BMW is expected to announce this week the expansion of its Spartanburg site in South Carolina and the addition of the X7 crossover to its production projects. The site commenced its production operations around 20 years ago, and has grown to become the industry’s biggest producer of vehicles exported from North America, according to BMW.
Chief executive Norbert Reithofer remarked that the flexible, high-volume site is its “center of competence” for crossover production and has played a vital role in BMW’s nine-year rule as the best-selling luxury brand in the world. BMW was expected to detail plans to expand the site’s annual capacity to 400,000 units and build the X7 seven-seat crossover there, a person privy with the matter told Automotive News.
BMW will add about around units of production to build the X7. The X7 would be available primarily in the US while older models X3, X5 and X6, which are also built, in Spartanburg are being sold worldwide.
Another model, the X4 is coming this year. The Spartanburg plant -- BMW’s only production site for the crossovers – is the carmaker’s first and only factory in North America and has built around 2.5 million vehicles since 1994. BMW has already spent around $6.3 billion at the site since 1992.
The new BMW X4 gracefully combines the signature cues of the BMW X family and the sporting elegance of a classical coupe. In effect, the X4 institutes the Sports Activity Coupe concept to the premium mid-size segment. The dynamism of the new BMW X4 is made possible by its high-performance engines and the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, as complemented by a wide array of standard features like Performance Control and variable sport steering. A sports leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles is also included.
Technically, the new BMW X4 is derived from the BMW X3. However, it boasts of its own levels of sportiness and dynamics as evident on its overall design. For instance, the front end of the new BMW X4 is marked by large air intakes located on the outer edges as well as the sporty character lines in the front apron. These details, along with the signature BMW twin headlights and front fog lamps -- both of which could be specified as LED units – help maximize the SAV’s visual presence on the road.
The roofline of the new X4 has its highest point above the driver, before lunging down to the trailing edge of the tailgate – just like that of a coupe. BMW’s signature swage line is now split into two on the X4, with the first section rising from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles. The second section, meanwhile, draws attention to the muscular sculpted rear wings. On the rear, the X4 is marked by the exclusively designed L-shaped LED lights with diffuser-look styling.
Compared to that in the X3, the front occupants of the new X4 sits 20 mm lower, thereby accentuating the coupe-like traits of the new SAV while highlighting its elegant and exclusive interior. Interestingly, the new X4 is spacious enough to accommodate up to five occupants, and is variable enough thanks to the standard 40:20:40 split rear seat backrest.