Munich - BMW has released a batch of pictures and a video of its next-generation X5 undergoing final tests at various locations around the world, including South Africa.

This comes just a week after BMW CEO Harald Krüger confirmed that the fourth-gen X5 is set to be launched abroad later this year, as will its larger seven-seat brother, the first-ever X7.

The X5 prototypes in the teaser pics are disguised, but we still get a relatively good idea of how the showroom versions will look. No radical departures here, but it is bolder upfront with its larger grille and pointy headlights, and it’s a little curvier around the wasteline.

Better off the beaten track

BMW is also promising that its fourth-gen X5 will be more off-road capable, thanks to new chassis and suspension systems that are available for the first time in an X model, and which BMW says are “virtually unique” in the segment.

Not much detail has been imparted here, but there is mention of a new “off-road package” that “changes the vehicle set up at the press of a button to suit the conditions of driving off the beaten track perfectly.”

“Be it snow, sand, rocks or gravel roads – the new BMW X5 has the perfect powertrain and suspension setup for each surface,” the German carmaker promises.

That’s not to say it’ll go anywhere that a Range Rover won't, but a bit of extra off-roading prowess will nonetheless add a new dimension to a BMW X model that always sold itself on tar-road-talent.

The latter aspect is still a huge priority for BMW however, and the new X5 will be offered with Adaptive M Suspension Professional and the Integral Active Steering for the first time.

IOL Motoring