Photographers have captured images of a BMW X7 prototype on the back of a truck this week, before the new SUV flagship enters production later this year.
Set to sit above the X5 in the Bavarian marque's global line-up, the X7 is being pitched by BMW as a high-riding 7 Series, and will compete with a variety of high-end SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover, and Bentley Bentayga when it hits the market.
In terms of design, the X7 doesn't look like it will stray far from the Concept X7 iPerformance first shown at last year's Frankfurt motor show, sporting a tall and boxy design allowing for maximum passenger space and cargo volume.
The large alloy wheels, aggressive bumpers and intakes, along with the blue brake calipers on this particular vehicle lead us to believe it's fitted with the M Sport package, while the quad exhaust pipes hiding behind the rectangular finishers likely indicate a V8 or V12 engine lives under the bonnet.
Speaking of the powertrain, the X7 will likely offer a similar range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines as the smaller and related new-generation X5 – headlined by the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8-engined xDrive50i with 340kW and 650Nm, potentially the unit fitted to this prototype.
There should also be a plug-in hybrid variant offered later on as well, as previewed by the PHEV system that powered the Concept X7 iPerformance show car.
Inside, the X7 will offer up to three rows of seating, and feature a similar interior layout to the smaller X5. Additionally, expect the flagship SUV to be equipped with BMW OS7.0 software for the infotainment system and digital driver's display, along with the company's latest semi-autonomous driver assistance and active safety technologies.
BMW has confirmed production of the new X7 will commence at its Spartanburg facility in the United States 'very late' in 2018, with Australian deliveries to commence sometime during the first half of next year.
We're expecting the market version to be revealed a little before the first examples roll off the production line, perhaps at the Paris motor show in October.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and head to the galleries section for more images.
DRIVEN: 2019 BMW X7 prototype