The BMW X8 SUV is likely to be the brand’s highest-priced model when it is launched around 2020.
It will be pitched as a coupé-styled rival to the Range Rover and upcoming Audi Q8 and could compete in fully loaded guise against low-end versions of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. The X8 moniker has been trademarked in markets around the world since 2018, with markets in the Far East being the latest to have X8 trademarks filed.
BMW’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich, wouldn’t confirm plans to push BMW into an even higher price segment with the X8, but he did say such a car was under evaluation and the idea of it held strong appeal.
“The sector is growing fast, so there will be opportunity,” said Fröhlich. “It is early to talk about X8, but one of the first decisions I made when I worked on product strategy was to take the X5 and make the X6.
“There is room for X8 – especially in markets like China – but there are no decisions yet. Each car must have a distinct character, and these are the sort of areas that take time to evaluate.”
Discussions are believed to centre on the platform structure the X8 would need and whether it should be a coupé version of the X7, which was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show and goes on sale in the middle of 2018, or a long- wheelbase version of that car, which would free up additional rear space and allow for a sweeping roofline.
Either way, the X8 is likely to have the option of four or five seats across two rows, rather than the X7’s seven seats in three rows. As such, the emphasis will be on delivering luxurious rear-seat travel, with the materials and finishes chosen to further that goal, rather than being focused on outright practicality.