Spy photographers have caught for the first time the third generation BMW X5 due in late 2013. Looking a bit more sporty and lower to the ground, the new X5 (codenamed F15) will arrive just in time to do battle with the all new Mercedes M-Class.
The mid-size SAV needs to trim the fat and focus on improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. As a result, the new model, which will use a modified version of the 5-Series (F10) platform, will use new lightweight axles that are 330 pounds (150 kg) lighter than the current ones. In concert with other weight saving methods, the base model X5 is expected to weight less than 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg) compared to the current 4,680 lbs (2,125 kg) of the X5 xDrive30i.
Fuel-efficient engines are also a priority. The current six- and eight-cylinders will carry over accordingly, but two new four-cylinder engines - one petrol, one diesel - that produce 245 PS (180 kW / 242 hp) are rumored. Hybrid powertrains are also inevitable as two systems are currently being reported. The first is the system found in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 which combines a 3.0 liter twin-turbo six-cylinder petrol engine with 302 hp (306 PS / 225 kW) and a 55 hp (56 PS / 40 kW) electric motor. Although doubtful, the second hybrid system is a 2.0 liter four-cylinder diesel engine supported by a 15 kW electric motor for a combined output of 221 hp (224 PS / 165 kW).
The 2014 BMW X5 could make its public debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show if not sooner, with the X6 following six months later.