This is much earlier than expected and a welcome development

BMW has followed a predictive trend with the X5, keeping the first- and second-gen models on the market for just six years. So, even if we hadn’t started seeing spy shots of the third-gen, G05, X5 being put through the paces, we still had a feeling that we would see it by at least 2020. As new spy shots came in, it became painfully obvious we might see it sooner than expected, and that has now been confirmed by none other than BMW Group CEO, Harald Kruger, at the 98th Annual General Meeting this week. In short, he not only confirmed that we would see the new X5 this year, but we would see it this month. So, May 2018 will officially go down as the month of the X5.

BMW X5 Debut and On Sale Date

The Next-Gen BMW X5 Will Debut This Year be Sold as a 2019 Model Exterior Spyshots
- image 673601

“2018 will be out X year, with: the new X3, the cool X3, the athletic X4, from the summer on, and, as I can reveal exclusively today: later this year, a successor to the X5.”

Those words were spoked by Harald Kruger himself and the Annual General Meeting, so you can take them to the bank. It will debut sometime between now and the end of May 2018. On that note, there was no official on-sale date, but we know that order books will open sometime this fall which will pin it as a 2019 model. That also means that BMW is stepping away from its trend and bringing an end to the second-gen X5 much earlier than expected – just four years after it went on sale back in 2014.

Third-Gen BMW X5 Performance

The Next-Gen BMW X5 Will Debut This Year be Sold as a 2019 Model Exterior Spyshots
- image 697146

With that in mind, there’s not a lot of official information to go by, so there’s very little we know for sure thus far. BMW has, expectedly, revamped the exterior and interior but what’s more important is the introduction of the CLAR architecture, a move that will bring the X5 lower to the ground with a lighter footprint to boot. There’s also word that BMW will introduce at least one new engine, with the entry-level xDrive40i making use of the brand’s B58 straight-six diesel. The 40 trim level will also be offered in “e” form, which will bring electricity into play with even more electric range but don’t expect to see much more than the current model’s 313 horsepower. At best, that number could increase to 320 ponies, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

U.S. customers should expect to find a 3.0-liter inline-six that will be tuned to deliver just a tad more power over that of the current model. In the current xDrive35i, it delivers just 300 horsepower. That figure could increase to 315 to help keep up with the competition while dropping the time to 60 mph to at least six seconds, if not 5.9 seconds, under ideal conditions. We can also expect to see that 4.4-liter V-8 carry over with some fresh turbo tuning and a mild bump in horsepower, hopefully bringing it up to 450 ponies with a 60-mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds. Pair all of this with revamped looks and an all-new interior and the Audi Q7 will have no choice but to run for the hills. As for its other main competitor, the Mercedes-Benz GLE, it’s due for a refresh around the same time, so there’s no telling how the two will compete.

2014-2018 BMW X5 Performance Specifications

Model Engine Transmission Horsepower @ rpm Torque (ft-lbs) @ rpm Acceleration (0-60 mph)
sDrive35i 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo I-6 Eight-Speed Automatic 300 @ 5,800 300 @ 1,200 - 5,000 6.1 sec
xDrive35i 3.0-liter I-6 Eight-Speed Automatic 300 @ 5,800 300 @ 1,200 - 5,000 6.2 Sec
xDrive35d 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel Eight-speed Automatic 255 @ 5,000 413 @ 1,500 - 3,000 6.9 sec
xDrive50i 4.4-liter V-8 Eight-Speed Automatic 445 @ 5,500 - 6,000 480 @ 2,000 - 4,500 4.9 sec

Final Thoughts

The Next-Gen BMW X5 Will Debut This Year be Sold as a 2019 Model Exterior Spyshots
- image 714791

It’s odd to see BMW cut the lifespan of the second-gen X5 so short. After all, the whole point of running 6 or 7 years between generational shifts is to maximize profit from the research and design process. The introduction of the third-gen model two years early is indicative of something – the question is, what? Well, it could be that BMW is scared. The Mercedes GLE is a prime competitor, and it’s set to debut for the 2019 model year as well. An all-new GLE could pose a serious threat to the X5’s current design, especially when you consider that by this time next year, the look of the X5 (and its technology) will be outdated by comparison.

Another possibility could be that this is the beginning of a new trend in the SUV segment. With the sheer popularity of SUVs – and the fact that people buy them up like crazy – introducing revamped models sooner could inspire consumers to upgrade to a new model sooner as we all know people like to keep up with the latest and greatest. And, that turns into a domino effect among consumers because we all know it’s necessary to keep up with the Joneses. So, all it takes is for a small handful of consumers to upgrade sooner for more to catch on and do the same. It could be classified as a win-win for automakers and consumers, but it all boils down to whether or not it’s profitable enough to justify automakers bringing all-new designs much earlier than before.

Of course, both of these scenarios are purely speculation, but both are well within the realm of possibility. For now, it’s time to sit back and see how things unfold. Stay tuned, folks, we’ll be bringing you coverage of the third-gen X5 as soon as more details are available.

Further Reading

BMW X5

The Next-Gen BMW X5 Will Debut This Year be Sold as a 2019 Model Exterior Spyshots
- image 742850

Read everything we know about the 2019 BMW X5

2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
- image 724101

Learn more about the upcomming 2020 BMW X5 M

Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 585694

Read our expert review of the 2018 Audi Q7.

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Exterior Spyshots
- image 710343

Read our speculative review of the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class.

Source: BMW Blog

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: