We're about a year away from seeing the final version.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Before a vehicle enters production in earnest, it goes through a process called preproduction. That's where
all-new X7 is right now.
BMW announced today that the X7 has entered the preproduction phase at the automaker's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Preproduction is the phase in between prototyping and production, which gives the automaker the chance to see how the vehicle fares on an assembly line, and it also gives one more chance to make sure there aren't any issues.
Because the vehicle is not 100 percent ready for the spotlight just yet, BMW is wrapping its pre-pro X7s in camouflage, which will obscure its body lines and prevent spy photographers from getting a full shot of the car before BMW stages its unveiling. BMW claims the car will be unveiled in late 2018, likely around the
Los Angeles Auto Show
Paris Motor Show
BMW's Spartanburg operation is huge. It built more than 411,000 vehicles in 2016, making it the largest plant BMW Group operates worldwide. A majority of what it produces is shipped overseas, but it's also responsible for BMW's SUV lineup in the US. Since its opening in 1994, BMW has built approximately 3.9 million vehicles there, and it employs about 9,000 workers, with another thousand slated for hire by 2021.
The X7 is loosely based on the Concept X7 iPerformance, a plug-in hybrid concept that existed to let the world know that BMW was finally serious about building a three-row crossover. BMW has been absent from this segment, but the
Q7 are probably happy about that. Too bad for them, because in a year's time, there'll be a whole new competitor to contend with.
BMW Concept X7 previews the biggest, fanciest BMW crossover ever