Third generation of BMW's SUV is undergoing development at the Nurburgring ahead of a full debut later in 2013
19 January 2012

The all-new BMW X5 has been spied during development laps at the Nurburgring. The third generation of BMW's original SUV has also recently been captured winter testing prior to its debut later this year.

The spy photographs suggest the leaked brochure image of the X5 seen earlier this year was representative of the production car. The styling borrows from the current 3-series and includes BMW's prominent kidney grille. The front bumper features air vents which have also been recently on the 4-series coupe.

Under the skin, the new X5 will share its underpinnings with the X3, which has been a huge sales success in the UK since its launch in 2011. It will get a longer wheelbase and wider track to provide increased cabin space.

It's thought the interior will go further upmarket and that the X5 will be offered with a third row of seats, which has proved popular in the current model.

The double wishbone front, multi-link rear suspension system of the X3 will be retained for the new X5.

The biggest news under the bonnet will be a new four-cylinder diesel engine option that will give BMW a rival for the Mercedes ML250 CDI.

The model, potentially badged BMW X5 xDrive25d, is likely to be powered by an improved version of BMW’s existing 204bhp twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine, with increased torque output to compensate for the X5’s extra size and weight.

Elsewhere, the engine line-up will consist of updated versions of today’s six-cylinder petrol and diesel units, with revised V8 petrol engines mainly aimed at North American, Chinese and Middle Eastern markets.

BMW is expanding its SUV range following the decline in popularity of conventional saloons. The X5's launch later in 2013 is sandwiched between last year's X6 facelift and the arrival of the X4 in 2014. An X2 is also set for a 2016 debut.

All models will be built at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant to provide even greater economies of scale than before.

Mark Tisshaw/Greg Kable

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Comments
24

20 January 2012

I think that the 4 cylinders engine could be undersized for the new X5 if they don't contain the weight. It should be closer to the X3 3.0d 1875 kg than to the current X5 3.0d 2150 kg. I made a long trip to France in a X5 40d, it didn't felt overpowered. With more than 300ps and 600 Nm I simply expected more push.

7 August 2012

The X3 and new 3-series indeed share the same basic platform, so the new X5 will too. Clever engineering or shameless cost-cutting by BMW? Also, since the new X5/X6 will ditch the torque-vectoring of the current model will it maintain its handling sparkle against a Cayenne?

20 January 2012

Autocar "The model, potentially badged BMW X5xDrive25d, is likely to be powered by an improved version of BMW’s existing 204bhp twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine, with increased torque output to compensate for the X5’s extra size and weight."

You mean the 218bhp engine announced earlier this week that will be fitted to the new 125d? Surely it doesn't take a genius to look at recent news stories and by a process of deduction realise that this IS the engine that will be fitted to the 4 cylinder X5.

Seems like a good engine choice to get sales, but if it were my money, still think I'd go for the 3.0d at least as they just sound so much nicer.

K_A

20 January 2012

[quote Autocar]Under the skin, the new BMW X5 will share its underpinnings with the new BMW X3, [/quote]

Really? I'm sure the new X3 is based on the 3-Series and the current X5 is based on the 5-Series, so I guess the next X5 will be based on a modified platform of the current 5-Series.

20 January 2012

[quote matsoc]I think that the 4 cylinders engine could be undersized for the new X5 if they don't contain the weight. It should be closer to the X3 3.0d 1875 kg than to the current X5 3.0d 2150 kg.[/quote]

I agree, BMW have the Diesel Tech for SUV's but they need to focus on making them lighter, i think this probably goes for all SUV's though.

20 January 2012

Why do SUV's need to be made lighter?

21 January 2012

The current X5 is available as a 7 seater. In the article you say the new X5 will retain just two rows of seats. Do you mean it'll be a larger X3 or will we be seeing the X5 revert back to the seating arrangement seen in the first generation model? I think the 7 seat option makes perfect sense, to go back to just having 5 seats would be silly. Am I right in thinking both the new ML and GL class Mercedes can carry 7 passengers?

29 April 2013

Hellbound wrote:

The current X5 is available as a 7 seater. In the article you say the new X5 will retain just two rows of seats. 

The article says:

"It's thought the interior will go further upmarket and that the X5 will be offered with a third row of seats, which has proved popular in the current model."

21 January 2012

[quote Boris911]

Why do SUV's need to be made lighter?

[/quote]

To improve emissions, effiency and handling i would think, then it opens the door to more engine options eg a 4 cylinder in an X5

21 January 2012

I would agree the three reasons you suggest make sense for UK buyers. However in the biggest markets for these vehicles, Middle East, Russia, China, US, these priorities carry less weight (no pun intended). For example BMW does not sell the 1 or 3 Series with a 4 cylinder engine here because the market rightly or wrongly associates 4 cylinder with 'low rent' vehicles, and the only diesel option is the 265bhp 6 cylinder. I agree with you about less weight and smaller engines having merit in the UK, but not necessarily for the rest of the world. I know there are some pretty knowledgable people on these forums, so correct me if I am wrong, but I think it's an advantage to have more mass than the other vehicle if your in an accident, and it is also an advantage when it comes to towing ability.

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