SUV

Did Our Spies Catch The Bentayga-Fighting BMW X7 Out Testing?

It sure looks that way to us but we're not 100% sure.

We love our spy photographers and rarely question their judgement. However, we’re having a hard time believing that these photos are of the all-new BMW X5. The reason being is that the third generation made its debut a few years back as a 2014 model. Also, the SUV caught on camera here looks to be pretty damn big and bold. Could it be the all-new BMW X7, the three-row SUV destined to do battle with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and the mightiest models Range Rover can muster? It certainly looks that way.

The new X7 will be underpinned by the automaker’s new cluster architecture, or CLAR. CLAR is a modular platform made using a mix of lightweight materials. Both the 7 Series and the new 5 Series ride on it. When it comes to looks rest easy as the X7 won’t look be a fatter and longer version of its smaller stablemate, the X5. That will be key as buyers won’t be willing to shell out big bucks for a stretched X5 that's been force-fed. OK, they will, but those buyers won’t be the same people who are also looking to purchase the Bentayga or Range Rover SVR. In addition to needing to look exclusive, the X7 will also need to feature a host of engine options, including a beefy V12 because range-topper.

Ian Robertson, head of marketing and sales at BMW, told Autocar that the X7 would “have its pick from the entire BMW range.” Hmm…the M760Li xDrive is in that range and has a V12… Anyway, it’s unlikely that the highly camouflaged model caught testing here is packing 12 cylinders under the hood. It does have some serious brake rotors which indicate that no matter the spec this thing will be no slouch on the street. In terms of size it certainly looks big enough to seat seven in comfort while also storing their crap. Speaking of looks, we’re loving that more pronounced hood—it's leaner and meaner than the X5’s bonnet—and large twin kidney grille. Take a good look at these shots and let us know if you think this is a new X5 or X7. You know what our take is.

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