Sometime next year we should see the launch of BMW’s third-generation X5 SUV
, which once again will be spawning a high-performance X5 M variant. It’s the latter that we have here today in this latest spy video, which features a prototype undergoing high-speed testing on Germany’s Nürburgring race track.
While the vehicle clearly has a long way to go before development is complete, we're expecting very good things.
First and foremost, the new X5 looks to be bigger than the model it replaces, which should translate to more interior space, perhaps even a third-row seating option. While at first this may appear to be a detriment to the X5 M model, after all, increased size usually means added weight, the new generation is expected to be significantly lighter thanks to more aluminum used in its construction rather than steel.
In fact, like the standard X5 it will be based on, the X5 M will benefit from the next-generation design with weight savings of up to 450 pounds--improvements related to the F10 5-Series platform, which is expected to be the (loose) basis for the new X5 range.
As with all M vehicles, the new X5 M is also sure to get a specially-tuned, track-worthy suspension, wheel, and tire package . The current model's grip, composure, and balance is phenomenal considering its 5,500-pound mass. With the next X5's weight-saving strategy, the next X5 M could improve on the formula even if powertrains just tread water.
Unique front and rear bumpers, larger brakes, quad exhaust outlets, and wide, meaty tires give this camouflaged X5's secret away. However, the biggest indicator of its performance is the aggressive sound of its engine, which will likely be yet another variation of the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 found in the current X5 M as well as the M5 and M6 models.
Output won’t deviate much from the current model’s
555 horsepower and 500 pound feet of torque, which is fine considering that car can rocket from 0-60 mph in just 4.0 seconds and up to 171 mph with the M Driver's Package.
While we expecting the new X5 to land sometime next year, as a 2014 model, there’s a chance the X5 M may be delayed a full model year, debuting as a 2015 model instead. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more shots and details, and as always, you'll see them here first.