Spotted: All-new BMW X8 spied testing
BMW still refuses to acknowledge the existence of its all-new SUV
Until now, the X8 was just a well-established rumour, but these spy photographs show that BMW is indeed working on a new large SUV - the long-awaited X8.
BMW is yet to formally acknowledge the existence of its latest SUV, but there are a number of design details that show this is an all-new prototype. Designed to take on the Audi Q8, this test mule prototype is the first real-world glimpse of the all-new BMW X8.
BMW X8 Specification
The prototype in the photographs is extensively camouflaged by BMW, but it is clear to see this is not a mere X7 facelift The front end is significantly flatter than on the X7, while the bonnet has prominent design 'character' lines that are absent on the X7.
The lower air intakes and headlights have also been reshaped and repositioned, to give the X8 a unique identity. The large kidney grilles from the X7 do appear to have been carried over, but with the majority of BMWs range adopting the new larger grille design, this will hardly come as a surprise.
Previously it was suggested that the X8 would carry a coupe-style roofline, though this appears to have been abandoned in favor of an extended traditional roofline to increase space inside the cabin. The prototype was spotted riding on a set of sticky Pirelli P Zero tires, suggesting that the performance aspect of the X8 will be impressive, as we've come to expect from BMW.
At the rear, the camo has once again done a very thorough job of disguising the appearance of this prototype. The taillights and exhaust pipes are all but invisible, though the prominent 'hybrid test vehicle' sticker confirms that we're looking at an electrified powertrain.
BMW X8 Hybrid Engine
The presence of the electrified powertrain suggests that the prototype photographed is the rumoured high-performance hybrid X8, potentially called the X8 M45e. Power will likely come from the 3.0l turbo inline-six from the 745e, along with an electric motor to boost power and provide a decent EV-only range for around town.
BMW X8 M
A 'hardcore' X8 M is also expected to be revealed as part of the new model line-up, since the X8 is being developed by BMW's M division. Not only will it be a flagship for BMW M, but will also be the most powerful M-car ever produced, if rumours are to be believed.
BMW X8 Release Date
Sadly, since there is not even an official confirmation of this project existing, we don't have a release date for the X8 just yet. Expect the standard X8 version to be unveiled first, with the souped-up X8 M following suit a number of months later.