It’s finally happened, not that we should be especially surprised: BMW has loaded the X5 SUV with as much power as a bona fide supercar.
BMW has revealed the X5 M along with its more powerful brother, the X5 M Competition. The latter packs the same 616bhp kidney-punch as the McLaren MP4-12C, and significantly more than a Ferrari 458 had. We’ll leave others to debate the obvious sanity issues here, because we’re not complaining at all.
Indeed no, because ironically, in these crazy times what we really need is a bit more… craziness. The X5 M duo boast an ultra-rigid set of engine mounts for more aggressive power delivery, special high-performance cooling and oil circulation, and – of course – a sports exhaust for more 4.4-litre V8 giggles. In case you’re wondering, the non-Comp X5 M still exhales an ample 592bhp.
That hefty S63 V8 (codenamed S63B44T4) is the same one as used in the F90 M5 and G15 M8. It’ll be quite punchy, then, and a 0-63mph time of 3.9 seconds speaks volumes about how violently it will storm away from the line. This is, after all, a 2.3-tonne car, but its peak of 553lb ft is available pretty much all the time in normal driving.
There’s also a new X6 M Competition, which is even faster. It’s the same weight but launches to 62mph one tenth sooner, making it a true Munich monster. Respectively the two Competition-badged cars are as much as 0.4 seconds faster than their predecessors in the benchmark sprint.
The standard X6 M, like the X5 M, sits on 21-inch wheels at both ends. The Competition cars up the ante with 22-inch rear rims for a more nose down, hungry look. Either way you always get M-specific adaptive suspension with electronic damper control, and two settings for brake pedal feel. No, we don’t understand that last one either. Just set it to the one with most feel and leave it!
You can extend the faff even further using two red M buttons on the steering wheel. Drivers can compose two different individual setups comprising engine, steering, M xDrive and braking modes, and save them to the wheel buttons. Speaking of the M xDrive setup, by selecting the default 4x4 mode or 4x4 Sport, gadget-twiddlers can adjust how much torque gets sent to the rear wheels. Oversteer? Yes, a bit.
Among the standard kit are a head-up display with M-specific readouts, M multifunction seats, BMW Individual leather seats, the firm’s top-spec navigation, BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant and a semi-automated parking system.
Despite the X6 M being the model more overtly focused on style, to our eyes the X5 M is much the more handsome car. The kidney grille is still a sensible size, the proportions work well and you really can’t go wrong with Marina Bay Blue metallic. It has a split tailgate, too. If you really must throw many, many thousands of pounds at a fast SUV, you could do a lot worse.