BMW M GmbH has unveiled the third generation of its high-performance executive Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) models. The allure of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M – and the BMW X5 M Competition and BMW X6 M Competition models set to be launched alongside them in April 2020 – resides not only in their flamboyant design and luxurious character, but most notably also in class-leading dynamism, agility and precision. At the heart of their sublime powertrain / chassis composition is the latest incarnation of the high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology developed by BMW M GmbH. The eight-cylinder unit boasts two turbochargers with indirect charge air cooling, a cross-bank exhaust manifold, direct petrol injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, enabling it to deliver maximum output of 441 kW/600 hp in the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M and 460 kW/625 hp in the Competition models.
The 4.4-litre V8 works in tandem with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, a version of the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system specially tuned for these models and the Active M Differential, delivering superlative propulsive power over any terrain and revealing signature M performance combined with X model versatility. The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M both accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds and they reach 200 km/h (124 mph) in 13.7 and 13.5 seconds respectively. The new BMW X5 M Competition races to 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in 3.8 seconds and to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 13.4 seconds. The new BMW X6 M Competition, meanwhile, stops the clock at 3.8 seconds and 13.2 seconds for the same two sprints. All models have an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), which increases to 290 km/h (180 mph) if the optional M Driver’s Package is selected.
Power delivery and sound production in characteristic M style
The high-revving V8 unit has been crafted in the M mould, as demonstrated by its instant response to the slightest movement of the accelerator, precisely controllable power delivery and linear wave of thrust into the upper echelons of the rev range under full throttle. The engine features a sleeve-free crankcase with a closed-deck construction and a forged crankshaft with extremely high torsional rigidity. Its pair of twin-scroll turbochargers are nestled in the “V” between the banks of cylinders. The use of a cross-bank exhaust manifold enhances the turbocharging system’s responsiveness and efficiency. Merging the exhaust gas flows from two cylinders at a time means extremely steady transmission of the resultant energy to the turbine wheels. The improved flow rate of gas through the manifold has the additional effect of optimising the gas-exchange cycle in the combustion chambers. The engine’s power build-up, efficiency and emissions performance all reap the benefits of the latest High Precision Injection direct petrol injection technology, which operates at a maximum pressure of 350 bar to ensure exceptionally fine atomisation of the fuel.
The eight-cylinder unit generates peak torque of 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) between 1,800 and 5,600 rpm in the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M, while the maximum output of 441 kW/600 hp arrives at 6,000 rpm. The rev ceiling is set at 7,200 rpm. The engine’s high-revving character enjoys even greater prominence in the specially tuned performance characteristics of the engine fitted in the new BMW X5 M Competition and BMW X6 M Competition models. Here, peak torque remains on tap all the way up to 5,800 rpm, while maximum output – reached at 6,000 rpm – is an even higher 460 kW/625 hp. Both variants of the V8 have a bespoke mounting. The power unit’s firm connection to the vehicle’s structure results in remarkably instantaneous engine response and direct transmission of its power to the drivetrain. The engine mounting’s stiff configuration also makes the car sharper on turnin while dampening the transmission of engine noise to the cabin.
The V8 delivers its prodigious power to the dramatic soundtrack generated by the model-specific exhaust system. Featuring dual-branch pipework with large cross sections, high-capacity silencers, electrically controlled flaps and two pairs of 100 mm tailpipes positioned either side of the rear apron in customary M fashion, it produces an aural accompaniment that stirs the emotions. The drive note varies in nature to match the mode selected for the engine characteristics, although drivers can soften the cars’ acoustic presence at any time by pressing the M Sound Control button on the centre console. The sound emitted by the M Sport exhaust system – which comes as standard in the Competition models and is available as an option for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M – captures all of the engine’s free-revving eagerness and propulsive power to even more thrilling effect. To keep pollutant emissions down, gasoline particulate filters have been incorporated into the two branches of both exhaust systems.
Cooling and oil supply systems designed for track use
A sophisticated cooling system precision-tuned to the engine’s specific design and output optimises temperature management in all load scenarios, from short journeys in urban traffic to demanding mountain drives and track use. The low-temperature circuit incorporates the indirect charge air coolers, while the high-temperature circuit – comprising the central cooler and a second remote one in the left-hand wheel arch, plus a mechanical water pump – supplies coolant to the engine blocks and the two turbochargers. An additional electric water pump allows turbocharger cooling to continue for a certain length of time once the engine has been switched off. Another cooler located in the right-hand wheel arch cools the engine oil and there is also a dedicated cooler for controlling the temperature of the transmission oil.
The engine oil supply system has also been designed with the specific demands of track use in mind. Consequently, the oil sump includes a smaller front sump that steps in when extra capacity is needed. And an additional suction stage allows the map-controlled oil pump to draw lubricant as required. All of this ensures a reliable supply of oil at all times, even when subject to extreme rates of lateral and longitudinal acceleration.
Eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and three shift modes
The latest version of the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic is perfectly tuned to the V8’s performance characteristics. Its direct link to the engine, optimum ratio spacing and extremely short shift times mean that drive power is relayed with striking dynamism. The transmission is operated using the most recent incarnation of the M-specific gear selector complete with Drivelogic button. The M shift paddles on the steering wheel give the driver the option of manual control over the gear selection process.
The Drivelogic function makes it possible to adjust the transmission’s shift characteristics in both automatic and manual modes by activating one of three clearly distinguishable settings. Drivers can choose from setups that have been specially configured for a more comfortable ride, sharper driving dynamics or ultra-sporty driving respectively.
M xDrive all-wheel-drive system and Active M Differential ensure extremely dynamic on-road performance and masterful off-road ability
M xDrive all-wheel drive system with bespoke tuning and the Active M Differential allow the new SAV and SAC models from BMW M GmbH to transfer the engine’s exceptionally high drive torque to the road in full and with unruffled poise at all times. Together, these two examples of engineering wizardry maximise traction, agility and handling stability when the cars’ sporting capabilities are truly put to the test, in adverse weather conditions and over loose terrain. The engine’s torque is distributed between the front and rear wheels with creamy smoothness and fully variably by means of the electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the M xDrive system’s transfer case, before the Active M Differential splits it again between the two rear wheels, as needs dictate. The two systems adapt to the changing driving situation and the driver’s inputs with remarkable rapidity and precision, allowing the occupants of the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models to experience their performance qualities in rare depth. The sensitive, direct responses to movements of the accelerator and steering wheel are a defining factor in the cars’ handling, allowing them to be guided with unerring accuracy even when pushed to the limit. Meanwhile, the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system – interlinked with both the M xDrive allwheel drive and the Active M Differential – only needs to intervene in extreme situations.
The M xDrive system’s rear-biased distribution of power also helps to produce the kind of handling characteristics for which M models are renowned. It only brings the front axle into play when the rear wheels aren’t able to transmit any more power to the road and additional tractive force is required. Drivers also have the option – via the Setup menu – of configuring the power split between the front and rear wheels to suit their requirements. The default 4WD setting combines dynamic prowess with maximum traction and easy handling control. 4WD Sport mode brings extra intensity to the driving experience with a substantial increase in agility. The system directs a greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, the linear build-up of lateral forces characteristic of M models even making it possible to execute controlled drifts while staying effortlessly in control of the car.
Pulse-quickening on-road dynamism and unsurpassed ground-covering ability over off-road terrain set the tone for the distinctive character of these high-performance additions to the Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupe segments. Underpinning it all is a chassis precision-engineered to handle the extreme engine power generated by the two cars. The bespoke design developed with the racing expertise of BMW M GmbH instils the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition cars with dynamic performance capabilities none of their rivals can match. On top of which, model-specific tweaks very much in the traditional M mould optimise the stiffness of the body structure and suspension mountings, and help to turn the extraordinary levels of drive torque into precisely controllable performance – all the way to the dynamic edge.
The signature M driving qualities of the cars are headlined by their incredible agility. Top marks for lateral and longitudinal acceleration and stopping power are complemented by handling stability of the highest order and neutral steering responses. The suspension and damping systems of the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models also enable them to offer an exceptional breadth of ability from out-and-out sportiness to excellent long-distance driving comfort. An intensive programme of testing was held at venues including the BMW Group’s test sites at Miramas in southern France and Arjeplog in the north of Sweden, as well as the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit, to ensure engine output, power transmission, chassis setup and body attributes merge into a compelling overall package in any driving situation.
Bespoke chassis technology and extremely stiff mountings deliver class-leading driving dynamics
The class-leading driving dynamics of the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models are partly down to the M-specific kinematic and elastokinematic properties of the front and rear axles, and the super-stiff mountings connecting the suspension to the body. The double-wishbone front axle employs twin-wall torque arm and control arm bearings together with a forged upper control arm. The extremely high camber values at the front wheels sharpen response to steering inputs and optimise lateral control when cornering. A bespoke shear panel fitted in the front axle area also helps deliver precision handling. The body’s torsional stiffness receives a further boost from the M-specific bracing package at the front end of the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models, comprising diagonal struts that connect the front end to the spring strut towers, plus multi-piece tower-to-bulkhead struts complete with a model-specific bracket.
The five-link rear axle on the new models likewise boasts bespoke elastokinematics. The bearings for the rear axle subframe and rear axle links display remarkably high rigidity, as does the camber arm with its enclosed design. Rigidity in the rear part of the body is increased further still by a group of components purpose developed for these four models. They include a strut for the rear structure with thrust arms in a specially conceived design and a transmission tunnel bridge that joins together above the exhaust pipework. The bespoke chassis tuning guarantees the linear build-up of lateral forces through bends for which BMW M models are famed. This results in precisely controllable handling regardless of the lateral acceleration in play.
M-specific suspension and active roll stabilisation
The M-specific adaptive suspension fitted on the new high-performance SAV and SAC models equips them with a suspension and damping system that boasts a particularly wide repertoire, ranging from exceptionally direct contact with the road for extremely sporty driving to high comfort levels on long journeys. The data on body movement, road surface conditions and steering movements obtained from sensors guides the electronic damper control. This data allows the damping forces for each individual wheel to be continuously adjusted – using electromagnetic valves – to the driving situation at hand in just a few milliseconds. The stiff suspension mountings make this damper control even more precise, as does the interaction with the active roll stabilisation system. The system’s electric swivel motors have a high adjustment torque, enabling extremely direct damper response when absorbing bumps in the road surface or taming body roll.
The driver can alter the basic damper setup at the press of a button. COMFORT mode irons out imperfections in the road surface at the same time as providing high levels of handling stability. Switching to SPORT mode activates significantly firmer damper settings, which were fine-tuned during exhaustive testing on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit. The damper settings activated in SPORT PLUS mode are designed for high-speed driving on perfectly smooth race tracks. The even tauter setup in this mode lends itself to achieving maximum longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
M Servotronic steering with variable ratio
The M Servotronic steering featured on the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models stands out with its excellent directional accuracy and clear feedback. The Electric Power Steering combines speed-sensitive power assistance and a variable steering ratio. And whatever the driving situation, M Servotronic delivers exactly the right amount of steering torque. Two steering response settings can be selected at the push of a button to enhance either steering comfort or precision in dynamic handling situations. The variable ratio adjusts to changes in the steering angle, helps to give the car superb straightline ability and lends itself to sharp turn-in response and excellent directional accuracy when cornering. It also reduces steering effort when manoeuvring into and out of parking spaces.
M compound brakes with integrated braking system and M-specific configurability
The M compound brakes offer outstanding stopping power combined with supreme feel and excellent comfort. This is achieved with the help of sixpiston fixed callipers and drilled, inner-vented brake discs with a diameter of 395 millimetres at the front wheels, and single-piston floating callipers and 380-millimetre discs at the rear.
Braking power is controlled by means of an integrated braking system that brings together the brake activation, brake booster and braking control functions within a single compact module. The use of an electric actuator allows brake pressure to be generated more dynamically while also maintaining superb pedal feel regardless of the road surface conditions. The version of the integrated braking system developed for BMW M models also presents the driver with two pedal feel settings. COMFORT and SPORT modes allow the driver to opt for comfort-oriented feedback when braking or extremely direct, instantaneous response.
M light-alloy wheels with different rim diameters front and rear, and mixed-size tyres
The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M ride as standard on 21-inch M light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design, shod with tyres measuring 295/35 R 21 at the front and 315/35 R 21 at the rear. M light-alloy wheels with different rim diameters at the front and rear axle are making their BMW X model debut – as an optional extra for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M and as standard on the Competition versions. Featuring 21-inch wheels with size 295/35 R 21 tyres at the front and 22-inch wheels fitted with 315/30 R22 tyres at the rear, the wheel sizes are ultimately the same at both axles. The different rim diameters also combine with the mixed-size tyres to optimise transmission of lateral control forces through dynamically taken corners.
The optional M light-alloy wheels with these dimensions for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M feature a star-spoke design and a black polished finish. The Competition models come with forged M light-alloy wheels in a specially styled star-spoke design with a black polished finish.
The shared racing focus of the BMW X5 M, BMW X5 M Competition, BMW X6 M and BMW X6 M Competition models is emphasised by their exterior design, which also adds striking flourishes that bring out the individual character of both the Sports Activity Vehicles and Sports Activity Coupes. Unmistakable visual pointers to the robust versatility provided by a BMW X model combine with clear references to their M performance qualities. The result is a highly extrovert appearance exuding supreme authority and unruffled poise.
Inside the high-performance models, abundant space, top-class materials and build quality radiating precise craftsmanship create a luxurious ambience. The cabin’s classy, modern styling is further enhanced by displays and controls in a distinctive M design, as well as other model-specific features that sharpen the focus on the ultra-sporty driving experience at hand.
Visual impact with hallmark M design features
The new SAV and SAC models in the BMW M GmbH line-up epitomise supreme performance, packaged in two distinct styles with differing proportions. The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X5 M Competition radiate versatility and presence with a body measuring 4,938 millimetres in length, 2,015 millimetres in width and 1,774 millimetres in height (BMW X5 M Competition: 1,776 mm). The elongated, coupe-like dynamic flair of the new BMW X6 M and new BMW X6 M Competition, meanwhile, is reflected in their length of 4,941 millimetres, width of 2,019 millimetres and height of 1,685 millimetres (BMW X6 M Competition: 1,687 mm). All four models have an identical wheelbase (2,972 millimetres) and tracks (1,699 millimetres at the front axle, 1,688 millimetres at the rear).
Another characteristic they have in common is their thirst for the spotlight, as underlined further by the M features serving cooling air provision and aerodynamic balance. Large air intakes in the protruding front aprons, the Mspecific BMW kidney grille with black double bars, the M gills on the front side panels, the aerodynamically optimised exterior mirrors and the two pairs of exhaust tailpipes integrated into the rear apron offer a clear indication of the performance capabilities that set these cars apart in their respective segments. Flared wheel arch trim painted in body colour lends added emphasis to the wide stance of all four cars. The familiar M design is brought to a fitting conclusion by a roof spoiler on the SAV models, a rear spoiler on the SACs and a BMW kidney grille and front / rear aprons with a unique design in both cases. The Competition versions can be identified by their BMW kidney grille surrounds which, like the M gills, the exterior mirror caps, the model badges, the top part of the diffuser trim in the rear apron and the exhaust tailpipes, are finished in Black. An engine cover, exterior mirror caps and – for the new BMW X6 M and new BMW X6 M Competition – a rear spoiler made from carbon fibre are available as an option.
Customers can choose from a wide selection of shades for the exterior paintwork of the high-performance quartet, including three M-specific colours and various BMW Individual options. Plus, a BMW X model is now available – for the first time – with a BMW Individual special paint finish, as Urban Green metallic joins the colour charts. The spectrum of exceptionally fine and visually arresting BMW Individual special paint finishes will expand further in due course.
Exclusive and harmonious blend of dynamism and luxury in the interior
The interior of both the SAVs and SACs combines a cockpit design drawing inspiration from the race track with impressive spaciousness and luxurious flair. The bespoke M controls, and the red splashes of colour adorning the M leather steering wheel’s M buttons and the Start/Stop button on the centre console, help the driver to dial fully into the dynamic driving experience. The restyled selector is trimmed in leather with an embossed M logo and stitching in M GmbH colours, and includes the Drivelogic switch. It also incorporates an eye-catching cut-out accentuated by the integral ambient lighting.
The cabin of the new BMW X6 M, BMW X6 M Competition and BMW X5 M Competition is equipped with a forward-rising centre console and knee pads on the sides. All models come as standard with illuminated door sill plates (with special surfacing and badging on the Competition versions), interior trim strips in Aluminium Crossline (Carbon Fibre on the Competition models) and M multifunction seats with integral head restraints bearing an illuminated model badge. The list of optional extras includes both Carbon Fibre and BMW Individual interior trim strips. The interior of the Competition models also comes with an anthracite BMW Individual headliner in Alcantara. The bi-colour fine-grain Merino full leather trim includes M-specific hexagonal quilting, which is also used for the door trim panels. This interior option wraps the lower section of the instrument panel, the front seat backs, the door panelling and the door pockets in leather too, and also features a BMW Individual headliner in Alcantara. Full leather trim in a Midrand Beige/Black colour scheme with Alcantara applications is available exclusively for the Competition models. The three seats in the rear offer their occupants plenty of legroom. In the new BMW X6 M and BMW X6 M Competition, they are clearly styled as individual seats with integral head restraints, thereby injecting the rear compartment with an even stronger sporting flavour.
The extrovert looks and sensational performance of the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and their Competition derivatives serve up an extraordinary feast for the senses. The elevated status of these models within their respective ranges and the unique concept underpinning them are further underlined by a standard equipment roster created specially for their purposes. The M multifunction seats, M leather steering wheel, M-specific read-outs for the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display (also included as standard), plus the ergonomically optimised arrangement of the controls, give the driver all the tools for precisely controllable handling, even in challenging situations and when taking the car to the limit. A new control system makes it possible to precisely tailor the intense M feeling to personal preferences and the driving situation at hand. The features fitted as standard in the high-performance SAV and SAC models also bring their exclusive and luxurious character to the fore, while highlighting the spaciousness and versatility of their interiors.
The M multifunction front seats offer electric adjustment of the fore/aft position, head restraint height, thigh support, backrest angle, backrest width and upper backrest section, plus pneumatic lumbar support adjustment. They also include a memory function. Optional seat ventilation and massage functions can be added as an upgrade to the standard seat heating. The rear backrest has a 40 : 20 : 40 split/folding design, the individual sections of which can be released from the luggage compartment. This allows load capacity to be expanded from 650 to a maximum of 1,870 litres in the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X5 M Competition – and from 580 to as much as 1,530 litres in the new BMW X6 M and new BMW X6 M Competition. Automatic boot lid operation is also on the standard equipment list, as is the Comfort Access feature permitting hands-free opening and closing of the boot lid. The optional sliding and non-slip rails in the luggage compartment floor facilitate loading and keep items of luggage securely in place when on the move.
The luxurious interior ambience is down in no small part to the fine-grain Merino full leather trim (which comes in a choice of five colour schemes), the leather-covered BMW Individual instrument panel and the ambient lighting, while 2.5-zone automatic climate control is also included in the highperformance models as standard. Among the optional extras customers can specify are the BMW Display Key, telephony with wireless charging, the Sky Lounge panoramic glass sunroof, the Ambient Air package, a Heat Comfort package, heated/cooled drinks holders, rear-seat entertainment and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. BMW Laserlight – which extends the high-beam range to around 500 metres – is optionally available as an alternative to the standard Adaptive LED headlights.
Setup button: direct access to the configuration of powertrain and chassis systems
M-specific controls enable the driver to program an individual configuration for the powertrain and chassis technology and so tailor the car’s setup to the situation and their personal preferences. The new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models come with a Setup button on the centre console that provides direct access to the settings for the engine, chassis, steering, M xDrive all-wheel-drive system and braking system. Pressing this button brings up a Setup menu in the Control Display that shows the vehicle settings currently engaged and allows the driver to change the mode of the individual systems in just a single step each time using either the touchscreen or the iDrive Controller.
The engine characteristics can be adjusted via the EFFICIENT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS settings, while the COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS chassis options give access to the three profiles for the electronically controlled dampers. The driver can choose between COMFORT and SPORT for both the M-specific electromechanical steering and the new braking system. The M xDrive system, meanwhile, offers a choice of 4WD and 4WD SPORT settings. Two individually composed variants of this M setup can be stored permanently with the driver’s preferred settings for the engine sound, gearshift characteristics of the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, driving stability control and Auto Start Stop function. The overall vehicle configuration can then be called up at any time by pressing one of the two red M buttons on the steering wheel.
M Mode button for an unadulterated high-performance experience
The information shown in the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display and the functionality of the driver assistance systems can both be varied in the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models using the M Mode button on the centre console. This gives the driver the choice of ROAD and SPORT settings. The Competition models include an additional TRACK setting designed exclusively for use on race circuits. Switching to SPORT or TRACK mode reduces the amount of information appearing in the displays. In addition, the safety-enhancing interventions initiated by the driver assistance systems – such as active braking or steering inputs – are reduced to a bare minimum or deactivated altogether.
BMW Live Cockpit Professional: fully digital screen grouping with M-specific content and graphics
At the heart of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional fitted as standard is the fully digital screen grouping formed by a high-resolution instrument cluster and a Control Display, which each have a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. It also includes a navigation system and allows customers to use the entire range of digital services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive. To ensure they enjoy intuitive, multimodal interaction with their vehicle, drivers can choose to access functions using the Control Display’s touchscreen, the familiar iDrive Touch Controller, the controls on the steering wheel, voice control or gesture control.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is another element of the cars’ operating system. This digital companion can be activated with the spoken prompt “Hey BMW” and helps the driver to make best use of their vehicle. Functions and information can be accessed extremely easily using naturally formulated spoken instructions.
Driver assistance systems: comfort and safety à la carte
Active Guard Plus, featuring front collision warning with brake intervention and Lane Departure Warning, can be supplemented by the addition of numerous other optional driver assistance systems. These include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, the Night Vision system and the Driving Assistant, which comprises Lane Change Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Collision Prevention. The Driving Assistant Professional package adds a number of features, such as the Steering and lane control assistant, the Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, the Lane Change Assistant, the Evasion Assistant, the Emergency Stop Assistant and the Crossroads warning, Wrong-way warning and Front Cross Traffic Alert systems.
The standard Parking Assistant comes to the driver’s aid when selecting and manoeuvring into parking spaces, and also includes Active Park Distance Control and a rear view camera. The Reversing Assistant also forms part of standard equipment, and there is the option of upgrading to Parking Assistant Plus, featuring the Top View, Panorama View, 3D Top View and Remote 3D View functions.