

The X7 will be built at the company's plant at Spartanburg in the US. It will have three rows of seats, making it a rival for the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator in that country and China.

The X7 is not expected to go on sale until 2018, and an insider said we'd be unlikely to see it before the close of 2017.

Before today's sighting, the only X7 sightings were of a chassis mule based on a 7 Series. The car, spotted testing in Scandanavia (and shown in the gallery), wore heavy weights on its roof to replicate the higher centre of gravity of the future SUV.

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Comments
19

16 February 2015

Like the Mercedes GL the X7 will be pointless as long as the Range Rover exists. Like the Merc the X7 won't be as capable on and off road, won't be as well built and won't feel as luxurious or have as stunning quality materials as the Range Rover. And then there's the desirability cache and class of the Range Rover, and the Land Rover brand in general, which BMW and Mercedes can only dream of.

16 February 2015

It's a wonder Mercedes are able to sell any GLs then.. Sales numbers do indicate more people buy Range Rovers but they are still comparable. As for desirability and class, it's a wonder these German upstarts are still in business. Probably something to do with the fact that up until about 10 years ago British cars were generally terrible, based on my experience of a Range Rover and two Jag XJs (both contemporary at the time, not sheds). I have to guess you are either trolling or some sort of weirdo that sleeps with Union Jack bedlinen. Mercedes and BMW both make fine cars and some people actively buy them over Range Rovers and Jaguars. In fact, most people with the means actually do just that.

16 February 2015
Saucerer wrote:

Like the Mercedes GL the X7 will be pointless as long as the Range Rover exists. Like the Merc the X7 won't be as capable on and off road, won't be as well built and won't feel as luxurious or have as stunning quality materials as the Range Rover. And then there's the desirability cache and class of the Range Rover, and the Land Rover brand in general, which BMW and Mercedes can only dream of.

Absolutely spot on. In fact, I'd go further. There is no point whatsoever in BMW and Merc producing ANY 4x4s or SUVs since JLR now have a full line line up.

Indeed, with Jaguar now producing 3, 5 and 7 series sized saloons, as well as sporty cars like the F-Type, BWM and Merc might as well forget about those sectors too.

So, for the time being BMW and Merc should only be allowed to build the Golf-sized 1-series and the A-class, but only until JLR decide to enter that sector too, after which the two hopeless (in the face of the superior JLR products) German makes should do the honourable thing and just exit car production altogether.

17 February 2015
Saucerer wrote:

Like the Mercedes GL the X7 will be pointless as long as the Range Rover exists. Like the Merc the X7 won't be as capable on and off road, won't be as well built and won't feel as luxurious or have as stunning quality materials as the Range Rover. And then there's the desirability cache and class of the Range Rover, and the Land Rover brand in general, which BMW and Mercedes can only dream of.

Saucerer is back in style. Why does anybody care to build cars if they are not JLR? Their products are so superiour that resistance is futile.

21 March 2016
Saucerer wrote:

Like the Mercedes GL the X7 will be pointless as long as the Range Rover exists. Like the Merc the X7 won't be as capable on and off road, won't be as well built and won't feel as luxurious or have as stunning quality materials as the Range Rover. And then there's the desirability cache and class of the Range Rover, and the Land Rover brand in general, which BMW and Mercedes can only dream of.

You do know that the Range Rover only has 5 seats in such a huge body? A lot of customers, me included, need 7 seats in a similar sized SUV as a Range Rover, with infotainment that is actually up to date. Not many take their new Range Rovers off road to outer Mongolia and the like. Most seem to glide around City Centres. As nice as the Range Rover is, it's not really that practical, not if you have kids.

23 March 2016
Saucerer wrote:

Like the Mercedes GL the X7 will be pointless as long as the Range Rover exists. Like the Merc the X7 won't be as capable on and off road, won't be as well built and won't feel as luxurious or have as stunning quality materials as the Range Rover. And then there's the desirability cache and class of the Range Rover, and the Land Rover brand in general, which BMW and Mercedes can only dream of.

Quality, RR? have you seen the panel alignment/gaps on a RR? f'kin comical.

21 November 2016
Saucerer wrote:

Like the Mercedes GL the X7 will be pointless as long as the Range Rover exists. Like the Merc the X7 won't be as capable on and off road, won't be as well built and won't feel as luxurious or have as stunning quality materials as the Range Rover. And then there's the desirability cache and class of the Range Rover, and the Land Rover brand in general, which BMW and Mercedes can only dream of.

Thats os true. mercedes sure? No thanks I'll have the TATA

25 November 2016

Problem is that this BMW will drive and work much better than any RR. The infotainment system, heads up display and pretty much everything else will work better with higher quality. Not to mention it will ride and handle better than any RR, with better engines and gearboxes. And better build quality. It may be 10% behind RR in off-roading but will be 50% ahead in everything else. Did I mention it's a BMW?

Dan

16 February 2015

The X5 though also sold with 7-seat configuration was never up to the task of carrying 7 passengers - not even children - not even for short distances. The seats were proxy and the access was inadequate too. It is only logical for the BMW to offer the X7 that would be based on the 7-Series.

wmb

16 February 2015

As good as the GL is and X7 will be, I believe for the moment they will be the best at second and third place when compared to the all around performance of the Range Rover. BMW and Mercedies build some of the best luxury sport/sport luxury cars in the world, but Land Rover's occupattion (especially Range Rover) is building luxury 4x4's! That doesn't mean that Range Rover will not have a real fight on they're hands, for the heart of the luxury 4x4 owner! For that owner wants a LUXURY 4x4 that will go anywhere, whether they actually leave the pavement or not! And when Mercedies adds the S Classes interior appointments to the GL (and/or give it the Maybach treatment), Bentley introduces their SUV and BMW uses the X7 as the bones for their R&R SUV, I believe Range Rover will at they very least have to up their game on the luxury side of their go anywhere top offering.

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