BMW has just introduced the third-generation 2020 X5 M and X6 M, the high-performance, track-ready versions of its midsize X5 and X6 SUVs. In addition to increased power and sportiness, owners will enjoy improved luxury and comfort over the previous models.
But let’s start with the all-important numbers. Power in the new X5 M and X6 M comes from a high-revving, twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, the latter across an extremely wide range (1,800-5,690 rpm). This is an increase of 33 horsepower over the second generation.
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If you still want more, the X5 M and X6 M Competition models generate 617 horsepower, though torque remains at 553 pound-feet.
In all cases, an M Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel drive system with active M differential team up with the engine to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds (3.8 seconds for the Competition models). Power is directed to the front axle only when additional traction is required.
Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h, which increases to 285 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package which also includes a voucher for driver training at BMW’s Performance Center East (in Greer, South Carolina) or West (in Thermal, California) Driving Schools.
The dual-branch exhaust system featuring 100-mm tailpipes and electrically controlled flaps has been specifically designed for the X5 M and X6 M to offer a more captivating sound. The Competition models’ note is further enhanced with a standard M Sport exhaust system.
BMW claims that “agility is the cornerstone of the new X5 M and X6 M vehicles’ wide-ranging capabilities.” There’s an Adaptive M suspension with specific calibration for each model, extra chassis bracing, stiff engine and suspension mounting points and increased front camber. Let’s not forget the sharper M Servotronic steering with two selectable settings for steering response and feedback.
Braking duties are handled by drilled and vented 395-mm front discs with fixed six-piston calipers and 380-mm rear discs with single-piston floating calipers.
Physically, the new X5 M and X6 M vehicles stand out with 21-inch front and 22-inch rear M Star-Spoke two-tone wheels and non run-flat performance tires. Large air intake openings in the front bumper feed additional air to the coolers. M specific BMW kidney grilles with black double-bars, M gills on the front fenders, aerodynamic side mirrors and flared wheel arches are some of the other features unique to these M models.
In Competition trim, the kidney grille surrounds, exterior mirror caps, model badging, rear diffuser trim and exhaust tailpipes are finished in black. A lower tailgate spoiler is also part of the aerodynamic enhancements.
Inside, standard Merino leather upholstery (available in several different colours on Competition models) combines with a number of aluminum accents. Splashes of red adorn the control buttons on the centre console, while red, blue and white BMW M colour stitching is visible on the steering wheel and shift lever.
Pricing for the 2020 BMW X5 M, X6 M and Competition models will be announced closer to their market launch next spring. To give you an idea, the old X5 M and X6 M started at $112,400 and $114,700, respectively.