BMW confirmed the existence of its X5 M project late last year, and now the SUV’s official debut has come. Set to be introduced to the press this week at the New York Auto Show, this high-performance X5 will rival Mercedes-Benz’s ML63 AMG.
BMW has put the high-performance X5 through extreme durability testing in the southwestern part of the United States, taking advantage of the hot temperatures, miles of desert roadways and mountains with steep grades.
The M offers the same utility as the regular X5, with the addition of a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 delivering 413kW at 5 750r/min and peak torque is 679Nm, available between 1 500 and 5 650r/min. BMW claim their X5 M can sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds.
The X5 M and the new X6 M are the first xDrive all-wheel-drive vehicles from BMW to sport the “M” badge. Coupled with special “M” air suspension featuring Adaptive Drive and the newly developed Servotronic power steering, the performance SUV promises very competent handling. Other high-tech features include launch control for maximum acceleration and an “M” six-speed automatic optimized for performance. Drivers can manually select gears using either paddles or an an electronic gear selector lever.
Electronically controlled, variable power distribution to the front and rear axle prevents even the slightest tendency to over- or understeer, before DSC Dynamic Stability Control is required to cut in.
BMW is referring to the new 4.4-litre motor as its “M TwinPower Turbo” unit. The name reflects the fact that the motor features Twin Scroll Twin Turbo Technology and a common exhaust manifold encompassing both rows of cylinders.
Although traction control is standard, the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) greatly reduces the aggressiveness of the system. The MDM setting allows the driver to enter a controlled drift and push the vehicle’s handling to the limit. There’s also a DSC-Off Mode for drivers seeking a more purist experience.