BMW has released a short teaser video and a handful of images of its new X5 undergoing testing (including on gravel roads here in South Africa), as well as confirmed that the fourth-generation model will be offered with an "off-road package".

The Munich-based brand says the “exceptionally demanding” testing is meant to evaluate the vehicle’s “endurance as well as its versatility”.

BMW furthermore revealed that the new X5 will feature “completely new suspension technology” and chassis systems, which it claims will be “virtually unique” within the segment.

The new off-road package will offer what the automaker describes as “an impressive combination of highest-level ride comfort on the road and the possibility of changing the vehicle setup at the press of a button to suit the conditions of driving off the beaten track perfectly”. Integral Active Steering (or, more plainly, rear-wheel steering) will also be available.

BMW says the prototypes have undergone testing at the winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, on South African gravel tracks and in the desert dune landscapes of the United States. They also spent some time at the BMW Group’s testing grounds in Miramas in the South of France, on the high-speed circuit in Talladega and, naturally, on the Nürburgring in Germany.

Watch the short clip below to see the prototypes in action off the beaten track...