BMW's largest SUV will focus on the US and Chinese markets but will be sold in Britain; likely due early next year

The BMW X7 has been spotted winter testing wearing less cladding than before, offering the best glimpse of the future large SUV's design and scale yet.

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 last year.

Speaking to Autocar at the New York motor show, 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.

The X7 has been under development since late 2015. The first X7 sightings were of a chassis mule based on a 7 Series. The car, spotted testing in Scandanavia (and shown further back in the gallery), wore heavy weights on its roof to replicate the higher centre of gravity of the future SUV.

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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.

17 January 2017
JacobE wrote:

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.

Most of the people who buy the unreliable German crap don't actually know that German car are about the same reliability as their European counterparts. Old school German reliability died a long time ago and all dependability surveys show this year in year old. If you want reliability look no further then japanese who had some 6 out of 10 places in the top ten reliability surveys. Porsche was the only German make but lets face it, it's the same car for 4 decades.

As for innovation, Tesla have wiped their ass on the German faces with their autonomous electric car since the day the Model S was sold. With Google and apple cars imminent it's only down hill for the Germans.

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.

17 January 2017
Marc wrote:
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? comical.

Granted that LR products are no where near as reliable as they should be and BMW are more reliable. However they are seen as unreliable which is true unlike the junk that comes from Germany. Somehow that crap is seen as reliable yet they are barely above industry average. Ironically if you want reliability, Japanese is the way to go. Jus google JD Power dependability survey 2016 as see for ur self.

That's coming from someone who needed to change a gearbox on a 2012 (2 years ago) BMW 330D because it decided it didn't want to work no more. The icing on the cake was it only had 21k miles on the damn thing from when I bought it new. Now that's beyond 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

17 January 2017
jamesf1 wrote:
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

Isn't Mercedes biggest single shareholder the Arabs (Kuwait). Thats like saying no to a Mercedes because you rather have a .... what cars do arabs make? So a camel or a TATA I guess.

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