It was inevitable: BMW’s three-row X7 SUV will spawn a two-row, coupe-ified version called X8 to round out the German automaker’s fastback crossover lineup. The X8 will join the diminutive X2, the compact X4, and the mid-size X6 models, which all have sloping—a.k.a. “fast”—rear rooflines when it goes on sale for the 2022 model year. While its roof will be more aggressively sloped, we still expect the X8 to use the same platform and powertrains as the conventionally shaped X7 SUV, which should include a turbocharged inline-six and a twin-turbo V-8. A potential X8 M performance model could be powered by the brand’s 617-hp 4.0-liter V-8; we’ve also seen spy photos of a hybrid model, which could use the plug-in hybrid setup found in the 745e sedan.
What’s New for 2022?
The X8 will be an all-new nameplate for the BMW brand when it goes on sale in 2022.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We can only speculate at the X8’s available trims and powertrains for now, which makes selecting the best one difficult. For reference, our pick of the X7 range is the base xDrive40i and its silky-smooth inline-six, which has proven plenty quick enough. Once we know more about the X8’s trim levels, standard equipment, and optional features, we’ll update this story with more details.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
While the spy photos we’ve seen of the X8 hint at a plug-in hybrid powertrain, we expect the two nonhybrid powertrains from the squareback X7 to carry over to the X8 as well. That would mean a 335-hp turbocharged inline-six as standard with an available 523-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood of an M50i model. There’s a good likelihood that the X8 will also eventually be offered as a full X8 M performance model with a 617-hp variant of that V-8 engine. If there is indeed a plug-in hybrid variant in the works for the North American market, BMW could easily poach the powertrain from the 745e luxury sedan; that model is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six and an electric motor that combine for a stout 389-hp and delivers up to 16 miles of electric-only driving.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
There’s been no announcement of fuel economy estimates for the X8 yet, but fuel economy should mirror that of the X7, which earned ratings of up to 24 mpg highway for the xDrive40i model. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, that version of the X7 delivered an impressive 28 mpg. When we get the chance to test the X8 we will update this story with results.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
We don’t expect too much inside the cabin to change in the transition from X7 to X8, and that’s fine by us. The X7’s interior is decked out with plenty of luxurious features, fine materials, nicely-chosen trim, and comfortable seats. While the X7 is a three-row SUV, we expect the X8 to ditch those extra seats to make room for its rakish roofline and sporty styling. If BMW does manage to squeeze a third row of seats, don’t expect to find the same amount of passenger space back there as in the boxier X7.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen will likely be standard, running the latest version of BMW’s iDrive software. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a wireless smartphone charging pad are all expected to be standard features. BMW will likely offer several different premium stereo systems, including one from Bowers & Wilkins that uses diamonds in the tweeters to provide additional clarity to higher frequencies. A digital gauge display is all but a certainty. We should find out more about the X8’s available tech features closer to the SUV’s launch date.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The X8 hasn’t been evaluated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just yet. We do expect BMW to offer several driver-assistance features as standard equipment though, including automated emergency braking. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard lane-departure warning
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW’s standard warranty package lines up with most other premium European automakers’, including those of arch rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Where the Bavarians beat their competition is with the three-year complimentary maintenance plan; for the record, Audi covers just one service visit for free and Mercedes-Benz offers no such complimentary plan.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles