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The fourth-generation BMW X5 has been spied outside its primary production facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Compared to earlier prototypes, such as the one spotted at the Nurburgring in April, this latest vehicle is wearing significantly less camouflage, with no false body panels ahead of the B-pillar.

This car also gives us a first look at the next X5’s lighting graphics.

The crossover’s grille is tall enough to swallow a toddler, and looks to be heavily inspired by that of the Concept X7 iPerformance, although the two sections have been kept apart.

From what we see, the new X5 seems to have a more assertive design than the current model, although this may be due to an M design kit on this car, which includes wider rubber, lower-profile tyres and a sportier set of sills and bumpers.

Under the skin, the fourth-generation X5 will use the CLAR platform already doing service underneath the latest 5- and 7-Series models.

Thanks to lightweight aluminium and high-strength steel components, the new X5 should be lighter than today’s car. Motivation will likely come from a selection of four-, six- and eight-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. A plug-in hybrid variant also seems likely.

Rumours indicate the new X5 will go into production some time next year. A longer X7 model, with seating for up to seven passengers, is also expected to debut in 2018.

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