With fat tires, large rectangular exhaust tips, and a raspy soundtrack, this doesn’t seem to be an ordinary 2019 BMW X5. We could be looking at an M Performance version of some sort (M50i?), one that would slot right below the full-fat X5 M already spied multiple times. Whatever this is, it will arrive relatively early considering the Sports Activity Vehicle will skip the usual mid-cycle refresh in order to make the transition towards its fourth generation. This hotter derivative could be out from day one to spice things up in the luxury SUV segment.
Like with all upcoming BMW products, the new X5 appears to carry an oversized kidney grille lending the model a more imposing front fascia, though we’re sure those huge vertical slats won’t be to everyone’s tastes. The body does not appear to be visibly bigger than that of the outgoing X5, but there could be a bit of a stretch in the wheelbase to accommodate a more spacious cabin. Better packaging brought by the switch to the CLAR platform will also help to make the SUV roomier while shaving off some weight in the process.
The prototype being put through its paces on the challenging Nürburgring had the full production body, including the lighting clusters and the exhaust. It means the 2019 X5 has entered the advanced testing phase and we won’t have to wait much longer to see it without the camouflage. When the disguise will come off, we’ll likely get to see a slightly rounder body making the SUV seem more athletic.
While we can’t have a look inside the test vehicle’s cabin in this high-speed run, a different new X5 was caught on camera just last week and our spies were able to take a peek inside the cabin.
It is believed BMW will unveil the fourth-generation X5 sometime this summer, before kicking off sales this fall. Production of the current model will allegedly come to an end in July, with the new one to hit the assembly line shortly thereafter.
Note: Attached below are spy shots of a different prototype.
Video: Automotive Mike / YouTube