The vehicles which revolutionized BMW’s M-Division are now in their third-generation.
If you desire M5 performance with the ability to occasionally drive on gravel, BMW has released the specifications of its latest X5- and X6 M. When BMW launched its first M-Division SUVs a decade ago, they became the first high-performance BMWs to feature automatic transmissions, all-wheel drive and turbocharging.
The latest X5/6 M variants ride on the ride generation of BMW’s large SUV platform and offer performance that will be deeply troubling to M5 owners. Distinguishing the X5- and X6 M are M-specific styling elements around their enormous grille kidneys, aerodynamically shaped door mirrors and larger front bumper vents.
Hot V8 delivers Competition grade performance
The most significant changes apply to these M-Divisions SUVs and their mechanical bits. Powering both versions is BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. With its turbocharger nestled inside the engine’s vee-architecture, and featuring a cross-bank manifold, air- and gasflow efficiency is very good.
BMW will be offering the X5 and X6 M in two output options. The standard engine boosts 441 kW and for those who seek even more potency, there will be a Competition version, good for 460 kW. Both engines peak similar torque numbers, at 750 Nm, and these engines will spin to 7200rpm, despite their complicated turbocharging systems.
With an eight-speed automatic transmission and advanced all-wheel drive, traction is phenomenal and as such, these new M-Division SUVs are dramatically fast.
They might be heavy, with BMW registering a kerb weight of 2295 kg for both the X5 and X6 M, but the Competition edition variants will run 0-100kph in 3.8 seconds. If you settle for a ‘mere’ 441kW version, it will still be good for 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds.
As with any German vehicle these new BMWs are limited to a top speed of 250kph, although an optional driver’s package can increase that to 290kph. BMW says that its latest high-performance SUVs will sound great too, with dual branch exhausts, featuring active valving. If you consider that those exhaust are 100mm in diameter, there is no point in doubting the veracity fo BMW’s claim.
Big brakes and better suspension
To balance the tremendous speed potential of these new BMW high-performance SUVs, there are additional braces and structural reinforcement the front of the car. It also rides on M-Adaptive air suspension, with roll-stabilization, and most of the suspension subframes, linkages and bearings have been upgraded.
Managing traction is BMW’s xDrive system, which can vary the torque between front and rear axles depending on road surface, steering angle and throttle position. BMW has also added an active M-differential to the rear of these new SUVs, which can split torque, on demand, between the left and right rear wheels, giving a more rear-wheel-drive biased driving experience. Braking specifications are impressive too, with 395mm discs being actuated by six-piston callipers on the front axle and 380mm rotors rolling behind those rear wheels. Cabin details feature hexagonal pattern quilted leather seats, a standard head-up display and BMW’s latest infotainment system functionality.
South African availability is confirmed for May 2020.