BMWs typically have a shelf life of seven years but that won’t be the case for the current X5 whose successor is already out testing.
This may look like one of the prototypes for the next-generation X3 but according to our photographer the vehicle is bigger. In fact, it’s said to be bigger than even the current third-generation X5, suggesting the new fourth-generation model will provide more interior space.
The X5 was last redesigned for the 2014 model year, though the third-generation model’s underpinnings were shared with the second-generation X5 on sale since the 2007 model year. The fourth-generation model, which we’re currently expecting to arrive late next year, as a 2018 model, won’t have anything in common with its predecessors.
It will ride on the SUV version of BMW’s modular platform that debuted in the 2016 7-Series. Referred to internally as a CLAR (previously 35up), short for Cluster Architecture, the platform combines carbon fiber-reinforced plastic with conventional steel and aluminum to save weight while increasing rigidity and strength. The SUV version of the CLAR platform will also underpin the next X3 and the new X7 full-size SUV BMW has confirmed for launch in 2018.
One of the reasons for the speedy arrival of the new X5 is to streamline the production process. The CLAR-based SUVs including the X7 will be built at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. We’ve also heard that the current X5 is facing stiff competition from newer rivals like the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.
The new X3 will be the first to arrive. It will be followed by this new X5 and then finally the X7. Beyond the X7, look for new generations of the X4 and X6. There will also be an X2 riding on the BMW Group’s compact UKL platform coming in the very near future.
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