What is the X8?
A BMW crossover has been spotted conducting real-world driving tests, and our sources believe that, under the heavy camouflage, this is the new BMW X8. Like all even-numbered BMW SUVs, the X8 will be a sleekly styled alternative to its odd-numbered counterpart; in this case, the X8 should be a less practical but more eye-catching version of the range-topping X7. We believe the BMW will pattern itself after Audi's Q7/Q8 line, in which the sporty variant removes the third row of seating in favor of a swoopier, more aerodynamic profile. If so, the X8 will appeal to families who prioritize performance and passenger luxuries over outright utility. Expect the X8 to carry over the X7's interior design and materials, though with a slightly more dynamic feel from behind the wheel.
The vehicle pictured here carries "Hybrid Test Vehicle" badging, which is unusual since the X8 is expected to use the X7's range of engines, which are currently limited to gas-only powertrains. Our spy photographers suggest this X8 is equipped with the powertrain from the BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance sedan, which pairs a turbocharged inline-six with a plug-in hybrid component. If so, it remains to be seen whether this plug-in hybrid powertrain will be available in the States. Though the hybrid remains a question mark, we expect the X8 to carry over the powertrain options from the X7. These include a standard turbocharged inline-six, along with a turbocharged V8 available in two states of tune.