A recent German trademark filing suggests a new king of the hill for BMW’s crossover lineup.
Currently the largest SUV—sorry, Sports Activity Vehicle—in the BMW stable is the big boy X7. However, the German brand filed a trademark for X8 M on March 24, which has resparked rumors that a new halo model could be on the way.
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If a future X8 does come to fruition, it stands to reason the current X lineup could dictate its shape. Both the X4 and X6 are coupe-like takes on the more traditional X3 and X5, respectively, and an X8 could do the same for the X7. In that case, BMW would likely drop the third row of seats for a more expansive second-row experience. Think of it as a more luxurious approach to what Volkswagen did to turn the Atlas into the Atlas Cross Sport.
Currently there is no full-fat M version of the X7. The most powerful version of the big-grilled behemoth is the M50i, which produces a still-healthy 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque from its 4.4-liter turbocharged V8. There are numerous M cars running a modified version of this engine however, including the X5 M, X6 M, and M8. Torque stays the same, but horsepower increases to a full 600 hp, or 617 in Competition trim. If an X8 M were to arrive, we’d bet on it using the same engine.
There’s another, less interesting possibility too: that BMW filed this trademark simply to lock down the name, with no production model planned. It’s a common occurrence in the industry, after all. Given the world’s ongoing fascination with all things raised and all-wheel drive, however, we’d count this as one of the more likely future models. Only time will tell.