To meet the demands of power-hungry SUV customers out there, BMW has unveiled the new X5 M and X6 M, both of which are available in Competition guise from the get-go because in M Town, too much is just right.
Under the bonnet, the standard versions of the performance Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) are powered by the S63B44T4 engine, which is also used for the M5 and M8. Here, the 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 serves up 600 PS (591 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 750 Nm of torque from 1,800-5,600 rpm.
Drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission with Drivelogic and an M xDrive all-wheel drive system with a fully-variable Active M Differential. The latter is rear-biased by default, but unlike the M5 and M8, there’s no option for a 2WD mode to lock the system in rear-wheel drive.
Performance-wise, the X5 M and X6 M will accelerate from a rest to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, while 200 km/h is achieved in 13.5 seconds. Both have an identical top speed of 250 km/h, or 290 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package.
Meanwhile, the Competition models have 625 PS (617 hp) at their disposal – peak torque remains unchanged – which helps shave 0.1 seconds from the century sprint time, and 0.3 seconds when charging to 200 km/h.
To cope with the grunt, the chassis’ front and rear axles boast M-specific kinematic and elastokinematics, while a bracing package increases the body’s torsional stiffness. Adding to this is an adaptive suspension with three modes (Comfort , Sport and Sport Plus), active roll stabilisation and M Servotronic variable steering.
As for stopping power, you get six-piston fixed calipers acting on 395 mm cross-drilled and vented brake discs at the front, with single-piston floating calipers acting on 380 mm rear discs. The brake system uses an electric actuator, so drivers get to choose from two pedal feel settings – Comfort and Sport – depending on what’s required at the time.
In terms of styling, the X5 M and X6 M ooze aggression, with large air intakes at the front, an M-specific kidney grille with black double bars, M gills on the front side panels, flared wheel arch trim, aerodynamically optimised exterior mirrors and two pairs of exhaust tailpipes. To mark out the Competition models, spot the black finish applied on most of these items.
Customers can also opt for an engine cover and exterior mirror caps made from carbon-fibre as an option, with the X6 M and X6 M Competition also available with a rear spoiler made from the material. There’s also a wide colour palette, with three M-specific colours and various BMW Individual options, including a special Urban Green metallic finish. Ditto the wheel options, which range from 21 to 22 inches in size, with mixed tyres.
Moving inside, there are plenty of reminders that you are in a proper M model, starting with the dedicated steering wheel that sports M buttons (M1 and M2), an M-specific gear selector, sports seats, performance-oriented data for the Live Cockpit Professional system and head-up display, as well as an M Mode button. Naturally, there’s also a wide range of trim and upholstery options to choose from.
The range of driver assistance systems is equally vast, comprising Active Guard Plus, featuring front collision warning with brake intervention and Lane Departure Warning, which can be supplemented with Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and the Night Vision system.
Coming in as standard is Driving Assistant – Lane Change Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Collision Prevention – that can be upgraded to the Driving Assistant Professional package, which adds on Steering and lane control assistant, Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, Lane Change Assistant, Evasion Assistant, Emergency Stop Assistant, Crossroads warning, Wrong-way warning and Front Cross Traffic Alert.
Also standard is Parking Assistant with Active Park Distance Control and Reversing Assistant, upgradable to Parking Assistant Plus, featuring the Top View, Panorama View, 3D Top View and Remote 3D View functions.
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