By now, it’s no secret that BMW’s M Division is working on a standalone product, separate from other existing BMW models. However, it’s not going to be the lightweight sports car you might have been hoping for. Instead, it’s going to be a big, hulking SUV and will even offer a hybrid powertrain. The latter car — dubbed the BMW X8 M45e — has just been caught doing some camouflaged testing in public. (We don’t own the spy photos but you can see them here)

These photos are some of the closest we’ve seen of the BMW X8 yet. They show off the car’s proportions from almost every angle that matters and, even though the camo covers its details, we can get a good idea of what the car’s going to look like.

It’s indeed going to be a big SUV, the BMW X8, but there are actually some encouraging signs. For instance, it has a more wagon-like body shape than that of a traditional SUV, with its longer, flatter roof. The driver also looks like they will have a commanding view forward, as the H-point seems to be low enough and the hood-line is also quite low for such a big vehicle. So the driver will likely be able to see ahead quite well.

As far as details are concerned, there are only a handful of hints we can get. For instance, its grille is going to be massive but it’s not going to have the 4 Series’ beaver-tooth design. It also seems to be getting a decent looking Hofmesiter Kink. So the two iconic BMW design elements will still exist in a semi-traditional fashion.

The specific car in these photos is clearly the upcoming BMW X8 M45e, the hybrid model, as evidenced by the massive “Hybrid Test Vehicle” badges on its flanks. We know that the plug-in version of the X8 will sport a twin-turbocharged V8 aided by some electric motors. It will likely pack a ton of power and should be an interesting new model. Though, it won’t be the first electrified M car, as that will be the upcoming BMW i4 M50.

Judging only by its silhouette, we’re cautiously optimistic about the BMW X8’s design. It seems like it will stand out from the rest of BMW’s SUVs and will have a more wagon-like look, which should appeal to enthusiasts more than traditional SUV styling. It also seems to have good proportions and a commanding view of the road for its driver. So while the X8 isn’t the bespoke M car we were hoping for, it still might please enthusiasts of the brand.

[Source: Car Scoops]