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The current model BMW X5 will soon hit middle age, and our exclusive spy pictures show that it is set to receive a minor facelift midway through its life cycle.

A new nipped and tucked version of the current model BMW X5 has been spotted undergoing development testing in Germany.

Luckily BMW covered the badge, otherwise this disguised test mule would have been extremely difficult to identify … or not.

Far from being an all-new model, our exclusive spy shots show little need for excessive camouflage on what is a mildly updated X5 from a design perspective.

Stylistically, the updated BMW X5 appears to have taken some design cues from the love-it-or-hate-it BMW X6 — though thankfully not the coupĂ© style rear.

It appears the nose of the new X5 will be more closely aligned with the BMW X6, with mildly redesigned headlights and a new front bumper with larger air-intakes and new front fog light surrounds.

From the rear, BMW has redesigned the X5’s bumper and included trapezoidal exhaust tips to differentiate old from new.

The design of the updated X5’s tail lights is also new, though the shape appears to have remained the same as the current model.

The rear spoiler appears more rounded than the current model, and there are rumours that this new BMW X5 will also include a new one-piece hatch in lieu of the split tailgate of the current car.

The profile shot shows flared colour-coded wheel arches additions, and new lower profile roof rails. Also expected is a new range of alloy wheels.

It’s expected BMW will update the controversial iDrive control system, adopting the much improved system that is currently fitted to the 7-Series, along with a larger colour display screen may feature.

Under the bonnet, the existing engine configurations are expected to remain, with the possible — though unlikely — addition of a hybrid powertrain that BMW has been exhibiting with its range of concept ActiveHybrids.

For those with less of an eye on the environment and more on performance, the X5 may even be available with the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the 7-Series and X6, as well as the upcoming X5 M series.

The updated BMW X5 is expected to make an official appearance before the end of 2009 and should appear at motor shows early next year. The updated X5 is expected to be on sale late 2010.

Source: theage

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