Rather than sit idly by and watch its rivals lure in well-heeled buyers with new luxury SUVs, BMW will join the fray with an extra-exclusive, extra-luxurious version of its upcoming X7 full-size SUV.

The X7 will launch on the market in 2018 as a rival to the likes of the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Land Rover Range Rover but an even plusher version is being readied to target a new range of SUVs from ultra-luxurious brands Bentley, Mercedes-Maybach and even fellow BMW Group brand Rolls-Royce.

The information was confirmed to Automotive News (subscription required) by BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson. He said there will be a version of the X7 with distinct styling and a four-seat arrangement similar to what we see in Volvo’s XC90 Excellence. Robertson said this extra-luxurious X7 will be priced north of $100k, just like the XC90 Excellence. The regular X7 will have seven seats split over three rows and a starting price well below $100k.

2017 Volvo XC90 Excellence

2017 Volvo XC90 Excellence

All X7s will be built at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The vehicle is being developed around the carbon fiber-infused 35up platform that made its debut in the latest 7-Series. Test mules have already been spotted. Note, the new SUV from Rolls-Royce will be based on the British brand’s own aluminum spaceframe architecture.

In his interview with Automotive News, Robertson also reaffirmed BMW’s recently announced plans for a model positioned above the 7-Series. Robertson said this high-end model, likely to be an 8-Series coupe, has been in development for some time and will be shown in the not too distant future.

Robertson also confirmed a new BMW compact crossover for the United States. The vehicle is thought to be the coupe-like X2 recently spied in prototype form.


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