BMW's next flagship SUV will bring a muscly rival for Audi's RS Q8.
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Earlier rumours of an upcoming ultra-luxurious, ultra-fast flagship coupe SUV from BMW could come to fruition, if a recent trademark filing is anything to go by.

Discovered by online enthusiast forum X7forum.com, a trademark was filed by the Bavarian carmaker on the ‘X8 M’ name in Germany in late March, suggesting a new range-topping crossover could be on the way.

Little else is known about the future Audi RS Q8 rival, though logic suggests drive would come from BMW’s familiar 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, which in the X5 M and X6 M Competition models develops 460kW of power and 750Nm of torque.

BMW X8 speculative rendering by X-Tomi Design

However, with the X8 likely being positioned a segment above those models, it’s possible the bent-eight donk could score a power bump to ensure its flagship status, either in the form of revised internals and tuning to the engine alone, or the addition of an electric motor.

The latter was hinted at by an August 2019 report from US publication Automobile, which claimed potential combined outputs of 560kW/1001Nm from a V8 mated to a 150kW electric motor.

In addition to a flagship M trim, BMW is also believed to be working on a lesser M Performance variant of the X8.

According to enthusiast website BMW Blog, the model is set to be badged ‘M45e’, suggesting it could seek power from a similar – though potentially uprated – version of the plug-in hybrid system used by the existing X5 xDrive45e, which combines a 210kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six with an 83kW/265Nm electric motor for total system outputs of 290kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

Above: BMW's current coupe SUV flagship, the X6 M Competition

On the styling front, industry scuttlebutt suggests any potential X8 or X8 M would sport a unique design over its X7 sibling, with a raked rear roofline complemented by a pair of China-favourite inflated kidney grilles.

If all proves true, expect to see the BMW X8 M make its public debut in late 2021 or early 2022.