- BMW has already trademarked the X8 moniker in markets around the world.
- It will be a coupe-SUV version of the impending X7
- The X8 will be the highest-priced model in BMW’s line-up when it arrives in 2020.
BMW has officially trademarked the X8 moniker in major automotive markets around the world with the East Asian markets being the latest. The Bavarian carmaker admitted that an SUV above the impending X7 was under evaluation. And that even the idea of a luxurious full-size vehicle holds a strong appeal in today’s market.
Considering BMW’s naming strategy, the X8 could be the coupe version of the X7 in the same way as the X4 is to X3 and the X6 is to the X5. However, the X8 being a long-wheelbase version of the X7 is also a possibility since it will primarily be targeted at the Chinese market. Either way, the all-new X8 would be restricted to be a five-seater with just two rows. It won’t be a practical car for sure.
The new X8 could employ a hybrid platform. It would be a mix between BMW’s CLAR architecture and Rolls-Royce aluminium space frame which underpins the new Cullinan. This would lend it more rigidity without adding more weight. The powertrain would either be a powerful gasoline engine from the 7/8 Series or a hybrid drivetrain. The petrol motor could be the 6.6-litre V12 from the 7 Series with more than 600bhp on tap. The xDrive will be standard.
Given the new X7’s dimension, there is a room for a bigger SUV in BMW’s line-up to rival Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming flagship SUV, the GLS Maybach. The X8 would also face competition from the Range Rover and the upcoming Audi Q8. The top-spec X8 would also be looking to go up against the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus and the stablemate Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
The X8 would arrive in a couple of years’ time as a part of BMW’s biggest product offensive. Ahead of that, we could see the new-gen X5 later this year followed by the all-new X7 sometime in 2019.