Spy photographers have snapped what appears to be BMW's future giant X7 SUV going hammer and tongs at Germany's Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Expected to arrive in 2019, the enormous seven seater will take its place at the top of BMW's SUV range, above the X6 and will square up against the likes of Mercedes-Benz's GLS and Land Rover's Range Rover line-up.
While the prototype is wearing camouflage there are a few takeaways from these latest pics. Styling is expected to be close to the upcoming X5.
First, the face. These shots indicate the upcoming X7 is going to sport an oversized version of BMW's kidney grille – taller than other SUV models and flanked by narrower headlights. The mesh underneath them shroud what is likely to be huge air-intakes, too.
Next, that wheelbase. It's long. The X7 uses a stretched version of the 7 Series platform. It's a scalable architecture called CLAR (Cluster Architecture) and it also underpins 5 Series and X5 but the X7's will be bigger. The current X5 is 4886mm long and the third row doesn't offer much room for adults. The X7 is expected to be able to seat two adults comfortably in the third row and will be at least as long as the 5130mm Benz GLS and match its 3075mm wheelbase, too.
A tall and flat roofline means the X7 will have excellent third row headroom and an impressive cargo capacity.
As for its dynamic ability, there's no mistaking BMW test pilots are pushing the future X7 hard here and loading up the suspension. Cruise-ship-at-sea style body roll is fairly normal on something nearly two meters tall and weighing over 2.5 tonnes, but the X7 looks to be holding up impressively. As somebody famous once said, "It looks like a steakhouse, but handles like a bistro." The same could apply to the X7, perhaps.
The X7 is also expected to come with a choice of three powerplants – a V8, in-line six, and hybrid.
Will it come to Australia? You betcha. BMW Australia's communications GM, Lenore Fletcher said the company is, "extremely excited about the new X7."
"Australia is such a fantastic market for SAVs (sports activity vehicles), and particularly so for BMW. The landmark BMW X5, which actually created the premium SAV segment, has become BMW's best-selling vehicle in Australia and, from that point of view, we can't wait to add it to our range. We just know it will be a segment leader!," she said.
Could BMW's X7 be your next premium family truckster? Tell us what you think in the comments below.