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Report: Next BMW X5 to Use 7 Series “CLAR” Platform

Aluminum and carbon fiber will help trim weight from next SUV.

When the next version of the BMW X5 luxury SUV arrives in the next year or two, it will have some very familiar components beneath its skin. According to Autocar, BMW will use the same CLAR rear-wheel-drive architecture employed by the 7 Series luxury sedan for the next X5.

CLAR — shorthand for Cluster Architecture — is a rear-wheel-drive modular chassis that can also accommodate all-wheel drive. It combines high-strength steels with aluminum and carbon fiber to cut weight while keeping structural rigidity and safety high, and it made its first debut in the all-new BMW 7 Series. In fact, CLAR will be used for most future rear-wheel-drive BMW models, including the next 3 Series, the 5 Series, and the 6 Series.

Autocar says the BMW X5 development is already in “advanced stages” and that the car will be available with hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, as is the case currently. Engine choices will reportedly include a 3.0-liter inline-six and a new twin-turbo V-8, with Autocar even reporting that a 6.0-liter V-12 could be offered for range-topping luxury models.

Interestingly, Autocar says the BMW X5 will not have too much in common with the larger X7 crossover. Because the X7’s wheelbase is longer, and BMW head of sales and marketing Ian Robinson told Autocar that the cars have very little in common under the skin: “If you put both cars next to each other, the resemblance is small in terms of wheelbase and so on… We’re not going to just extend the wheelbase; it’s a complete new panel cell.”

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Buying Guide
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2016 BMW X5

2016 BMW X5

MSRP $54,700 sDrive35i

EPA MPG:

18 City / 25 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

23 / 66 cu. ft.

Seating:

5/7