The hardcore second-generation 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M high-performance SUVs are set to storm into Australian showrooms around May 2015 after making their world premiere this morning.
Once again a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine sits beneath the bonnet of both, but this version has 423kW on tap between 6000 and 6500rpm, up four per cent. Peak torque is up by 70Nm to a whopping 750Nm between 2200 and 5000rpm.
The powertrain is reworked over the old version and uses cross-bank exhaust manifolds, a pair of TwinScroll turbochargers, direct-injection and Valvetronic variable valve control. The crankcase has been toughened up to accommodate higher cylinder pressures, improving output.
Both engines come standard with all -wheel-drive and an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission.
This output boost means that despite weighing a massive 2265kg (X6) or 2275kg (X5) unladen, both can hammer from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds, a full half-second faster than the 2009 iteration. Top-speed is limited electronically to 250km/h on both.
As the performance figures head north, the fuel economy numbers are going south. The old models used 13.9L/100km, whereas this new one used 11.1L/100km. The range also grows 26 per cent to 765km. This would make one hell of a Nullarbor companion.
Both can tow 2970kg braked, if you’re towing a horse float in a hurry.
Both versions will launch in Australia some time during the second quarter of 2015, according to BMW Australia general manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher. Expect similar pricing as before, between $180,000 and $190,000.
The X6 M will thereby arrive just months after the ‘regular’ second-generation X6 models, which arrive in Australia for sale in December 2014 or January 2015.
Within the wider X5/X6 range, the M-badged monsters are full-fat petrol performance leaders in the same way as the 280kW/740Nm triple-turbo diesel-powered M50d that handles the 0-100km/h dash in 5.3s but chews through only 6.7L/100km.
The X5 M is no straight-line specialist, however, according to BMW.
The upper wishbone at the front has more camber and an optimised camber progression and steering pivot axis. both axles get more rigid bearings to improve wheel guidance and thereby the directional stability.
Each has firmer springs and sits 10mm lower than regular models, meaning both have ground clearance of 195mm.
Both come standard with air suspension with self-levelling at the rear axle, as well as Dynamic Damper Control with electronically adjustable dampers that can be set to comfort, sport and sport plus.
Both also get standard low-weight 20-inch light-alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero tyres (front: 285/40 R20, rear a massive 325/35 R20) while low-weight 21-inch forged wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres can be optioned.
The rack-and-pinion system with electric power assistance is familiar, but its gets M-specific gear ratios. In other words, it is faster and quicker on centre. In addition, the six-piston fix calliper front/floating calliper rear brakes have lining that is 50 per cent larger than before
Interestingly, BMW has fitted a sophisticated oil sump and suction snorkel geometry that allows both to hit up to 1.2 g of force in extreme lateral and longitudinal acceleration without casing issues with the oil supply. It is, as the Bavarian brand says, “fit for the Nordschleife”.
There’s also a pair of high-performance low- and high-temperature radiators to shed all that heat, while the M Sport exhaust system has electronically controlled flaps to modulate the exhaust note.
Cosmetically, the exteriors are painted fully in body colour, and get larger air intakes at the front end, side gills with a model badge, signature M exterior mirrors in twin-stalk style, an M four-tailpipe exhaust system and a rear spoiler (for the BMW X6 M at least).
Inside, the M instrument cluster, leather steering wheel with aluminium gearshift paddles and gearshift lever – which works in the same way as the familiar M Double Clutch Transmission – are complemented by electrically operated sports seats for the driver and front passenger and optional (yes optional, though it could be standard in Australia) head-up display which, in addition to the standard system, also includes an M-specific display with gear indicator, rev band and shift lights.
New BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M customers also have the choice between various options exclusive to the M models, such as 21-inch M light-alloy wheels, Merino full-leather trim and M multifunction seats. And there’s also a choice of two new and exclusive paint finishes.
The standard equipment list includes three automatically dimming mirrors, climate control, parking distance control, adaptive LED headlights and BMW’s newest navigation system.
Dimensionally things are the same as the regular versions (4880mm long/1985wide/1754mm tall on a 2933mm wheelbase for the X5 and 4909mm/1989mm/1689mm on the same wheelbase for the X6. The X5 can hold 650-1870L of cargo, the X6 550-1525 thanks to its edgier design.