The Hardcore BMW XM Looks Close To Production

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BMW will preview the XM as a hybrid concept SUV later this month.

We've known for a long time that BMW is preparing to launch a new flagship SUV that will slot above the three-row X7, with rumors suggesting it will be called the XM. We've caught BMW testing multiple XM prototypes over the last year, but this latest sighting suggests the new flagship SUV is nearly ready for production.

One prototype was caught roaming the streets giving us a clear look at the front fascia, which has been updated with production headlights. Like the upcoming BMW 7 Series and X7 facelift, the XM (or possibly X8) prototype features a unique split headlight design with high-mounted LED daytime running lights. The slim taillights are also visible with a simple straight-line graphic and the stacked exhaust pipes seen on previous prototypes have returned.

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Our spies also spotted another X8 prototype loaded on a transporter. Finished in red, the prototype's body cladding has been removed. giving us a better look at the full-size SUV's design lines. There does, however, appear to be some cladding next to the taillights, unless the X8 has exceptionally wide hips. Also notice the conventional door handles in contrast to recent models like the iX, a car with flush door handles.

The "Hybrid Test Vehicle" sticker indicates this prototype has an electrified powertrain. Under the hood, the BMW X8 will reportedly be powered by a twin-turbo V8 with plug-in hybrid technology. According to reports, BMW's new flagship SUV will be offered in three states of tune, with the range-topping version allegedly producing 750 horsepower, making it the most powerful production BMW ever made.

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We'll get a preview of the first-ever BMW X8/XM sooner rather than later. On November 29, BMW will reveal "an all-new high-powered, hybrid-electric vehicle" that is believed to be a concept closely resemble the production model. Before then, it will be shown off at a private event on November 17. BMW also confirmed it will be an "M flagship vehicle," suggesting it will only be available as a BMW M performance SUV. Either way, we'll find out more about BMW M's first hybrid SUV later this month. Here's hoping that the design looks better naked than it does in camouflage.

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