Flagship BMW X8 SUV planned to sit above X7

New BMW X8 spied for the first time with sleeker styling than X7

  • BMW X8 may be coupe-styled version of X7
  • 600bhp M version likely
  • Set to be most expensive BMW

The forthcoming BMW X8 SUV is in development, judging by these new spy shots. It’s our first look at BMW’s new flagship, which was previewed by the company trademarking ‘X8 M’ recently. While the BMW X7 rivals the Mercedes GLS, it’s thought the X8 will be even more upmarket, perhaps aiming at the opulent Bentley Bentayga.

As a result, range-topping X8 models will cost comfortably more than £100,000. We expect an X8 M would cost more than even the BMW M8 Competition Convertible, which starts at more than £130,000.

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 probably be as wide as the X7 but with a lower roofline that tapers slightly towards the rear windscreen. It’s likely to have a sportier focus than the X7, and will trade off a little practicality for less boxy styling.

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.

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

We’ve previously been told that a BMW X8 was ‘under serious discussion’, and markets such as Russia and China would welcome an even bigger, more ostentatious SUV than the X7.

In 2017, BMW’s Senior Vice President, Hildegard Wortmann spoke to our sister site Auto Express: “The luxury segment is very important to us. We decided to create a different visual identity for the 7 Series, 8 Series and X7. It is modern luxury for customers who have achieved something in their lives.”

Read our BMW X7 review and see where it places on our list of the best luxury cars to buy now.

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