When we stopped for a break during testing five compact crossovers for an upcoming comparison at Point Mugu State Park in Malibu, imagine our surprise when we caught sight of the 2014 BMW X5 driving by just minutes after we saw a similarly camouflaged next-generation Mini Cooper crossing our path. Photographer Jason Davis snapped our pics as quickly as he could, only to look at the pictures not long after and notice that the models had different exhaust tips, denoting different engine setups.
For anyone cognizant of BMW’s current styling language, two small, round exhaust tips is indicative of the automaker’s turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine under hood. In the current BMW X5, it makes 300 horsepower, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it get a 15- to 20-horsepower bump to match the BMW 640i and 740i.
The other 2014 X5 is seen sporting hexagonal exhaust tips, showing that BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 is also on its way back, likely to get a bump from 400 to 445 horsepower, likewise matching the engine outputs of the BMW 650i and 750i. A six-cylinder diesel engine will return, as the BMW X5 xDrive35d has been a runaway hit for the company in the U.S.
For months, we’ve caught sight of the BMW X5 racing around Germany’s famed Nurburgring. Now, we have pictures of the models undergoing testing in the U.S., likely finalizing suspension tuning and emissions certification before being introduced later this year. While no one has seen the 2014 BMW X5 completely free of camouflage yet, a few pictures have leaked of what we believe to be the 2014 model completely unclad in what look to be part of a website launch for the next-gen crossover. Looking at the pictures of it here against the prototypes we caught testing, everything looks to match. If it is, indeed, a photo set that slipped out of BMW’s grasp, we can’t imagine that the overlords back in Munich are too happy at all.
Like the BMW 3 Series, and what we expect will be a recurring trend on all future BMWs eventually, the 2014 BMW X5 has a three-dimensional grille, longer, thinner headlights, and plenty of soft curves bisected by cuts into its sheetmetal.
Expect to see the 2014 BMW X5, along with all of its details, revealed at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. A drastically more aggressive second-generation BMW X6 should follow shortly thereafter.
Image credit: Jason Davis