BMW took the wraps off updated versions of the X5 and X6 earlier this month, and on Tuesday it revealed the high-performance versions of the mid-size SUVs.
Both the updated X5 M and X6 M are offered as standard in Competition grade, and they each deliver 617 hp, which is the same peak output for the current Competition grade. However, there’s a new V-8 under the hood. It’s still a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 but it’s now paired to a mild-hybrid system, which is a first for a BMW M powertrain.
The mild-hybrid system delivers a 12-hp boost at times, for instance when accelerating off the line or during mid-range acceleration. According to BMW, that extra boost results in a noticeable improvement in power delivery. When it’s not aiding the engine, the electric motor can recover energy, as well as serve as the starter motor.
Performance estimates for both SUVs include 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds and a top speed capped at 155 mph as standard or 177 mph with the available M Driver’s Package.
The 8-speed automatic also does some of the heavy lifting when it comes to performance. New on the updated X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition are shorter gear ratios in the first three gears, coupled with a wider ratio spread, to help efficiency. A revised design for the transmission’s hydraulic control is also said to result in sharper shifts.
When it comes to handling, the all-wheel-drive system has been improved with a new type of traction control system, referred to as near-actuator wheel slip limitation, which makes corrective inputs up to 10 times faster than the previous stability control system that the all-wheel drive relied on. There have also been refinements to the suspension and body to improve rigidity, including the addition of a shear panel and underfloor struts.
Other updates include modified toe-in values at the rear axle said to deliver improved agility at high speeds, as well as revised dampers that take into account body movement, road surface conditions, and steering inputs for their individual adjustment.
Stopping power in the updated X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition comes from six-piston calipers with 15.6-inch rotors up front and single-piston calipers with 15.0-inch rotors at the rear. The calipers come painted blue as standard but can be ordered in red or black. The standard wheels measure 21 inches up front and 22 at the rear.
Like the regular X5 and X6, the M versions receive plenty of styling tweaks with their update, including in the case of the M versions a front fascia design where the grille and central lower intake are finished in black and form an X-like shape. The X6 M Competition also features a unique lip spoiler. Out back sit BMW M’s signature quad-exhaust tips, which on both models are finished in black and measure four inches in diameter.
Inside, the traditional cowl over the digital instrument cluster is gone, leaving a 12.3-inch floating screen that connects with a similar 14.9-inch screen for the infotainment system. The rest of the dash has also been renewed, with fewer physical buttons as some controls have become digital. The central air vents have also been made very slim and are integrated within an ambient light bar lining the dash. Also fitted as standard is an M steering wheel with leather trim, as well as gearshift paddles in carbon fiber.
Production of the X5 M and X6 M takes place along with that of the X5 and X6 at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The vehicles will be in showrooms later this year as 2024 models. The 2024 X5 M is priced at $123,295 and the 2024 X6 M at $128,195. Both figures include a $995 destination charge.
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