ETC
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

Documents published online by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office might have ruined one of BMW's big surprises. The agency revealed the Munich-based company trademarked the X8 M nameplate in April 2020.

Uncovered by enthusiast forum Bimmerpost, the filing explains the X8 M name could end up on a car and on various scale models. This is the first time BMW has requested to protect this designation, though it already trademarked the X8 nameplate in 2016. As is often the case, the filings raise more questions than they answer.

If launched, the X8 will slot above the X7 in BMW's lineup, but nothing suggests it will have a bigger footprint. The company isn't preparing its answer to the Chevrolet Suburban. Instead, long-standing rumors claim the most expensive member of the X family will arrive as a super-luxurious evolution of the aforementioned X7 with a pair of business-class-like seats in the back instead of two rows designed to hold five passengers. Think of it as BMW's answer to the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 introduced at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Separate reports paint a different picture. While everyone seemingly agrees the X8 and the X7 (pictured) will share a platform, some insist the former will get a swoopier design characterized by an X6-like sloping roofline. This configuration would compromise headroom, so it doesn't fall in line with reports of a palace on wheels. The obvious solution would be to ask BMW what it has up its sleeve, but the company is staying silent. 

Bimmerpost added the standard X8 will enter production in July 2022, meaning it likely won't make its debut until late 2021, and it will arrive in showrooms for the 2023 model year. It's not too farfetched to speculate it will be built alongside the X7 in BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina, factory. The M-tuned model outlined in the trademark filing will receive more power and a comprehensively updated chassis to live up to the letter on its trunk lid. It's too early to tell if the X8 and the X8 M will make their global debut at the same time.

Keep in mind a trademark filing isn't a guarantee that the car it describes is on its way. Automakers regularly protect nameplates to ensure other brands don't use them. Imagine the confusion that would ensue if, say, Land Rover released a go-fast SUV named X8 M. In this case, however, the document strengthens the rumors claiming BMW isn't quite done expanding its range of X-badged high-riding models.

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