Thank goodness for Google Translate. Without that indispensable tech tool, we might not know about BMW's future product plans, which include, among other items, a range-topping X7 SUV that will be the brand's largest to date and be positioned above the popular X5. According to German business news site Handelsblatt, BMW is going to concentrate a lot of its efforts on its SUV models, which, although unpopular with environmental activists and government regulators, are very popular with customers, expecially in the U.S. market.

BMW just recently unveiled the X4, a sportier, less practical sibling of the X3 SUV, in the vein of the X6. The paper also reported an expansion of BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant for an additional production capacity of 100,000 units, bring the total potential output to 400,000 units. As is the case with the X5, Spartanburg may be the exclusive global source for the forthcoming X7. BMW added a third-row option to the X5 for 2014, but like many modestly sized three-rows, the far-aft accommodations are a bit snug for adults, best suited for pre-teens and children.

The X7 could give BMW a model that could comfortably accommodate adults in all three rows, and finally give the brand a legitimate head-to-head competitor to the Mercedes-Benz GL. No speculation was made on available powerplants, but the 7 Series' 3.0-liter TwinPower I-6, 3.0-liter I-6 diesel, and 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 are likely candidates.

Source: Handelsblatt