BMW X5 3

Globally revealed in May 2013 and then launched in Malaysia in April 2014, it looks like the third-generation BMW X5 already has its successor being prepared to take its place. The fourth-gen BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) has recently been spied testing on icy grounds.

However, reports do suggest that we’re still a long way away from the model’s reveal, which is said only to be in 2018. Between then and now, a facelift of the current X5 is expected as well. So yes, the current model is still top dog, for now.

As such, the test mule here is very heavily camouflaged. We also doubt that anything visible through the camo is reflective of the production model itself. The prototype may feature tech, chassis and body components of the new X5, but we reckon they’re all very well tucked away from open view.

BMW x5 10

That said, we can still make several observations about the prototype here. For one, it has got a much flatter hood design than the current version’s contoured look. The front grille does appear to have grown larger as well, and it appears that this mule is a little bit smaller, overall, than the current-gen X5.

The front and rear lighting are clearly exclusive to this test mule – so too are the roof-mounted lights, of course. Based on current BMW design trends, sharper, horizontally-shaped LED lighting for the front and rear are almost a given.

BMW X5 7

Other expectations for the next-generation X5 are for it to include carbon-fibre reinforced plastic components that will form a lighter, more rigid body – similar to that one the latest-gen 7 Series. Tech wise, the next-gen SAV should also learn several tricks from the flagship limousine, too.

It’s still very early days for the fourth-gen BMW X5, making it very hard to pin down further specific details just yet. You could say, for now, that it will be largely influenced by the new 7 Series, from a technological and design perspective, at least. But beyond that, we’ll have to wait a while longer for more details to surface.