That doesn't look like South Carolina.
BMW is putting its flagship X7 SUV through the paces, and spy photographers are on the scene to catch it. The automaker hasn’t been shy about hiding this big people mover, even going so far as to officially announce X7 pre-production complete with photos of camouflaged models and SUVs under construction. Still, there will likely be some changes between those first pre-production test mules and the final production-ready X7, so we’ll be keeping a watchful eye as the year progresses.
That leads us to this latest round of shots, taken about as far away from the X7’s South Carolina manufacturing plant as you can get – undergoing winter testing in Sweden. This test vehicle has thinner coverings up front on the fascia, revealing a bit more of the X7’s squared-off corner vents. The camo wrap around the grille makes it tough to tell if it has shrunk at all, or if it’s still larger than life. The camouflage doesn’t hide the SUV’s body lines on the side extremely well, however, and we can see it will definitely take a minimalist approach without all the contrasting angles we’ve seen on previous BMW models.
Last December someone allegedly managed to get ahold of a pre-production X7 VIN and ran it through a decoder at the Bimmer.Work website. If the information is accurate, we know at least one of the engine options will be a 4.4-liter biturbo V8 engine with 456 horsepower (340 kW). The decoder said the VIN came back to an X7 Xdrive50i, equipped with all-wheel drive and a plethora of options including 22-inch wheels, an off-road package, M Sport differential, and a five-zone climate control.
That’s not to say there won’t be other power options, of course. Rumors mention a more modest offering in the form of a hybrid with 30 miles of electric range and a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a combined total of 320 horsepower.
BMW plans to spend the year testing its new SUV before making an official reveal late in 2018.