BMW X5 (2014) spied in Death Valley

Published: 17 July 2012

BMW is certainly giving the new X5 a hard time of it in its pre-reveal testing regime.

We've previously spied the 2014 X5 at rain-soaked Nurburgring, and now captured it testing in Death Valley, USA.

What can we deduce from these BMW X5 spy shots?

Because Death Valley, California is an ideal environment in which to test a car's hot-weather performance, the mule seen here has had some of its frontal camouflage stripped away to allow more airflow into the engine bay.

We can now see the exact shape of the trademark kidney grilles, and the lower vent below them, as well as supplementary apertures in the lower area of the bumper.

Unlike the X5 CAR's spy photographer saw at the rainy 'Ring, which sported rectangular exhaust outlets, this car has smaller, circle-section pipes, perhaps alluding to this being a lower-powered version than that papped before.

When does the new BMW X5 finally emerge?

The F15 (that's BMW model code) X5 will be released in early 2014, and though the exterior styling will take an evolutionary step, the main revisions will be under the skin. BMW's new 'X For All' architecture will be used, as in all futrue BMW X-cars. These advanced underpinnings could cut the hefty X5's weight by up to 150kg against the current model. For comparsion, a current-gen X5 xDrive30d SE weighs in at 2150kg.

If these spy shots really do show a lower-powered X5, it could well be running four-pot power. Sources have confirmed to CAR that a 2.0-litre 245bhp/258lb ft diesel motor will be offered in the new X5. Petrol-devotees can spec the 28i engine from the X1; these four-cylinder X5s will provide a strong rival to the new Mercedes ML250 CDI.
 
At opposing ends of the moral compass, there'll also be a petrol-electric hybrid, and new versions of the lucrative X5M, which will feature a 565bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 The ActiveHybrid will team a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six with a 109bhp electric motor.

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