Ultra-Luxury BMW X8 Prepares To Battle Audi Q8

Spy Shots / Comments

Here's a better look at BMW's new flagship SUV.

BMW hasn't acknowledged its existence yet, but recent spy shots have shown the Bavarian automaker is developing a new flagship X8 SUV that will be larger and even more luxurious than the X7. Since our first look at the X8 a few weeks ago, another prototype has been caught in the wild by our spy photographers undergoing testing. This time, the X8 was loaded on a transport truck, allowing our spies to take a closer look at BMW's new Audi Q8 rival.

While the X8 prototype is still covered in camouflage that disguises the design details, there are several changes that indicate this isn't an X7 facelift. The front looks flatter than the X7, and the hood sports a new design with prominent character lines. Elsewhere at the front, the lower air intake appears to be reshaped and the headlights appear to be positioned lower than the X7's to give the X8 a unique identity, although it looks like the X7's large kidney grilles are carrying over.

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Rumors suggested the X8 will adopt a coupe-style roofline, but the flagship SUV will instead have an extended flat roof to increase the cabin space. It isn't known if the X8 will be offered with three rows like the X7, but our latest intel claims it will be offered with four-seat and five-seat layouts. According to our spies, the prototype was riding on sticky Pirelli P Zero 275 tires at the front and 315-35 / 22 tires at the back. We're eager to see the interior as the X8 will be the most luxurious model BMW has ever produced, but our spies weren't able to get a peek inside the cabin yet.

We get a good view of the rear of the X8 loaded on the transporter, but BMW has done a good job disguising the shape of the taillights and the exhaust pipes. A prominent hybrid test sticker on the back suggests this prototype is using an electrified powertrain.

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We're likely looking at the rumored high-performance plug-in hybrid X8 that will reportedly be called the X8 M45e. it could use the same setup as the 745e, which has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six and an electric motor that produces 389 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque combined and a 12 kWh battery providing an electric driving range of 16 miles.

However, there's a good chance the X8 hybrid will have more power and a longer range. Since the X8 is being developed by BMW M, a hardcore hybrid X8 M is expected to top the range packing a 750 horsepower, which would make it the most powerful BMW M model yet. The X8 will reportedly debut in 2022, but we suspect that BMW will preview the new flagship SUV before then.

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