At the moment, the current G05-generation BMW X5 is actually one of the brand’s best looking vehicles. It may sound heretical to name an SUV as one of Bavaria’s best but it’s true. The X5 is not only a brilliant SUV but it’s a looker, as well. That said, BMW isn’t going to just sit on its hands until the X5 reaches the end of its life-cycle, it’s going to get a refresh. Said refresh seems to have been caught doing some camouflaged testing on public roads and it may actually be something entirely new. (We don’t own the spy photos but you can see them here)

In these new photos, we clearly see a camouflaged BMW X5 being loaded onto a car carrier. Being that the G05 X5 has been on sale for some time now, the logical answer is that this test mule is an LCI facelifted model. However, judging by what we can see of the car through camouflage, it actually doesn’t seem to be too different from the current X5. So there’s some confusion about what this car could be.

There’s a “Hybrid Test Vehicle” badge on the side of the camouflage, so it’s clear that it has some sort of battery pack on board. However, we’ve already seen the plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW X5 and, as far as we know, there aren’t any new hybrid X5 models in the works. There is one new X5 model that is in the works that, while not technically a plug-in hybrid, would still carry that badge. A hydrogen fuel cell X5.

BMW i Hydrogen Next fuel cell 6 830x622

We know a fuel cell BMW X5 is currently being developed and will use two 700 bar hydrogen fuel tanks, located in the transmission tunnel of the car, that will power an electric motor. There will also be a small battery pack on board, which is where the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” badges come from, as they’re required so that emergency personnel understand there’s a battery pack on board in the event of a crash and/or fire.

Considering that the hydrogen fuel cell BMW X5 is the only upcoming X5 we know to be in the works that could wear a hybrid test badge, it’s possible that the X5 in these photos is exactly that. BMW launched a fuel cell X5 concept last year, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise but it’s still interesting to see BMW actually going through with it. While some brands, such as Tesla, are adamant that fuel cells are a waste of time, it seems that the Germans are hedging their bets and developing all three alternative fuel cars; hybrids, BEVs and hydrogen cars. This BMW X5 could be proof of that.

[Source: Motor1]