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BMW has officially announced it is to build an X7 model in the near future, a 4x4 behemoth that’ll be the firm’s largest ever SUV.

At a ceremony commemorating 20 years of BMW production in the United States last week, BMW Group chairman Norbert Reithofer confirmed that the range-topping 4x4 will be built at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina; the production home of BMW’s X model range.

This will be accompanied by - cue Dr Evil close up - a total investment of ONE BILLION DOLLARS in the US plant by 2016, increasing annual production of vehicles from 300,000 to 450,000 and making it BMW’s biggest facility. Screw you, Germany!

“With the BMW X7,” Dr Reithofer said, “we are developing another larger X model, which we will produce at our US plant for our world markets, once again underscoring out commitment to the US.”

It’s likely the UK won’t see the X7 - an X5 is plenty large enough for these roads, thanks - but the USA, China and Russia are expected to lap it up like it’s going out of fashion.

Details are scant, but we can guess the X7 will be over five metres in length, judging by the current crop of X-models - X1 (448cm long), X3 (465cm long), X5 (489cm long) and X6 (488cm long). Oh, and don’t forget there’s an X4 coming too.

Expect the X7 to arrive with BMW’s supernaturally brilliant 3.0-litre triple turbo diesel - the ‘M50d’ - producing 381bhp and 545lb ft of torque as it does in the X5/X6, along with the standard 3.0-litre diesel and range-topping 4.4-litre V8. And how about - dare we say it - the 6.0-litre V12 from the 750/760Li?

Of course, proper details to be confirmed as soon as we get them. As to the whole ‘why’ bit of the X7, it’s because one in four BMWs sold across the globe is an X model. The added investment in Spartanburg will also attract another 800 new jobs.

Top Gear eagerly awaits the arrival of the even-larger X9 and X11, the latter of which shall be so vast as to require a convoy of Highways Agency vehicles to accompany its every trip.

Pictured: the BMW X5

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