Something is brewing over at Munich. A couple of weeks ago, we saw the first spyshots of a new range-topping BMW SUV model, tipped to be called the X8. Now, we’ve received some better images from our photographers, giving us a closer look at this mysterious new model.

Very little is known about this supposed flagship. The even numbering of the purported name suggests that it is a “coupé” version of the X7, but the development mules we’ve seen aren’t as sleek as something like an X4 or X6. Certain outlets, like Autocar, believe that the car will be an ultra-luxurious rival to the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and, indeed, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, with the option of three-row seating.

Some others are reporting that the X8 will instead be a high-performance offering that will take on the Lamborghini Urus. It’s rumoured that the car will be the first model developed in-house by BMW’s M division and could even be called the XM rather than X8.

Whatever form it will take, it’s clear that this car will take on a vastly different design compared to other BMW models. Despite the heavy camouflage, you can see that the prototypes have an imposing upright front end, and as expected, the double kidney grille has grown to cartoonish proportions.

Massive grilles aren’t new of course, but the headlights are also mounted very low here – they’ve been separated from the bonnet shutline and reside in protruding housings in the bumper. This repositioning gives the car a very, shall we say, distinctive look that is sure to divide opinion. Perhaps these are placeholder lamps designed specifically to confuse onlookers. Only time will tell.

Along the side, the X8 looks to have a more angular design than recent BMWs, while the pronounced rear fender bulge hints at the car’s potentially sporting bent. The rear is similar to Munich’s coupés, incorporating wide L-shaped tail lights and a low-mounted number plate recess. The rear windscreen is a little vertical compared to the X4 and X6, however, although that could again be disguise meant to throw people off.

Expect the X8 to be based on the X7 and come with the latter’s higher-performing engines, including a 462 PS 4.4 litre turbocharged V8. Adding further fuel to the fire of it being a purpose-built M machine, the inevitable M version is rumoured to be the most powerful BMW ever built, with over 750 hp on tap.

The car you see here is a plug-in hybrid (as denoted by the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” stickers and the fender-mounted charging port door), which is expected to use an uprated version of the 740Le‘s powertrain. Likely to be an M Performance model with M45e badging, it appears to feature vertically stacked exhaust pipes, similar to the M Performance exhaust for the new M3 and M4.