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Spied: BMW X7

by Drew Johnson

BMW\'s range-topping SUV is taking form.

A prototype for BMW's upcoming X7 SUV has been spotted in Europe. The X7 is expected to be one of the most luxurious vehicles to ever wear the BMW badge.

Codenamed G07, BMW actually started development of the X7 three years ago, but this marks the first occasion that we've seen the big SUV in the flesh. The X7 will ride on the same CLAR architecture that underpins the current 7 Series sedan.

The X7 will slot above the X5 in BMW's SUV lineup, but it doesn't appear as though it will be a super behemoth. That said, the X7 will still have a generous footprint in line with vehicles like the Mercedes GLS.

Although the X7 will share its basic architecture with the 7 Series, that chassis will be significantly reinforced for SUV duties. The X7 will ship standard with rear-wheel drive, with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive available as an upgrade.

The base model X7 will likely use an inline-six engine while an eight-cylinder will be available. BMW is also expected to offer a plug-in hybrid version with the same gas-electric setup as the X5 xDrive40e. A range-topping 6.0L turbocharged V12 is also rumored.

The interior of the X7 is expected to be super luxurious, surpassing the cabin of the most recent 7 Series. Given the shift toward SUVs in the market place, it's possible that the X7 could replace the 7 Series as BMW's flagship vehicle moving forward.

Prices for the X7 will reportedly start from 130,000 euros, which translates to about $138,000. Production of the BMW X7 is scheduled to kick off in Spartanburg, South Carolina sometime in 2019.

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