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BMW cancels X7 SUV plans

by Drew Johnson

Although it sometimes feels like an eon ago, SUVs - particularly large ones - were quite popular just a few years back. However, times - and particularly gas prices - have drastically changed over the last couple of years and drivers the world over have fallen out of love with big, thirsty four-by-fours. Thanks to that shift in consumer demand, BMW has officially cancelled its X7 SUV plans.

As the name implies, the X7 was slated to slot above BMW's X5 as the marque's range-topping SUV. Designed as a super luxury SUV, the X7 would have gone head-to-head with Land Rover's Range Rover SUV. However, rising fuel prices and weakening economic conditions - both in the U.S. and Europe -- have forced BMW to cancel its Range Rover-rivaling SUV plans, according to Automotive News.

But don't count BMW out of the SUV business just yet. Instead of going after the upper echelon of the SUV market, BMW is turning its focus to smaller, more efficient offerings. The BMW X1 - which will debut at October's Paris Motor Show -- has been given the green light for production and the German automaker is even reportedly working on a sporty two-door version of the X1, dubbed the . With BMW's emphasis on producing ultimate driving machines, we think BMW's new SUV direction is a smart one.

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