The wind of X8 rumor has blown increasingly harder for the past year. In January 2017 we heard that BMW had design proposals, and envisioned an exclusively four-seat interior with 7-Series-like accommodations in back. To achieve the desirable size at a reasonable weight, the automaker would mix the Rolls-Royce Cullinan platform with modules from the CLAR platform in BMW sedans and SUVs. Powertrains stuck to the high end, with two strong V8s, two iPerformance hybrids, and perhaps the company's 6.6-liter V12 in an M60i version.
Come November, Klaus Fröhlich, head of development at BMW, told Autocar "There is room for X8 — especially in markets like China." At that time an X8 focused on China, Russia, the Middle East, and chauffeured passengers would go longer than the X7 (pictured above) in order to provide plenty of room for back seat occupants underneath a "sweeping roofline." But BMW hadn't settled on what kind of high roller the X8 would be — either the elevated, four-seat limousine from the earlier report, or an "outright practical" people mover something like a more conspicuous X7.
No matter what, it appears the X8 will not be a larger X6, even though the X8 will apply some of the design cues used on its swoopy crossovers. One of the primary sticking points looks to be establishing clear differentiation from the X7. Fröhlich told Autocar last year, "Each car must have a distinct character, and these are the sort of areas that take time to evaluate."
If BMW goes the ultra-posh route, the X8 could become the most expensive vehicle it sells, overtaking the $156,700 M760i xDrive. Approval seems a given, as everyone watches Bentley move nearly 100 Bentaygas per month in the U.S. and even more in Europe, and Lamborghini now has to talk of limiting sales to maintain exclusivity thanks to the Urus.