Competes with: Mercedes-AMG GLE63, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Looks like: A slightly aggro X5 or X6
Drivetrain: 600-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with 553 pounds-feet of torque (617 hp with Competition Package); eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring 2020
Price: $106,095 for X5 M; $109,595 for X6 M (prices include a destination charge)
The mad scientists at BMW’s performance division have turned their gaze to another pair of SUVs, the X5 and X6, both of which will don that telltale “M” for the 2020 model year.
BMW’s SUVs can be grouped up into pairs that share many of the same mechanical parts and a wheelbase, with a more conventional-shaped SUV alongside a coupelike counterpart. The X1/X2, X3/X4 and, here, the X5/X6 all function the same way, so it makes sense that we’re seeing these two introduced together.
Both the X5 M and X6 M will offer Competition packages, which add $9,000 to their respective $106,095 and $109,595 base prices, offering more power and an increased top speed, among other features.
Both the X5 M and X6 M look like more aggressive versions of their non-M counterparts. It’s easiest to pick them out from the front, where they feature larger lower air intakes and blacked-out grilles. The rear ends feature a large diffuser and integrated quad exhaust pipes. Twenty-one-inch light-alloy double-spoke wheels with wider rear tires are also standard. The X5 M has a rear roof spoiler, while the X6 M has two spoilers — one on the roof and one on the lower portion of the tailgate.
Competition models add black finish to the grille surround, mirror caps, model badging, rear diffuser trim and exhaust tailpipes. Also available as a no-cost option for Competition models are staggered 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels (these offset wheels are optional on non-Competition models).
Small accents along the interior let you know that you’re not in a regular SUV, with splashes of red on M control buttons along the center console, steering wheel and gearshift lever. That’s in addition to red, blue and white stitching on the steering wheel and gearshift lever.
These models don’t just add on go-fast parts, they also boast a more robust list of standard features. A 12.3-inch instrument cluster display is standard, which matches in size the 12.3-inch center multimedia display. Also standard are navigation, two USB type-C ports, Merino leather upholstery, carbon-fiber trim pieces, a panoramic sunroof, ambient interior lighting, premium Harman Kardon audio and a head-up display.
An Executive Package is available, which adds soft-close automatic doors, remote engine start, front massaging, heated and ventilated seats, and laser headlights.
Under the Hood
The X5 M and X6 M share a 600-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 553 pounds-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive come standard. Zero-to-60 mph passes by in just 3.8 seconds, a blistering time for vehicles that weigh around 5,400 pounds.
Besides oodles of power, the vehicles also offer standard M Sport differential and adaptive suspension, along with speed-sensitive, variable-ratio steering. There are the requisite selectable drive modes — Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, in this case — but there are also additional Comfort and Sport settings for the brakes.
Opting for the Competition Package bumps the engine’s horsepower figure up to 617 and adds an M Sport exhaust system. Also available is an M Driver’s Package, which raises the vehicle’s top speed from 155 mph to 177 mph and (thankfully) includes driver training at one of BMW’s performance centers.
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BMW’s full suite of safety technology can be found on both of these vehicles. Standard safety features include blind spot warnings, forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, Back-Up Assistant (which will back the car out on the exact path it drove forward into), parking sensors and a 360-degree camera system.
The Driving Assistance Professional Package is available and it rounds out the safety systems by adding adaptive cruise control, BMW’s Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, lane keep assist and front cross-traffic alert, among other features.
The X5 M and X6 M will roll out to dealerships together in the spring of 2020.
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