Rumours of a new BMW X8 have been floating around for a little more than two years, but now it appears the vehicle will become real sometime in the next few months.
BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse has said the automaker will make an announcement at the end of the year to build another high-end vehicle at its Spartanburg, South Carolina assembly plant. It will be a brand new model and not a successor, he added.
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The plant currently manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 (pictured here) along with their M-branded performance variants. It can only be the X8, a mid-to-large SUV that is projected to be a sportier take on the X7 with coupe-like styling. Production would begin in 2022 for North America as well as global markets.
Of course, it’s too early to know some of the details. Various reports suggest the X8 could have two rows of seats instead of three and be aimed squarely at the Audi Q8. Expect sophisticated, high-caliber powertrains including a plug-in hybrid and high-performance M model.
On the topic of electrification, Zipse told CNBC that BMW fully backs the Biden administration’s goal for 50 percent of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030, but cautioned that a lot of work must be done in the coming decade in order to develop EV infrastructure to support the charging needs of all these vehicles.