An artist’s impression has come out of the BMW X7 SUV that is due to appear in 2018. It is a lot bigger than the X5 and has a third row of seats that is very useable. The X5 has a third row of seats but only suitable for children plus reduced the amount of storage room.
The artist who has drawn these pictures has used the styling of the 2013 Gran Lusso Coupe which launched in 2013. It may be that the production version of the X7 could be different but it is expected that it will be suitably different to the X5 so that it can easily be distinguished. This is different to the X6 which is a mix of an SUV and coupe which has the same front as the X5. It is even thought that the X7 might be used as the basis for a Rolls-Royce SUV which would compete with the Bentley SUV that is being developed at the moment.
There have been rumours for the last 15 years that BMW were making an X7 but they seem to have never had the courage to do so before as it is something that is not in keeping with the companies values. However, it is on a RWD-based platform. There is a growing desire for this size of vehicle, even though some people are concerned about fuel efficiency. It is in the US where this demand has grown so much and this is why they are building them in South Carolina in their Spartanburg plant. It is expected that it will probably do well in The Middle east, China and Russia that also have a taste for larger vehicles.
The new X7 will share architecture with the X5 and X6 as they get improved. Therefore it will overlap with the 7-series with regards to the infotainment system, assistance systems and electronics. The weight is likely to be the same as that of the X5 because of steel and aluminium being used liberally. It is expected that there may also be some carbon fibre used.
There will be options of turbocharged inline six and V8 engines as well as straight six diesel and plug in hybrid in the US. It is possible that there will be even more options available as well, pehaps with an M version with a turbocharged four but only a slim chance. There will be all-wheel drive as standard and all with have eight speed automatic gearboxes.
The car will see competition for land Rover range Rover, Lincoln Navigator, Audi Q7, Toyota Land Cruiser, Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX570, Mercedes-Benz GL-class and Infiniti QX80. It will arrive in 2017 as a 2018 model and is expected to be priced above the $60k mark.