Mystery Solved: U Spied BMW Chinese Partner’s Brilliance V7 Crossover In Europe

There’s a reason why the camouflage on this tester spied on European soil by one of Carscoops’ readers reminds of BMW prototypes. As it turns out, it’s not a Mercedes-Benz GLB, as we originally thought, but a Brilliance V7 crossover.

For those of you not familiar with the brand name, Brilliance is one of the BMW Group’s Chinese partners.

In fact, just recently, the German carmaker took advantage of China’s change of heart in regards to foreign companies owning a majority stake in joint ventures amid the trade disputes between China and the USA. The Chinese government gave BMW permission to acquire more than 50 percent in its joint venture with Brilliance, with the Germans said to up their ownership to at least 75 percent.

Read: BMW, VW First Foreign Automakers To Gain Control Of Their Chinese Joint Venture

Back to the car you see here, these images were sent in by Per Orslien and show the seven-seat crossover being transported on the back of trailer traveling towards the Swedish boarder.

We’re not sure why the Brilliance V7 is being tested in Europe, as it made its Chinese auto show debut in production trim this past April (see photos below), but aside from BMW having its own engineers make some final touches and/or observations, there’s always the possibility of the Germans looking to offer the car in other markets outside of China.

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Images via Xuehua & PCAuto

The crossover has plastic body cladding, an upward sweeping beltline and a character line that runs through the door handles. We can also see a tailgate-mounted spoiler, roof rails and a dual exhaust system.

Our reader wasn’t able to snap a picture of the front of the crossover, but he noted the model had some front end damage. That could explain why the model is being towed by a vehicle from Berlin-based Naujock Autotransporte.

Measuring 4,702mm long, 1,932 mm wide and 1,753mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,770mm, the mid-size crossover has a similar footprint to the Kia Sorento. Power for the Chinese market model will come from the CE16-codenamed 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s good for 204 horsepower, paired to a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 7-speeed dual-clutch transmission. A plug-in hybrid model is expected to be added to the range within the next year or so.

The Brilliance V7 will be offered in both two-row (with 5-seats) and three-row (with 7-seats) editions when it officially goes on sale in China this June.

Note: In our original article, we were tricked by the prototype’s camouflaged appearance into thinking it could be the Mercedes GLB. Apparently we were wrong. Thanks to our friends from CarPix for helping us identify it.

Additional reporting from John Halas


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Picture credits: Per Orslien

  • wintergraan

    That’s definitely not a GLB-prototype. Just take a closer look at the side mirrors, which seem to be mounted on the doors. So far, all GLB test vehicles featured side mirrors attached to the a-pillar. Also the door handles don’t scream Mercedes at all, but that’s just a small detail 😉
    What’s way more obvious is the fact that this car looks a lot smaller than the prototypes we’ve seen before. The new GLB is gonna be a 7-seater SUV and therefore it should only be a tad shorter than for example the GLC. To me, the car shown in these pictures looks more like a GLA competitor than a family SUV 🙂

    • Mike Gonzalez

      it looks like a Hyundai to me

    • Dr Professor Weezle Eye

      The Chinese invasion of Europe has begun!

  • parsecus

    It’s true that the current GLB is on of the, if not the oldest SUV in the model range, but compared to the Crafter it is seems to be a much larger car. Also on some older spy shots the GLB looked much boxier.

    • Merc1

      What are you talking about, there is no current GLB.


      • parsecus

        Oops, I confused it with the first GLK. It seems I still haven’t got used to the new namig system. My bad, sorry.

        • Ermal Morina

          wow,I had a nice laugh actually. lol

      • Dr Professor Weezle Eye

        Well, there should be. And I’d likely prefer it more.

  • Evo45

    I don’t know why, but I think GLK name would suit better on the GLB even though it’s slotted under GLC.

  • lagunas3ca

    If you can’t come up with a better tailpipe design than a 2005 Kia Sportage, then maybe the trick is hiding them like Audi after all.

  • Toney

    Looks like a Jeep

    • Dr Professor Weezle Eye

      Identical, yo!

  • Carguy

    It’s an old Prototype of the Brilliance V7. And just to get you in Focus, it‘s BMW X3 size. Cheers ✌?

    • Finkployd

      Most likely

  • Nihar


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