- we spotted the upcoming bmw x8 in germany, camouflaged but making it clear it's a hybrid.
- we know that because it says "hybrid test vehicle" right on it.
- the bmw x8 is expected to arrive in 2022.
just when you thought you'd seen every raked-roof luxury suv that the market could bear, along comes bmw with the x8, which is to the x7 as the audi q8 is to the q7. apparently. it's hard to tell with all the camo, which appears to show a roofline that's a little different from the one we speculated on when bmw first trademarked the name. we thought the x8 would be something like a jumbo x6, but these new spy shots (taken somewhere in germany) show a more moderate rake to the d-pillar. like, is there a third row in there?
it's hard to say. what we do know is that this x8 is a hybrid. how can we tell? from decades of hard-earned experience teasing out the technical nuances of even the most heavily disguised prototypes. also because it says "hybrid test vehicle" across the rear bumper. if the x8 borrowed the hybrid powertrain from the plug-in 745e xdrive, that would mean a 3.0-liter six-cylinder paired with an electric motor and 12.0-kwh battery, for a combined 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque.
and that recent trademark filing was actually for "x8 m," so expect that this variant will get the m treatment, which the x7 does not. we'd expect that model to roll with at least the 617-hp 4.0-liter v8 from the x6 m competition. but it could be more than that, and probably ought to be, as befits a flagship. do we hear 750 horsepower?
now, about that camouflage: we think you can discern the actual roofline below the fake x7 add-on, and it is what you'd expect—a big x6, which would mean sacrificing the x7's third row. more money for less practicality is what this genre's all about, so the x8 looks like it'll fit right in when it arrives for the 2022 model year.