The BMW X8 rumours just won’t die, so there has to be some truth to them otherwise we’re all just wasting our time. A new report published by Autocar says that not only will there be a new SUV positioned above the X7, but it will even get the full-fat M treatment as part of BMW’s plan to expand its M portfolio. The lineup recently grew with the addition of the X3 M and X4 M, and it looks like at least one more M-badged SUV is on its way.
Envisioned as a rival for the forthcoming Audi RS Q8, the BMW X8 M could join a bespoke M car in coupe and convertible flavours, with both built on a mid-engined platform as previewed by the appealing Vision M Next concept. There’s also the M8 Gran Coupe on its way to sit alongside the two-door M8 models, while “CS” track-focused versions are also on the agenda, kicking off with the M2 CS coming next year.
Although BMW has repeatedly said it won’t make a fully fledged M version of the new 1 Series, it now looks like there will be something hotter to sit above the M135i. The car is said to have somewhere in the region of 400 horsepower to duel the forthcoming Mercedes-AMG A45, but also the future Audi RS3 and a spicy version of the next-gen VW Golf R.
Autocar goes on to mention entry-level M cars are going to have a four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine, followed by the midrange models like the M3 and M4 with a revised inline-six 3.0-litre, along with a newly developed V8 4.0-litre for the flagships. These M engines will all use a common architecture in a bid to drive down costs and reduce development times. Insiders cited by the British publication are saying there’s going to be something for everyone as BMW aims to keep the manual gearbox alive while offering an automatic transmission, along with rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
A plug-in hybrid M car was confirmed by BMW at last week’s NextGen event where the company also showcased a pure electric 5 Series. The latter won’t be going into production, but a zero-emissions M car is slated to arrive after the middle of the next decade.
Getting back to the X8 M, even if approved, it won't be released anytime soon considering we don't even have spy shots of the standard X8 undergoing testing. What we do have is this speculative rendering from X-Tomi Design and based on the X7 to give us an idea of how an X8 could look.