2009 BMW X5 M at the 2009 New York Auto Show

  • Competes with: Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, Porsche Cayenne Turbo
  • Looks like: The fastest X5 ever
  • Drivetrain: 555-hp, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 with six-speed automatic; all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2009

Do you want a BMW M performance model but live in a northern climate where a lot of horsepower to the rear wheels isn’t the most optimum driving setup year-round? Well, here comes BMW to the rescue with the X5 M. Along with the X6 M, this SUV marks the first time an M model has had all-wheel drive. Unfortunately for anyone looking to cart around extra passengers, though, the optional third row of seats in the standard X5 will not be available in the X5 M. Too bad for the parents out there hoping to get their performance jones filled after dropping the kids off at school.   

Like the new X6 M, the X5 M sports a twin-turbo V-8 good for 555 hp and a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.5 seconds.  

While both M models get similar design treatments, the X5 doesn’t look as comfortable in its high-performance trimmings. The augmented  hood, headlights, front fenders, larger front air dams and 20-inch alloy wheels look a bit garish on the frumpier X5.

BMWs are not what we’d call value propositions. The highest X5 trim level with a V-8 engine starts at $56,200, which is almost $10,000 less than where the X6 starts. We’d guess the M models will be roughly $10,000 more than their non-performance counterparts, so the X5 would likely be the more affordable way to get 555 hp in an all-wheel-drive-SUV package.

It’s an impressive performance machine on paper, it’s just too bad you can’t carpool in it. 

More photos below.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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