BMW has begun testing its next-gen X5 SUV, and our spy photographer recently captured this X5 test mule out and about in Germany. The future SUV, which BMW instead labels as an "SAV," or Sport Activity Vehicle, is heavily-camouflaged, but we can still make out a few details that clue us in on the next-gen model's design.

Much like how the 2012 3 Series looked before its official reveal, this X5 test mule wears dummy headlights and taillights, and has much of its exterior obscured by camo. From the profile though, we can see that the front end is blunted and more upright, just like the many other new cars coming out of Germany. In back, the hatch appears to slope downward at less of an angle compared to the current-generation X5.

Our spy photographer tell us the next X5 will carry the chassis codename F15, and be based on a heavily-modified 5 Series platform. Like its competition, BMW likely hopes to shed weight with its next-gen SUVs and crossovers. Though the X5 is still in the early stages of development, it will most likely get variants of BMW's six- and eight-cylinder engines, including diesel options. We expect BMW's twin-turbo V-8 to also return on higher-trim X5 models. You can also expect both X5 M and ActiveHybrid models in the next-gen X5's lineup. It's uncertain though if BMW will offer a version of its new TwinPower turbocharged I-4 in its largest SUV.

The new X5 could begin production as early as fourth quarter of 2013, likely at BMW's Spartanburg, S.C. plant. Hopefully the vehicle will start dropping camo soon, so we can comment on its design, good or bad.

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