BMW Teases Ultra-lux X8

BMW X8Though BMW hasn’t yet confirmed plans for a luxury X8 SUV, they teased the possibility at the recent Frankfurt Auto Show. There, the brand revealed the X7 iPerformance car, a three-row performance SUV. The rumored X8 would also feature an SUV configuration, but in a coupe-like design.

BMW’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich, hasn’t yet confirmed plans for the X8. However, in the past he was the force behind the development of the X6 SUV, which similarly built on the design of the X5.

“The sector is growing fast, so there will be opportunity,” he said in an interview with Autocar. “It is early to talk about X8, but one of the first decisions I made when I worked on product strategy was to take the X5 and make the X6.”

There’s certainly room in BMW’s line-up for a new luxury SUV, particularly in the Chinese market. Competitors like Audi and Land Rover have already announced their new luxury SUVs, the Audi Q8 and the new Range Rover.

BMW would need to finesse the platform and packaging on a new model, however. An X8 might take the form of a long wheelbase SUV, or might be a coupe configuration. Regardless, BMW would need to pack the rear rows with opulent features and accessories as many owners of their next luxury SUV would be employing chauffeurs for driving duties. To this end, BMW would need to choose a design that would integrate sufficient headroom for adult third row passengers.

A longwheel-base version of the X8 may complicate these plans. If BMW chooses to build on their CLAR platform (which will be used in the X7), then the aluminum structure currently used in the Rolls-Royce may be a solution.

As the X7 isn’t planned to hit the market until 2019, drivers will be waiting until the next decade for any proposed X8.