Bringing an all-new model of a popular vehicle to market is a complicated dance. Preview it too early, and you risk closing down sales of the current version before the new one ships.
On the other hand, there are vendors and ancillary manufacturers who need to know what the car looks like, so they can produce the appropriate components or models. The new Viper was more or less previewed by a Hot Wheels scale model, and the same appears to be true of the new BMW X5 crossover.
Malaysian blog Cars Bikes Trucks (via Jalopnik) spotted these images of the new BMW X5 in a brochure from scale model builders Jadi Modelcraft. Clearly we’re not looking at a 1/18 scale representation here; instead, the images appear to be press photos of the new BMW crossover, set to debut later this year.
While the new X5 is clearly just a design evolution from the current X5, we can see the family resemblance to the new 3 Series in the car’s front end. The headlights in particular carry a familiar shape where they meet the grille, and both headlights and taillights are downsized per current styling trends.
2014 BMW X5, leaked in a scale model brochure
We’re not sure if the new X5 will offer up a third row option, but the spy shots and spy video of test mules we’ve seen appear to be a bit bigger than the outgoing X5. We’ll need to wait for official details from BMW to know for sure, however.
As for when the new X5 will debut, some speculate that it could be at this week’s Detroit Auto Show. BMW’s usual process is to release details and images of the car ahead of a major show, so we’re not expecting to see the X5 in Detroit (where BMW will already debut the 4 Series Coupe Concept and the M6 Gran Coupe).