BMW is finally going to make a BMW X7, a model which will go head to head against large SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the Range Rover. This was announced on Friday at BMW’s Spartanburg plant, where the new range topping X model will be built along with the rest of the X range such as the X3, X5, X6 and most recently the X4.

The new SUV is codenamed the F17, and it will be BMW’s largest SUV so far. With the new X5 being the F15 and the upcoming X6 being the F16, the new F17 is expected to be built on a long wheelbase version of the F15/F16 platform with its own unique styling.

So this is why BMW did not increase the size of the F15 X5 – it had the exact same wheelbase as the outgoing E70. Expect the X7 to have a wheelbase of over 3 metres long and over 5 metres overall body length.

The Spartanburg plant will have its production capacity raised from the current 300,000 units annually by 50% up to 450,000 units at a cost of US$1 billion. This will create 800 new jobs, bringing the total workforce at Spartanburg up to 8,800.