The BMW X8 Fits the “Weird Cousin We Don’t Talk to” Niche in BMW’s Lineup
Despite the fact that it hasn’t been released yet, a lot of BMW buyers aren’t very enthusiastic about the BMW X8. Now that the BMW XM is available to order, it’s looking more likely that the X8 will soon follow. Outside of its polarizing looks, does this SUV have anything special to offer?
Everything that we’ve learned about the BMW X8
The BMW X8 is set to be the more luxurious sibling of the X7 SUV, and CarBuzz provides us with some teaser photos to reflect that. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a lot of concrete details about the BMW X8. Based on previous Bimmer crossovers, we can guess that it will have a standard six-cylinder engine with an optional eight-cylinder. The base engine will likely have horsepower ratings in the upper 300 hp range, while the eight-cylinder one could generate close to 600 hp.
One of those engines might get the electric treatment with a plug-in hybrid setup, as we’ve seen in the BMW XM. The BMW XM features an electric motor paired with a twin-turbo V8, supplying a combined 644 hp. Power is sent to all four 23-inch wheels with standard all-wheel drive. The BMW XM also has about 30 miles of range with a full battery.
For the 2024 model year, BMW unveiled the XM Red Label with its 738-hp hybrid powertrain. It has a top speed of 175 mph when purchased with the Driver’s M package. Even without that upgrade, the XM Red Label can accelerate to 60 mph in less than four seconds.
The BMW X8’s design might turn buyers off
The BMW X8 inherits styling cues from the BMW XM, featuring similar headlights and overall body shape. The XM is over 201 inches long, though it appears smaller with its tapered roof design. It has slimmer taillights compared to the X8, which has wavy ones wrapping around its side to look like animal stripes. Because their noses are so bulky and wide, the grilles on both of these models unfortunately look more like buck teeth than a narrowed kidney shape.
The BMW X8’s interior design, if it’s anything similar to the XM’s, should be much more appealing. We already know that both of these models have five seats, so everyone will have a generous amount of personal space. The XM’s seats are made with quilted leather and have pillows on each wraparound rear seat, an area that BMW calls the “M Lounge”. Unlike the XM, the X8 will probably feature reclining rear seats. The X8 could also have the same coil-spring suspension, so riders will be able to cruise in exceptional comfort.
Like the XM, we expect the X8 to have about 19 cubic feet of storage area behind the rear seats. CarBuzz also speculates that the X8 will have similar LED lighting schemes and glass controls that are present in some of BMW’s fully-loaded sedans. It might even substitute a panoramic LED roof in the place of the traditional moonroof, possibly with an integrated rear-seat widescreen. Such features could make the X8 even more expensive than the XM, which already retails for $159,000.
Is the BMW X8 even necessary?
The BMW XM is notable for being the first of the M lineup with a PHEV powertrain. The Red Label model cements its place as the strongest M vehicle offered by BMW. With those feats already accomplished, the BMW X8 has some high expectations to meet.
More than likely, it will probably just be a testament to how many premium features that BMW can fit in one vehicle. Keep in mind that the BMW X8’s proposed similarities to the XM are mostly speculation. For all we know, the X8 could be just a fancier two-row version of the X7 with a little more tech inside. Even if it manages to exceed our expectations, we think most of BMW’s demographic will give this vehicle a pass.