New BMW X5 M and X6 M
BMW breaks new ground with its X5 M and X6 M SUVs. We’re used to the M treatment being applied to ultra-sporting saloons but here we find something very different. BMW no longer refers to them as SUVs but, respectively, as a Sports Activity Vehicle and a Sports Activity Coupé.
Perhaps it would be possible to take these four-wheel drive X M models off-road occasionally but that would be foolish – it’s not the idea at all. They are aimed squarely at the top end of the high-performance luxury road car market, with the accent very much on road use. The new M power variants are styled to be impressively sporting, with none of the chunky, black plastic adornments often associated with off-roaders.
With the optional M driver’s package, both the X5 M and its coupé cousin, the X6 M, top out at an unrestricted 171mph. Both are capable of 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and launch control is available when M mode is activated. The power plant behind this devastating performance is a new 4.4-litre V8 with Twin Scroll Twin Turbos, producing 555PS (547bhp) at 5750-6000rpm. Maximum torque, a prodigious 501lb ft, runs from just 1500rpm through to 5650rpm and it all drives through the new M Sports Automatic sports-orientated six-speed transmission.
The accent, as expected with BMW, is on delivery of that performance principally through the rear wheels but every trick in the book of modern automotive technology has been applied to make these SUVs go, handle and stop with the agility of sports cars. Dynamic Performance Control is standard on both models, which have beefed-up M suspension with Adaptive Drive and the newly developed Servotronic power steering. BMW states that the combination gives the driving behaviour characteristic of a typical BMW M Car. This promises to deliver BMW’s celebrated M-style driving stability with precisely controlled steering qualities when the X5 M and X6 M are pushed to their limits. This is, no doubt, true.
Both models have cruise control with brake function as standard. Optional features include adaptive headlights and high-beam assistance. BMW Park Distance Control is standard but the back-up camera with ‘Top View’ function is an option.
Standard for both is electrical seat adjustment complete with a memory function and front-seat heating, two-zone automatic air conditioning, extended Merino leather, a hi-fi audio system with 12 loudspeakers and 230W amplifier output, M entry trim, an M footrest and interior trim in brushed ‘Aluminium Shadow’. The luxury treatment also includes the ‘BMW Individual’ instrument panel finished in leather, plus automatic operation of the tailgate on the X6 M. Options on both are BMW’s ‘Professional’ navigation system, four-zone automatic air conditioning, active seat ventilation and full leather upholstery in Merino leather. There’s an optional panoramic glass roof for the X5 M and an electrically operated glass roof for the X6 M. For the ultimate sound, there’s the BMW ‘Individual High End’ audio system.
Yes, it’s all there. Prices for the UK will be announced closer to the first deliveries here in October.
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - BMW
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter