BMW X7 to follow Volvo's lead with four-seat, $100k limo

  • 2014 BMW X5
That BMW is planning an X7 crossover is nothing new. The company needs a three-row model to cap its crossover range and take on the Mercedes GLS and Audi Q7, and the current X5 can only take it so far. But according to Automotive News, the Bavarian automaker is planning an even more luxurious version – with fewer seats.

The ultra-luxe X7 variant is slated to arrive as the latest embodiment of a new trend emerging among upscale automakers. You make a seven-seat SUV, then rip out the second and third rows, replace them with a pair of first-class recliners, and presto! You have a high-riding limousine. Volvo recently took that approach with the introduction of the XC90 Excellence, and Mercedes may soon adopt a similar formula with the anticipated Maybach version of the GLS. Now BMW appears to be following suit as well.

Like the XC90 Excellence, the X7 limousine would carry a price tag in excess of $100,000, and for all that scrap, buyers could expect all the luxury accoutrements that Munich has to offer. Look for reclining seats, acres of legroom, infotainment displays mounted to the front seatbacks, and a center console packed with temperature-controlled cupholders, folding tables, and maybe even a bottle cooler. Like the anticipated 9 Series sedan, the X7 limo would help BMW bridge the gap between its core range and its Rolls-Royce line, which is soon to launch a crossover of its own – albeit unrelated to the X7 – to compete in an even higher market segment.

Though these rearward-focused luxury crossovers may be targeted especially at the Chinese market – where titans of industry are chauffeured through densely packed city streets – the X7 is anticipated to be built right here in the USA at the plant in Spartanburg, SC. It won't be the only new crossover joining the Roundel marque's lineup, though. A new X2 is anticipated to apply the same format we've seen on the X6 and X4 to the smaller X1. At this rate, we wouldn't be surprised to see a super-sized, slant-backed X8 to follow as luxury automakers make a growing share of their profits from crossovers.

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