Images of a miniature version of BMW’s third-generation X5 have emerged online, providing an accurate indication of the redesigned large SUV that will go on sale in Australia by the end of this year.
Brochure images of a scale model of the F15-series X5, produced by Jadi Modelcraft, were published on the Facebook page of Malaysian model distributor Diecast Empire as part of a 2013 product release announcement.
Future models are routinely revealed to scale model makers well ahead of their release as part of the marketing functions of many car-makers, and Jadi Modelcraft’s 1/18 and 1/43 scale models bear a striking resemblance to the new X5 renderings and spy shots we saw in August.
Like the spy images, they show the MkIII X5, which will make its global debut at the Geneva or Frankfurt motor shows in March and September respectively, will combine the front-end design of the latest 3 Series, the rear-end design of the X1 and the proportions of the current X3.
The next X5 is likely to grow in all key dimensions to differentiate it from the larger new X3, with which it should share its basic chassis architecture, including MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems.
It is also expected to bring an all-new, more luxurious interior (again with the option of seven seats), and a range of BMW’s latest six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, plus V8 versions including a replacement for the range-topping X5 M.
At the other end of the range could be the first four-cylinder X5, powered by a version of BMW’s 152kW 2.0-litre diesel engine and dubbed the xDrive25d.
On sale here since 2007, the second-generation (E70) X5 has been a smash hit for BMW in Australia, where it was the top-selling large luxury SUV in 2012 with 2779 sales – more than the Mercedes-Benz M-Class (2729) and Lexus RX (2169).
Expect the next X5 to be followed by a redesigned X6 and the all-new X4 in BMW’s expanding X-model line-up.
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