Once upon a time, the letter M was reserved for those rarest, most spectacular of BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machines: the M1 supercar, the M3 coupe, the M5 sedan. In the last couple decades, however, Bimmer’s performance division has branched out far and wide, whipping up faster versions of (and applying its distinctive letter logo to) everything from front-wheel-drive compact cars to open-top roadsters to SUVs — so, so many SUVs. Indeed, with no fewer than four full-fat M sport-utes and seven crossovers boasting the lesser level known as M Performance, it could actually be argued that BMW M has become an SUV tuner at its core.
Perhaps no car encapsulates that change quite like the rumored BMW X8 M — a flagship SUV that will allegedly be the most potent product M car ever.
The BMW X8 is, in and of itself, still just a rumor, but given the seemingly-limitless appetite for high-end SUVs these days, the idea of a range-topping super-luxury SUV seems like a layup for the Bavarian Motor Works — a supposition furthered by the fact that the carmaker filed a trademark for both X8 and X8 M back in March of 2020. Given the rest of the BMW lineup, it seems likely that an X8 would be a “coupe” SUV version of the mighty X7, one with a more rakish roofline and reduced cargo space. (Think of a slightly larger version of the X6 pictured above.)
The X8 M, if British publication CAR‘s scoop is correct, will be the first M car to go hybrid, melding the ballistic 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the M5, X5 M, X6 M and M8 with an electric motor and a plug-in battery pack for a combined output of 750 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. As those figures (and the size of an X7-based sport-ute coupe) probably suggest, the X8 M will not be one of those dainty fuel-sipping hybrids; like the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, it will employ its electrical motors solely in pursuit of speed.
If these rumors are true, “Project Rockstar,” as the massive attack hybrid X8 M is allegedly called, should arrive in 2022. While we can’t say we’re as excited for it as we are some other vehicles coming out of BMW M in the near future — like, say, the “pure” next-gen M3 offering a stick shift — we will admit there’s a little bit of us giddy at the prospect of a big SUV that can run with a supercar.
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