Currently reading: New BMW X5 — latest spy pics
Third generation of BMW's SUV is undergoing development at the Nurburgring ahead of a full debut later in 2013

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 BMW X5 will share its underpinnings with the BMW 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 BMW 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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Car review

The big BMW X5 SUV may be getting a little long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the best all-rounders in its class

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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MikeSpencer 30 April 2013


New car rumoured to have 565bhp, same as Aston Martin's new Vanquish supercar, but in an SUV. BMW appear to be attempting to bend the laws of physics. I'm not sure I'd want to test its limits, even on a track.

Kamelo 29 April 2013

About time BMW went upmarket!

It's about time BMW went upmarket. BMW make so many cars that are based on others in their range - and it shows. Characterless, cheap black plastics in the interiors, staid and boring designs (apart ftom X6) and I long for the day that BMW return to 'proper premium' rather than just 'semi premium', mass manufactured cars that nearly everyone and their dogs drive.  

mrotom 29 April 2013

BMW vs Merc GL

Size difference between current X1, X3 and X5 is almost symbolic. But as sales numbers suggest its proven successful for them.

What BMW still needs is an SUV that can be competitive for Merc GL. Audi is already working on it. New X5, even if would be slightly bigger than current model is still far too small.