Could the German automaker be biting more than it could chew?

Away from the looming emissions cheating scandal that could drop on BMW, the German automaker is pushing ahead with the possibility of adding another SUV to add to its portfolio. The latest buzz now involves a potential X8, which could end up being greenlit for production once BMW executives make a decision on the matter this year. The prospect of seeing a range-topping X8 is intriguing, but it also puts into question BMW’s plans are considering that the X7 seven-seater is expected to arrive this year. Is BMW developing an X8 to sit above the X7? More importantly, does that even make sense given what we know about the X7?

BMW Still Hasn't Released the X7 and Here we Are Getting Word About a Potentially Larger X8
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Details are still scarce about a possible range-topping X8, so it’s probably best to temper expectations for now.

Details are still scarce about a possible range-topping X8, so it’s probably best to temper expectations for now. It must be said, though, that rumors of the X8 have been bubbling on the surface for a few months now, so there’s clearly something to it. A decision is expected to be made soon so we should know more about it once BMW decides to either go for it or leave it on the table for the time being.

But is it really worth it to build an X8, especially if the X7 is already coming out soon? It’s hard to put a finger BMW’s plans, but I don’t think the time’s right to start thinking about the X8 even before the X7 hits the road. Even if Bimmer decides to build the X8, and it’ll still be a few years away from launching, it’s still not enough time for the X7 to grow and come into its own as an SUV.

By all accounts, BMW has a good one in the works with the X7. It’s been touted as a class-leading, full-sized luxury SUV that will come all of BMW’s biggest and most important bells and whistles, including some of the automaker’s latest technologies. It’s also going to feature a smorgasbord of engine options, likely starting with a 3.0-liter inline-six unit and a bigger 4.4-liter V-8. A more powerful M version — the X7 M — is also said to be in the pipeline, giving the standard SUV a performance-oriented version that can compete against the Porsche Cayenne Turbos of the world.

BMW Still Hasn't Released the X7 and Here we Are Getting Word About a Potentially Larger X8 Spyshots Exterior
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The proposed SUV is also reportedly getting “7 Series levels” of luxury and comfort, treatments that the X7 is already getting on its own.

If the X7 is being developed as segment conqueror, what then is the point of the X8? Is BMW developing it for the super-luxury SUV segment and have it compete it against the Lamborghini Urus and the Bentley Bentayga? Word from BMW Blog hints at a model that would be more than just a coupé version of the X7, as some rumors suggest. The proposed SUV is also reportedly getting “7 Series levels” of luxury and comfort, treatments that the X7 is already getting on its own.

Here’s the conundrum: if BMW builds the X8, wouldn’t it just overshadow the X7, in which case, what was the point of developing the latter? Unless BMW creates a clear distinction between the two models that transcend market segments, I don’t think an X8 is going to be a good idea. Fortunately, there are still decisions to be made on whether developing a production X8 is even worth it in the first place. BMW executives are expected to come up with an answer soon, though if I were advising them, that answer would already be clear today.

References

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BMW Still Hasn't Released the X7 and Here we Are Getting Word About a Potentially Larger X8 Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X7.

Source: BMW Blog

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