BMW's plans for a range-topping flagship SUV are well and truly in motion as the first X8 prototypes have been spotted.
Picture credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien. We have paid for these photos and at the photographer's request, have watermarked them.
It would be fair to assume that brands have enough SUVs in their portfolios to satisfy everyone's needs. Take BMW, with its massive SUV portfolio. From smallest to largest; X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7 and in development is the X8.
As far as timing goes, you can bet the all-new BMW X8 revealed towards the end of 2021 and sold as a 2022 model year vehicle. So, what can we expect? If you look closely, there's a Hybrid Test Vehicle sticker on the door, an indication the model you see here is offering a turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electrical assist. There'll probably be an eventual M version too, based on patents that have been registered.
There's also talk of the 745e's engine making its way into the X8. This engine is a turbocharged 3.0-litre 6-cylinder with electric motors and it produces a credible 293 kW and 600 Nm - good figures for a big flagship SUV.
Visually, the camouflage here has done a great job of hiding the BMW X8's shape. This is not going to be a plusher and bigger X7, but some have suggested it'll have a lower roofline. There's probably going to be a bold and in-your-face grille. Inside, expect the highest levels of luxury, tech and comfort.