The X7 will take the fight to the Mercedes GLS, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and other large SUVs. The X7 fills a glaring hole in BMW's lineup, and will allow the company to better compete for customers who continue to thirst for utility vehicles. The Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover Discovery and Lincoln Navigator will also likely be the X7's rivals.
The X7 will be based on a stretched version of the X5's underpinnings and a modular platform BMW calls CLAR, or Cluster Architecture. It will be assembled at BMW's growing factory in Spartanburg, S.C., where it will also be exported to global markets.
These latest spy images show production lights for the first time, though the kidney grille and BMW's simple yet athletic styling is also evident on the fenders, hood and roof. Speculation is rampant as to what will be under the hood, with a turbo six-cylinder likely. We also predict a hybrid variant and perhaps a diesel in some markets. An eight-cylinder and a V12 are also rumored. Expect the eight-speed automatic to be the primary gearbox.
BMW brand sales have dipped 4.6 percent in the U.S market through July, so an SUV should provide a much-needed sales jolt. The company first confirmed plans for the X7 in 2014. Not a minute too soon, it's nearly here.