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BMW is developing a new flagship SUV likely to be badged an X8.
It will be similar in size to the full-size X7 but with sportier, more dynamic proportions including a lower roof. And unlike the X7, the X8 will spawn a high-performance X8 M variant, at least if trademark filings are any indication.
Autocar reported Monday that an X8 M is definitely coming. The super SUV is reportedly due around 2022 with an electrified V-8 powertrain, specifically a plug-in hybrid setup with a combined output approaching 750 horsepower. Such an output would make the X8 M the most powerful BMW road car yet.
According to Autocar‘s sources, the X8 M will have a single electric motor generating 200 hp. If the engineers go with BMW’s existing plug-in hybrid design, the electric motor will be sandwiched between the V-8 and transmission. Porsche has been offering such a powertrain for years in the Turbo S E-Hybrid versions of the Panamera and Cayenne. The powertrain is also destined for future Mercedes-AMG models, where it is expected to deliver over 800 hp. AMG’s first application will be a new range-topper for the GT 4-Door Coupe.
The BMW M division has already hinted at an electrified future with 2019’s Vision M Next concept, a plug-in hybrid supercar tipped to spawn a production version to fill in for the discontinued i8. BMW’s in-house tuner and motorsport division is also developing battery-electric powertrains. There will be an M-badged version of the upcoming i4 battery-electric sedan, though likely a tamer M Performance model only. However, the next M5 due around 2024 is reportedly coming with the choice of plug-in hybrid or battery-electric power.