Trucks & SUVs

BMW Developing “Super SUV” 2022 X8 M Flagship

BMW is going big. Size-wise that is. There has never been an 8 Series SUV from BMW but that will soon change. It is developing a “super SUV” for 2022 called X8. And an M version will be the flagship model for BMW. And as you might have guessed it won’t be gas-only powered.

BMW’s X8 M will have a plug-in hybrid setup

The new BMW X7 full-size luxury SUV on display at Brussels Expo
The 2020 BMW X7 | Getty

BMW’s X8 M will have a plug-in hybrid setup that will put out over 750 hp. That takes it to the top of the food chain at BMW. A single electric motor will kick in 200 hp and will probably be packaged between the engine and transmission. The V8 is a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged engine with 523 hp. It will also feature switchable four-wheel-drive. So rear-wheel-drive will be on-demand.

That is how the current BMW plug-ins are arranged. It is also how Porsche has handled its Turbo S E-Hybrid Panamera and Cayenne models. The powertrain is also what will be found in Mercedes-AMG versions. Those are expected to have an output of over 800 hp. But we digress.

The X8 will feature an almost chopped-top look for more exaggerated proportions

2020 BMW X7 xDrive50i | Bmw
2020 BMW X7 xDrive50i | BMW

The X8 will be slightly larger than the X7 and will feature an almost chopped-top look for more exaggerated proportions. It will express a sportier persona much like the 8 Series coupe and convertible do. But from the profile, we can tell it will have three rows of seats. Either six captain’s chairs or seating for seven.

It has been rumored that this flagship BMW SUV would follow along the lines of the slope-back X6. The configuration no one has asked for has obviously been deemed unnecessary and a conventional SUV profile-though lower than you’ve seen is being used. This is a good thing. 

Instead, it appears to be sort of half-way between a traditional SUV and the X6 sloper. As long as the profile reads like an SUV and not the silly sloper we’re good. Looking at spy shots that heavily disguise the prototype we can see the top under the fake back end. Lowered it might even look like a handsome wagon though BMW would be loath to offer it that way. 

Other good news is that the signature kidney grilles are not overly gigantic

A side-view of the 2020 BMW X7 parked in the sand.
2020 BMW X7 | BMW

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The other good news is that the signature kidney grilles are not overly gigantic as we’ve gotten with the M3 and M4. That’s great for those who wish for expressive BMW design but not pushing the envelope for the sake of who-knows-what? At the front, it looks like it is stepped between the hood and front fenders. That also places the headlights lower, about half-way or middle of the outside of the grille. 

It is likely that BMW might premiere a concept version of this around the beginning of next year. That will give them some last-minute input before full production begins. We’ll keep our eyes open after the first for some rumblings out of Munich.