The latest iteration of the X5 midsize crossover is coming fast on the development schedule for the German brand and we’re expecting the testing phase to complete in time for a late 2018 introduction.
The company has even skipped on the usual structure – there’s no facelift planned (we’re not mourning its loss because the latest refreshes from the Bavarians have been quite invisible) and the engineers are directly focusing on updating the model to the new CLAR architecture. We’re actually seeing here for the first time the prototypes hitting the great and demanding Nurburgring – and we can see BMW is adopting the same strategy as for the 5 Series and M5. The standard X5 is being joined at the Green Hell by the X5 M, meaning one thing – development is taking place concurrently.
The X5 holds the honor of being BMW’s first-ever SUV, so we shouldn’t expect anything else on the design front except for instantly recognizable styling. As far we can see thanks to the attached video, the normal X5 that stopped for refueling had a sporty body kit – it was either an M Performance-equipped model or even the initial flagship version, the M50i, powered by a V8. Aside from the lighter CLAR architecture, which should improve handling and performance, we can imagine the X5 will also feature most of the powertrains seen inside the new 5 Series – so we’re pretty certain the X5 M will go after the M5 and feature the exact same engine, and new M xDrive.