And it's wearing a lot less camouflage than before.
With increased competition in the performance SUV sector, it's looking like BMW is preparing to reveal the next-generation X5 sooner rather than later, and with it will come a new version of the hot X5 M. After being spotted testing at the Nurburgring last year, our spy photographers recently caught a prototype of the next-generation BMW X5 M flexing its muscles in the snow at Sweden during winter testing – and it's wearing a lot less camouflage than before, revealing more juicy details.
Boasting a bold design, the new X5 M has a much larger double-kidney grille not unlike the one used on the X7 iPerformance concept. Its bigger air inlets in the front bumper are still hidden by camouflage, but you can also see some wider side sills, while the new headlights now feature integrated LED daytime running lights. At the back is a traditional quad exhaust system and a longer rear spoiler. Unsurprisingly, the performance-focused SUV has bigger wheels and beefier brakes to cope with the extra power under the hood. Speaking of which, the new BMW X5 M is expected to have around 600 horsepower provided by the same same 4.4-liter M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that powers the new M5.
Whether it inherits the M5's xDrive all-wheel drive system remains to be seen, but we can't imagine having the option to switch to rear-wheel drive in a 600-hp SUV would be very wise. Like the standard X5, the new X5 M will ride on BMW's new CLAR platform that underpins the BMW 5 Series, the 7 Series and the Rolls Royce Phantom. This lighter platform should enable the X5 M to shed some weight, thus making it more agile and fun to drive, and hopefully allow it do the 0-62 mph sprint in under four seconds. The BMW X5 M is already an extremely fast, light and capable off-roader, so we're eager to see what its successor can do when it hits the market later this year.