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Next BMW X5 spotted - 600bhp BMW X5 M tests at Nürburgring

BMW's next-generation X5 and X5 M models are being tested on public roads, as the brand puts the finishing touches to its Porsche Cayenne-rivalling model range ahead of a 2017 launch.

The most recent sighting was of an X5 M. It was seen driving near the brand's test centre close to the Nürburgring with production-spec bodywork, suggesting the top model, which is predicted to have up to 600bhp from its twin-turbocharged V8 engine, could be launched soon after or alongside the regular car.

The next-generation X5 will use the same platform as the 7 Series, on the CLAR (cluster architecture) platform. This platform supports steel, aluminium, carbonfibre and magnesium construction, so it's likely there will be a sizeable reduction in weight compared with the lightest of the current X5s, the xDrive35i, which tips the scales at 2030kg. 

Sources close to BMW report that the next X5 line-up will feature a combination of four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid X5 will also follow.

The facelifted version of the current X5, which has been around since 2013, is due to make an appearance in the coming months, when the model is due to have a mid-life refresh.

The X5 will launch at roughly the same time as its arch-rival, the next Mercedes GLE. The model will no longer be the flagship of BMW's non-coupé SUV range - the X7 will take that crown when it arrives in 2018.

Autocar - July

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