How much longer do we have to wait before BMW reveals its refreshed X5? We first spotted camouflaged prototypes over a year ago, and this new spy video from the Nürburgring doesn't reveal much we haven't already seen. However, it does demonstrate this SUV will certainly be worthy of wearing an M badge.
For nearly the entire video we're treated to high-speed X5 M action at the Green Hell, and it seems the test drivers are pushing the SUV to its limits. Amid screeching tyres is the unmistakable bellow of V8 power, but will the familiar twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine gain any performance upgrades to accompany its refreshed face? That's still unknown at this point, though with an X5 M60i hybrid allegedly entering the lineup with 530 bhp (395 kilowatts), a few more ponies from the full-fat M model certainly wouldn't be a surprise.
Gallery: 2023 BMW X5 M facelift new spy photos
It certainly tackles the Nürburgring like it's packing a sledgehammer under the bonnet. The X5 M remains quite stable under hard cornering, sailing briskly into corners and exiting with haste, much to the dismay of its tires. The speed makes it tough for us to pick out exterior details that might be newly revealed, though at least one of the prototypes isn't running any camouflage on the rear at all. This appears to be an earlier model using the current X5's backside. The new model will have redesigned taillights and possible changes to the rear gate and fascia.
At the front, we can still see the updated grille flanked by smaller headlights. Even though details are obscured, we know the X5 M's new grille will be roughly the same size as the outgoing model but its shape will change noticeably. Expect a more angular shape on the bottom portion of the kidneys, adopting a design not entirely unlike the BMW XM. That could be a feature specific to the X5 M, but of course, we won't know for certain until all the camo comes off.
And that brings us back to the question we posed at the beginning of this article. The current-generation X5 is rather long in the tooth, and we'd normally expect a reveal by the end of the year. However, we've also heard that a debut may not happen until the spring of 2023. Our sources say the updates will apply to 2023 model-year vehicles, which would seem a bit late for a spring 2023 debut. If supply chain problems are still affecting BMW in the same manner as other brands, the 2023 timeframe could be accurate. At the very least, we can assume that's the latest for which we'll see BMW's new SUV, M trim or otherwise.
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