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BMW files trademark for X8 M

7 up: A sloped-back X8 SUV based on the X7 (pictured) could materialise with high-performance electric and petrol powertrains in coming years.

Possibility of flagship BMW X8 SUV in both ICE and EV guise increases

14 Apr 2020

THE likelihood of BMW introducing a flagship X8 upper-large SUV has increased with recent patent filings from Germany shared on the blog X7 Forum, which suggests a full-fat X8 M could be on the way.


While the X8 model line has not been confirmed by BMW, the arrival of a sporty and coupe-style upper-large SUV to match the X7 would fit the rest of the brand’s portfolio, with the X1, X3 and X5 model lines all complemented with the X2, X4 and X6 respectively.


A full X8 M would wade into battle against the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe, Audi SQ8 and Lamborghini Urus, and would most likely be powered by the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 as the X5 M, which develops 460kW/750Nm in Competition guise.


The X8 M name was found on the official German patent database, however no such name has yet been filed in Australia.


It is possible that future buyers could have the option of M levels of power with either an internal-combustion or pure-electric powertrain option, given the existing patent filing for the iX8, a full battery electric SUV that could follow in the footsteps of the locked-in iX3 medium SUV.


No powertrain details have been announced, however comments made by BMW chairman of the board of management Oliver Zipse last month could point towards the underpinnings for the iX8.


Mr Zipse confirmed that the next-generation 7 Series upper-large limousine would be offered with a pure-electric variant, and that the electric grade will also be the most powerful of the whole 7 Series range.


That suggests the EV will outstrip the current top-spec variant of the 7 Series range – the M760Li, which develops 448kW/850Nm from its 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 mill.


BMW’s smaller i4 sedan, which is set to launch around 2022, produces up to 395kW from its EV powertrain, suggesting the larger 7 Series and iX8 would use a more potent iteration.


The fitment of an electric powertrain would suit the X8, with a blend of luxury (smooth powertrain response and quietness) and sportscar-like performance (instant and prodigious torque) all in one package.


If the X8 does make it into production – as executives such as development chief Klaus Frolich have indicated in the past – it would likely be offered with a range of powertrain choices, in accordance with the German car-maker’s plans to offer internal-combustion, hybrid and electric variants on as many model lines as possible.


An X8 would likely offer all the luxury and opulence of the X7 upper-large SUV, but with a sportier bend that would include more focused handling and steering, and a more aggressive exterior style.


The iX3 will be BMW’s first all-electric SUV when it touches down early next year, with the brand due to reveal 12 all-electric models by 2023.

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