The 2019 BMW X7, a rival to the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Range Rover, will come to Australia shortly after production kicks off in the US within a few years.

The X7 will be the Bavarian brand's largest SUV, finally giving it a seven-seater to sit above its top-selling X5. Like the X5, it'll be made at BMW's Spartanburg plant in the US state of South Carolina, which is to receive a $1 billion upgrade.

Underneath, the X7 will likely ride on a stretched version of the lightweight Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform that underpins the current 7 Series, new 5 Series and next-gen 3 Series. Should this be the case, you'd expect the next X5 to do the same.

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In terms of engines, the X7 will likely offer a range of turbocharged six- and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, along with a plug-in iPerformance hybrid variant.

US website BMWBlog reported last year that the projected annual production for the X7 is 45,000 units.

BMW Australia managing director Marc-Heinrich Werner told us last week that the car was now confirmed as a right-hand drive offering, and would be introduced to our market shortly after its world launch.

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"Arguably this is probably something we would have liked to see much earlier, but it's the way it is. The car is coming and that's good news. It's confirmed for Australia, though it's still a couple of years away. That's ok," he said.

He added: "We will not only be competitive, but the new benchmark." Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?

The car promises to boost BMW's Australian volumes more substantially than it may seem on first impression, given Mercedes sold more than 1110 GLS/GL-Class models here last year, and Range Rover managed 454.

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BMW also leads the large premium SUV market with the X5, and the 4181 sales it managed in 2016 made the car its top-seller, above the 3 Series.