BMW X7: The X5 in size XXL

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Audi and Mercedes-Benz know how to meet the expectations of large American families with the Q7 and GL. Able to carry up to seven people, these SUVs compete well with home-grown US models. BMW, in contrast, lags a little behind in this segment. Its X5, even with its optional third row of seats, cannot rival the roominess of its competitors. To fix this problem, the car maker is planning to release an X7 in 2017 or 2018.

This SUV should be much like the X5, just longer. To rival the Q7 and GL, it will likely measure at least 5.10 m long. Inside, you can expect to find an avalanche of high-tech gadgets already seen in the latest models: 360° camera, thermal imaging camera and other automatic parking systems. It appears, with this X7, that BMW also intends to meet the needs of well-to-do families in Europe, Russia and even China.

As with the other models in the X range, BMW will likely offer an attractive choice of engine types for its X7. It would not be surprising if these include the 3-litre triple turbo diesel engine found in the X5 and X6 M50d. If you need reminding, this engine produces 381 horsepower and 740 Nm of torque. On the petrol side, the 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 (555 hp) should be the high end of the range.

Do you think this X7 is as much of a status symbol as its main German rivals?