There’s a performance SUV battle on the horizon as Teutonic rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz develop the next generation X5 M and GLE63 AMG respectively. Our spy photographers have captured the first images of these bruiser premium SUVs undergoing testing. Here’s what we know so far…
Big, powerful SUVs are all the rage these days (Bentley has joined the fray with the Bentayga, Maserati has launched the Levante and Lamborghini is readying the Urus). BMW and Mercedes-Benz, however, has been playing in that market segment for a while... the X5 M and GLE63 AMG are top-performing SUVs that not only provide luxury and comfort, but exhilarating performance that, to be brutally honest, defies common sense. Now, new iterations of the X5 M and GLE63 AMG are currently in development and prototypes have been spied undergoing testing in heavy camouflage.
New BMW X5 M
The new X5 M will be lighter and more powerful than the current iteration, which means its performance will be more impressive.
The new BMW X5 M is expected to go to market sometime in 2018 and when it arrives it will be more brutish thanks to larger air intakes, a wider rear track and a larger quad exhaust system. Although the changes appear to be minimal, much of the improvement to the new X5 M will take place under the skin. The new X5 M will be built on BMW’s CLAR architecture, the same used for vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series and 5-Series, which will result in significant weight savings over its predecessor. This fat shave will inevitably yield positive results in terms of performance.
Reports suggest that the new BMW X5 M, which will feature the latest iteration of the Bavarian brand's X-Drive all-wheel drive system and will be powered by the familiar, but uprated 4.4-litre V8 bi-turbo engine that will offer in the region of 447 kW, which is a power bump of at least 24 kW over the current model. The X5 M will, in all likelihood, employ an 8-speed automatic transmission.
New Mercedes-AMG GLE63
The new GLE63 AMG will feature a more aggressive look as well as more power and dynamic ability.
Meanwhile, the new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 is expected to reach showrooms in 2019. The all-new model will be larger than the current version but feature a more rounded look. The spy images reveal wider headlights, larger bumpers and air intakes and an extended wheelbase. The front-end is dominated by a unique grille, giving the GLE63 AMG a very menacing look.
In terms of engine power, the GLE63 AMG will reportedly ditch the current 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 in favour of a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, the same used on other products such as the GT R and E 63 S. Outputs remain unknown at this stage but it's expected to be more powerful and efficient. The suspension will certainly be revised and the GLE63 AMG will ride lower to the road than the current model.
We will keep you updated as more information on the new BMW X5 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE63 becomes available, so stay tuned!
Watch our video review of the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 below!