The forthcoming BMW X8 has now been sighted in the metal, as photographed by our spy sources, and it appears to wear a roofline that is less sloping than expected from an even-numbered X7 derivative, also sporting a reasonably upright tailgate compared to the likes of the X4 and X6.
Despite the similarities with the X7, the X8 will also get a different front end treatment from that of the future, facelifted X7, which our sources say is indicated by the use of a different bonnet, possibly along with a different fascia that is concealed beneath the camouflage shroud. The example photographed here also does without the roof rails, compared with an X7 parked alongside.
The upcoming X8 could be offered in three variants, our sources suggest, including a plug-in hybrid that is is likely to be the development vehicle seen here with ‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ stickers applied to its sides.
This has been tipped to wear M Performance sub-branding with its rumoured ‘X8 M45e’ badge, which could adopt the 3.0 litre turbocharged petrol inline-six hybrid powerplant, which produces 394 PS and 600 Nm in total system output in the BMW 745Le – badged 740Le in the Malaysian market – and possibly uprated for the SUV’s M Performance slant.
The setup for the X8 will likely also get uprated for greater battery range than the PHEV 7 Series, which offers 46 km of electric-only range and can do so at speeds of up to 140 km/h. At the top end of the performance scale, an X8 M is said to be in the works as well, with rumours of up to 750 hp on offer in its most powerful guise.
No concrete details on that version’s powertrain are available so far, and therefore should be taken with a good helping of salt, though for reference, the most potent current M models are represented by the M5 Competition and the M8 Competition, both offering 625 hp and 750 Nm of torque from a twin-turbo 4.4 litre V8 engine. The third of the three X8 variants could be a purely internal combustion model.
So far, the forthcoming BMW X8 has been tipped for a debut in 2022, which means there is some way to go for the development of the German marque’s top entry in the SUV line-up.
The manufacturers has also trademarked badges ranging from iX1 to iX9, which means an all-electric X8 is a possibility, on paper at least. These will be EV developments of regular BMW X models, which means massive development savings over bespoke models such as the i3.
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