The company has said that besides introducing the large X7 seven-seater in 2018, it is also planning an even more luxurious version of the SUV, the aim being to offer an alternative to the Land Rover Range Rover and possible Maybach versions of the 2017 Mercedes GLS-Class flagship SUV, as well as the Cadillac Escalade.
The development of these new models, the X7 in particular, is a response to escalating demand on the part of car shoppers for SUVs in the U.S.
BMW expects that 40 percent of its 2016 sales will be accounted for by SUV crossovers and has noted a decline in demand for sedan models of the kind that it built its reputation on.
The X7 will have its own styling rather than being a stretched version of the smaller BMW X5, as previous speculation has suggested.
No exterior body panels will be shared, and it's possible that the model may feature lightweight carbon fiber in its structure, as with the 2016 BMW 7 Series flagship sedan.
Both versions of the X7 will be built at the BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina plant, which is now the company's biggest manufacturing operation worldwide.
The luxurious version of the X7 is expected to be a small volume vehicle. It will be priced around $100,000 when it arrives at BMW dealerships in 2018.
Edmunds says: BMW has decided that U.S. customers are more interested in crossovers than sedans, so it's remaking its lineup to reflect the changing demand.