Currently reading: BMW X8: New images give close look at Range Rover rival
X8 feature different styling to the smaller X7 and likely a third row of seats
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
3 mins read
12 October 2020

Development work is under way at BMW on a luxury SUV flagship to rival the Bentley Bentayga, with new images giving a closer look at a previously spotted prototype. 

Thought to be called the X8, following a series of global trademark filings in 2018, it is likely that the new arrival will be the most expensive model in BMW's line-up when it goes on sale. A launch date this year was initially rumoured but, given the amount of disguise on this prototype, the car is probably still at least a few months away from being unveiled.

These early images suggest that the X8 will not, as previously thought, adopt a coupé-style roofline like that of the similarly conceived Audi Q8 and Lamborghini Urus. Instead, we can see that its upright rear, extended roofline and lengthy rear overhang should allow for three rows of seats inside, most likely with the choice of six or seven seats.

At the front, the prototype adopts different styling to that of its X7 stablemate, going against earlier indications that it will be heavily based on the existing car. Though the X7's prominent front grilles look to have been carried across, the X8's lower air intake appears to have been reshaped, with a new bonnet design and lower splitter further setting it apart. 

The X7 is due for a facelift, but a recently spotted prototype indicated that changes to the front end will centre on the introduction of narrower new headlights, in line with the upcoming i7 electric saloon, which also appear to feature on the X8. 

In 2018, then head of development Klaus Fröhlich told Autocar that BMW was evaluating the idea of a new addition at the top end of its model line-up. The sector is growing fast, so there will be opportunity,” he said. “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.

Everyone said it was not necessary, but it worked. Now we have the X2, X4 and X6. They are emotional and sporty derivatives that work for us. 

“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.” 

At the time, internal discussion was believed to be centred on whether the new flagship should serve as a coupé-bodied or extended-wheelbased version of the X7. The latter was said to be a popular option but more complex as it would require BMW to create a bespoke platform using elements from both the X7 and its Rolls-Royce Cullinan sibling.

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Technical details have yet to be revealed, but the X8 can be expected to offer the same xDrive40i and xDrive40d engines as its X7 stablemate, while ushering in a plug-in hybrid version - confirmed by the mandatory hybrid stickers on this prototype - and a range-topping X8 M performance variant.

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TStag 13 October 2020

This now means a 7 seat Range

This now means a 7 seat Range Rover I'd bet.

jonboy4969 12 October 2020

Well, That looks like a pile

Well, That looks like a pile of you know what, the rear end looks way too heavy, and parked next to the "smaller" X7, it clearly was either the same size or smaller, just slightly, so how this is supposed to be the range topper, is beyond me, and will it topple the Range Rover, NAH, not a chance, not if it comes with the rats gob front end.

scrap 12 October 2020

BMW need to take it up to 10.

BMW need to take it up to 10. I'm thinking at least 2.5m across the beam and a solid 6m in length, powered by an electrified V8 plug in hybrid with 1,000bhp. I understand they are working on a kidney grille treatment that encompasses the entire front end, windscreen included. Augmented reality HUD to help driver see 'through' the heavy chrome slats covering the windscreen. 

Just Saying 13 October 2020

Scrap

Great Post!
I was going to write a similar post for the X9, you've upped it to the X10. Z10 and M10 to follow. Someone in China would buy one!
catnip 12 October 2020

I know its all camouflaged,

I know its all camouflaged, but it looks very elegant .... not.

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