Fresh images of late-stage prototypes for the new BMW X8 have been spied testing in Germany, ahead of the big luxury SUV’s unveiling later this year.
Designed as a sportier, even more luxurious flagship for the BMW SUV range, the new BMW X8 is set to go on sale in 2022. It’ll rival other full-size 4x4s like the Mercedes GLS and Range Rover, and potentially more expensive SUVs from other luxury brands.
Originally, it was thought that the BMW X8 would be an enlarged version of the X4 or X6, blending a coupe lines with an SUV – but these latest spy shots suggest that won’t be the case. Our exclusive images give a clearer indication of how BMW’s designers have stuck to a more traditional SUV silhouette.
Closely based on the three-row seven-seat BMW X7, the model caught testing clearly displays a ‘hybrid’ sticker on its flank, suggesting that an electrified powertrain lurks beneath its bonnet. It also features unusual quad hexagon-shaped tail pipes.
In addition to the odd exhaust system, the X8 features pronounced wheel-arches and sporty bumpers, while up front the styling is likely to feature an evolution of the X7’s polarising front face that is dominated by a pair of super-sized kidney grilles.
Instead of the 250kW twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder mild-hybrid diesel that powers the X7, BMW is rumoured to be readying a revised version of the plug-in hybrid 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol that powers the X5 xDrive45e.
Early indications suggest the X8 M45e will produce around 294kW and, thanks to a 24kWh lithium-ion battery, will be capable of travelling up to 80 kilometres on pure-electric power alone. Versions with much bigger batteries could also be offered that could raise the zero-emission range to in excess of 100 kilometres.
Inside, the flagship X8 will be available with either four or five seats. The four-seat version is likely to be the more luxurious, with airline style reclining rear seating. Ahead of the driver, we also expect to find dual 12.3-inch displays that will be powered by the BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment system.
BMW also recently registered a trademark for the ‘X8 M’ badge, suggesting there’ll be a performance-focussed model at the top of the SUV’s line-up, which we expect will use the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 as the BMW X5 M Competition.
In the X5 M it develops 459kW, which is enough to propel the SUV from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds. Similar power and performance would see the X8 M compete with models such as the Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo.