By: Sam Sheehan - AutoCar
A next-generation BMW X5 development car has been spotted being testing at the Nürburgring, showing its new design more clearly.
Earlier development cars have worn adapted versions of the current X5's exterior, but this later sighting shows the car's new bumper and boot lid.
The next-generation X5 will use the same platform as the 7 Series, on the CLAR (cluster architecture) platform. This platform supports steel, aluminium, carbonfibre and magnesium construction, so it's likely there will be a sizeable reduction in weight compared with the lightest of the current X5s, the xDrive35i, which tips the scales at 2030kg.
A plug-in hybrid X5 will follow the standard X5 sometime after its introduction, as will a performance-orientated, 600bhp-plus X5 M variant. BMW's aim of launching performance variants earlier in the lifecycle of its models means that the X5 M could arrive not long after the regular X5.
Sources close to BMW also report that the next X5 line-up will feature a combination of four, six and eight-cylinder engines. It will launch at roughly the same time as its arch rival, the next Mercedes GLE.
The facelifted version of the current X5, which has been around since 2013, is due to make an appearance in the coming months, when the model is due to have a mid-life refresh.
The X5 will no longer be the flagship of BMW's non-coupé SUV range, when the X7 makes its debut in 2018.