When BMW unveiled the new X5 M and X6 M at the LA Auto Show, they did so with the amount of fanfare enthusiasts would expect. There was a moment of silence as the crowd waited with baited breath, which was quickly drowned out by the roar of the M GmbH engines. BMW’s two new lovely ladies then made their way elegantly from behind the stage, allowing their adoring press to gaze on them with admiration.
With the new X5 M and X6 M, BMW combines the successful DNA of the X line with the high performance set aside for the M branch of the family tree. Both cars post up huge performance numbers. They’ll both do 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, utilizing the 8 speed M Steptronic transmission. The new M TwinPower Turbo engine is the most powerful ever to sit beneath the hood of a BMW all-wheel-drive model. The new engine technology uses a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, Valvetronic and High Precision Direct Petrol Injection. The 4.4 Liter V-8s boasts 575 hp, a four percent increase over previous models. Maximum torque has also been elevated by 53 lb-ft, which is an increase of 10 percent. The added power can be felt over a large RPM range, 2,200-5,000.
These stats are even more impressive when you take into consideration fuel consumption has been reduced by a whopping 20 percent. This makes the new BMW models not only fierce, but better than expected economically.
The design of these cars is equally well thought out. No attention to detail is spared. Exterior modifications include large air intakes on the front end, side grills with a model badge and Air Breathers, signature M exterior mirrors, four-tailpipe exhaust system, and a rear spoiler on the X6 M. The X5 M and X6 M also come with two brand new paint choices exclusive to M, Long Beach Blue metallic and Donington Grey metallic.
The interior is classic M, which will not disappoint enthusiasts. M instrumentation, leather steering wheel with aluminum gearshift paddles and M gearshift lever all go quite nicely with the M sport bucket seats for driver and passenger.
Looking at these vehicles up close, it’s evident BMW took quite a bit of time and care when designing both. While they are in the Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupe classes, respectively, the design outside and in is pure sports car.
If the drive is as wonderful as I imagine it to be, these vehicles will take OC Soccer Moms to a whole new level. Bye bye to the tired Yukon, hello Bavarian styling and engineering.