On Wednesday, BMW released a teaser image on Facebook of its upcoming high-performance flagship crossover SUV that will bear the M badge.
The image provides the first official look at the new M-badged vehicle and it appears to be an eyefull. The kidney grilles are massive, presumably for cooling, and are outlined with LED lighting. The daytime running lights appear to be at the hood’s edge, but the headlights seem to be somewhere hidden in the lower portion of the front bumper. Roof-mounted LED lights frame the corners of the windshield.
The German automaker’s M performance division will unveil a new flagship vehicle on November 29.
The vehicle is described as a high-performance hybrid to be built at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The plant, which is BMW Group’s biggest in the world, currently builds crossovers exclusively. The list includes the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7. This suggests that the mystery vehicle is the large crossover that BMW has been testing for the past year.
Spy shots of the crossover show a vehicle with a slanted roof similar to the one on the X2, as opposed to the flat roof of the X5 and X7, or coupe-like roof of the X4 and X6. The crossover also sports stacked exhaust tips, which is a new design for BMW.
2023 BMW X8 M spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Although the crossover is currently doing the rounds as the X8, a name BMW has trademarked, there are rumors it may end up as a standalone BMW M model badged an XM. You’ll note that BMW did something similar with its iX electric crossover.
The vehicle to be shown this month will officially be a concept, though it is expected to closely resemble the planned production version. Look for the production version to arrive in 2022 as a 2023 model.
Reports point to more than one powertrain being offered. The top option is expected to be an electrified version of BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. An electrified inline-6 is also a strong possibility. The V-8 on its own already delivers 627 hp in the M5 CS, BMW M’s most powerful model on sale. Pairing the engine with an electric motor (or two) will easily boost output well beyond 700 hp.