When it comes to the possibility of a BMW X7, we’ve heard all kinds of things. First, there were rumors saying it would be produced and then the rumors were pulled back saying that plans for the X7 had been canceled . Now, we finally have official confirmation of the range-topping X-Series model.
This announcement really came out of left field, and was buried deep in a press release regarding the company’s South Carolina plant. The reason it ended up in this release was because it will be the newest addition to the plant’s workflow in 2016. Despite being built here in the U.S., the X7 will be a part of Bimmer ’s global market, with a lot of the demand coming from the growing Chinese market.
For now, the details are scarce, but there are some assumptions to be made about what engines it will carry and the basic styling.
Updated 03/31/2014: BMW officially confirmed that the future X7 luxury SUV will be produced at the company’s Spartanburg plant stating 2016. "With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our U.S. plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the U.S."
Hit the jump to read more about the future BMW X7.
UPDATE 05/27/2011: Automobilemag has revealed new details on the upcoming X7. Codenamed F17, the new model will be built on a long-wheelbase platform X6 and will take on the upcoming Audi Q9 and the next generation Mercedes GL. The model will add third row seating in order to offer interior room for seven passengers. It will be offered the China, Russia, and United States markets.
Exterior and Interior
Being an X model, we expect to see the usual BMW SUV design language. However, since the X7 is a large luxury SUV, expect an exterior inspired mostly by the X6 . The SUV’s front will be defined by the company’s usual kidney grille, a front bumper with large air intake, and integrated front bumpers.
The X7 will offer one of the most luxury interiors for a BMW SUV, same as the 7-Series limousine: high quality leather, wood insertions, and lots of new technologies.
For the engine line-up, BMW will borrow the engine used in the X6: a 4.4 V-8 engine with 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet torque and a 3.0 inline-six-cylinder engine that delivers 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. An M version will use the company’s latest 4.4-liter V-8 engine that delivers 555 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 500 pound-feet of torque from 1500 to 5,650 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in around 5 seconds, while top speed will remain electronically limited to 155 mph.
Given the X7 will be a full-size SUV, the Escalade it its most likely of foes. With its refreshed look, the Escalade will likely take the cake in terms of aesthetics, but it will fall well short of the Bimmer in terms of driving experience.
Like All BMW models — even the big boys — the X7 will be designed to deliver both luxury and performance, and the lumbering Caddy just can’t deliver the goods in this department. Now, in terms of base power, the Escalade has no issues, thanks to a 6.2-liter powerhouse that lays down 420 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. This should be enough to get the large luxo-barge up to 60 mph in under seven seconds, likely matching the base X7’s sprint.
Unfortunately, GM likes to limit its non-performance models to a 107-mph top speed, so the Escalade likely wont hang in terms of top speed.
Gallery Cadillac Escalade
When Can I Get One?
The BMW X7 will appear on the market sometime in 2016 as a 2017 model.
The BMW Group is expanding capacity at its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “To meet strong global demand for our BMW X models, we will invest a total of one billion U.S. dollars in our Spartanburg plant by 2016. This will increase annual production capacity by 50% up to 450,000 vehicles from 300,000 currently,” explained Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer, at a special ceremony in Spartanburg on Friday commemorating 20 years of production in the U.S.
Among the guests attending the ceremony held on the plant grounds were U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker; Governor of the state of South Carolina, Nikki Haley; Board of Management member for Production, Harald Krüger; and head of BMW Plant Spartanburg, Manfred Erlacher.
BMW X7 to be built in Spartanburg
BMW X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M models have been manufactured so far in Spartanburg, BMW’s centre of competence for X vehicles. Friday’s event celebrated the start of production of the BMW X4. Norbert Reithofer also announced a further expansion of the X model family: “With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our U.S. plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the U.S.”
During the ceremony, BMW Board of Management member for Production Harald Krüger talked about the importance of the U.S. to BMW Group’s overall production strategy: “The BMW Group aims for a good balance of growth between all markets and continents. The Spartanburg plant is an important building block in our international network of 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries today. It makes a vital contribution to profitable, globally-balanced growth.”
Krüger continued: “The BMW plant in Spartanburg is the best example of our successful strategy of ‘production follows the market’. The state of South Carolina has supported us as a valuable and reliable partner throughout our 20-year involvement in the region and played a decisive part in making the U.S. our second home.”