Elon Musk recently said that having fewer car models is better from a profitability standpoint. But German automakers never got the memo and continue to develop as many crossovers, sports sedans, and EVs as possible. Every 3 to 4 years, these cars get a facelift, and we just got the scoop on what BMW is doing with the X5 and X6 LCI / facelift.
LCI is short for Life Cycle Impulse and it is BMW’s fancy way of naming mid-life updates. These can be radical or mild, usually depending on how much money a car is making. The X5 and X6 are trailblazers, segment definers, so their 2023 facelifts will be significant and expensive.
We’ve gotten used to BMW releasing ever more controversial grille designs. However, the X5 and X6 already had that covered, so they’re receiving some ugly bumpers instead. The gallery below features the recent renderings from the Russian website Kolesa. We believe they are accurate, based on recent spy photos and sightings.
The two SUVs have several bumper designs, depending on your spec, but you basically pick between XL and XXL grille designs on the sides. However, the 2023 BMW X5 and X6 will apparently have narrow vertical slits. The headlights have also been made narrower, a bit like the ones on the i4.
And that’s a hint as to where the design is going. BMW appears to be making its regular cars streamlined. Perhaps we’re supposed to hate the way they look and just buy their EVs. The new iX M60 has giant fake front grilles, even though it’s electric. The smaller X3 crossover also got these narrow air openings, which is another reason we think the renderings are accurate.
Of course, the EV styling makes sense in the case of the i4. But BMW probably can’t convert this older SUV platform to be electric, so there’s not going to be an iX5 for at least another 3 years. Instead, the current generation of six and eight-cylinder powertrains will be converted to be more efficient by adding mild-hybrid technology. Some power bumps should also happen. For example, the xDrive40i should go from 335 hp to 382 hp, so you’ll be able to tell people you’ve got a 5-seat Supra SUV.
The X5 M probably can’t make more than 625 hp, but BMW can always add an electric motor and show Porsche’s Turbo S models the middle finger.