Tuesday, 25 May 2021 03:56

The BMW X8 is coming: giant flagship SUV aims for sleeker look


Flagship 2022 BMW X8 will rival premium large SUV models including the Range Rover and Mercedes GLS

The forthcoming BMW X8 SUV has been spotted undergoing track testing ahead of its reveal in 2022. When it arrives, the X8 will sit at the top of the brand’s SUV line-up as a sleeker alternative to the X7, rivalling the Range Rover Sport, Mercedes GLS and the Bentley Bentayga.

BMW has already trademarked both the ‘X8’ and ‘X8 M’ names, suggesting the new car could be joined by a flagship M Division model alongside regular versions. It’s also thought a plug-in hybrid version could also be added to the X8 line-up. As a range-topping model, we’re expecting the price tag for the X8 to start from over £100,000.

2022 BMW X8 SUV: dimensions, design and platform

The new X8 share’s its platform with the X7 SUV, so is likely to be very similar in size. However, like the BMW X2, X4 and X6, the X8 looks like it’ll be a sleeker version of the standard SUV on which it’s based. It’ll be as wide as the X7 but with a lower roofline tapering towards the rear windscreen. It’s likely to have a sportier focus than the X7, sacrificing some rear headroom and boot space for less boxy styling.

These latest spy shots give a clear look at the design of the new car, and its nose features a large pair of BMW's signature kidney grilles, along with a new split-level headlight design. The car’s wheelarches appear to be more prominent, with the side-profile boasting a sleeker roofline with a small rear spoiler. At the rear, there appears to be a sharply angled tailgate and an angular rear bumper housing two large exhaust tips.

Engines and performance

BMW has filed several X8 trademarks in the last few years but the filing of ‘X8 M’ is the first hint that a performance version is also in the pipeline. It may use the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine already employed in the BMW X5 M and M8, or a hybrid powertrain could be an alternative to make the X8 M even more powerful than these cars.

Previously, we spotted a development mule sporting ‘hybrid test vehicle’ stickers on it, so some form of electrification is almost guaranteed. We expect that BMW will offer the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as you get in the BMW X5 xDrive45e and 545e, which offers an impressive 50-mile electric range and a sub-six-second 0-62mph time.

Interior, technology and safety

While no details of the new car’s interior have been revealed yet, it’s likely the dashboard and interior of the X8 will be near-identical looking to the X7. It’ll also get the same technology, including an infotainment screen and a digital dial cluster measuring in at 12.3-inches each. BMW’s latest iDrive 8 operating system will also feature, along with safety technology such as a head-up-display, surround-view cameras and an array of driver assistance systems. Unlike coupe-SUV models such as the Audi Q8, which is only available with five seats, the X8 could retain the seven seat layout from it's X7 sibling thanks to it’s more upright roofline.


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