There’s no denying that purists will have a field day trashing these two SUVs that have joined BMW’s M line-up. The fact that they both debuted together like this probably shows that BMW considers the X5 and X6 internally to be two different bodystyles of the same car, like the E90 and E92.
In any case, the reason these two siblings exist is because of the ML AMG and the Cayenne Turbo. People buy them. Both the new BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M carry many firsts for the M division. First off is the fact that they are the first set of all-wheel drive M cars. They are also the first to be fitted with a torque converter automatic transmission. They are the first M cars to use run-flat tyres (even the latest M3 uses regular tyres). And they’re also the first to feature a twin-turbocharged V8.
BMW calls the engine under the hood the M TwinPower Turbo engine. It’s a 4.4 litre V8 (likely derived from the xDrive50i engine) that produces 555 horsepower between 5,750rpm to 6,000rpm and 680Nm of torque between 1,500rpm to 5,650rpm, thanks to 1.5 bars of boost. There’s no official word on the engine code yet but it being called S63B44 should be likely? Like the non-M N63B44, it features the two twin-scroll turbos in the middle of the V bank. Both the X6 M and X5 M are EU5-compliant.
The M engine has its own specific cooling system designed to sustain the higher boost levels. The water reservoir is dropped in the V-bank to reduce the amount of coolant and weight of the system. There is a second radiator, and an additional electrical cooling pump with an after-run function for the turbocharger bearing mounts so they continue to be cooled after switching off the engine. The engine also has its own M pistons and camshafts. Compression ratio has been dropped from 10.0:1 to 9.3:1.
0 to 100km/h takes only 4.7 seconds and this applies for both of the cars. The car goes up to 250km/h but this is electronically limited. If you buy the M Driver’s Package you get an additional 25km/h of top speed. The engines sip only 13.9 litres per 100km in the EU cycle, and puts out 325g/km of CO2 emissions.
The transmission is called the M Sports Automatic transmission and is likely supplied by ZF, like all its other automatic transmissions. It has a special aluminum oil sump with a finned structure for M usage. 6-speeds are swappable either by letting the gearbox do its own thing or via aluminum paddle shifters on the steering wheel – left for down and right for up. The transmission can briefly cancel out fuel injection and ignition to achieve extremely short gearshift times. There is also a launch control mode that can be activated in the M Mode.
BMW uses a specific M Servotronic system that switches between two control maps. Low speeds use one mapping which increases steering assistance, this allow comfortable parking while there is another map that provides better feedback at higher speeds. The sporty map can also be called up using the EDC or M Drive button.
A system called Integrated Chassis Management controls various stability functions such as xDrive all-wheel drive, Dynamic Performance Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Drive and even the above mentioned Servotronic system. The suspension uses a double wishbone design with electronically adjustable dampers, and the rear shocks use air suspension with self-levelling. The X5 and X6 M are 10mm lower compared to the non-M models.
Of course being an SUV there will be people using these two M cars for towing so the X5 gets a towbar with an electrically swivelling ball head, while the X6 gets an optional towbar with a removable ball head. The max trailer load is 3 tonnes.
Other than the fact that these are M SUVs, there is another WTF that springs to my mind – for one, look at the interior. The front seats barely have any side support, and even the M-Sport models (which aren’t really M cars) have this in cars like the 1-er and 3-er. Is this car not supposed to go very much sideways?
Look after the jump for many very high-resolution photos for your enjoyment – they’re all huge and are very suitable to be cropped down to be used as wallpapers. There is also a video allowing you to hear the new turbo V8 in all its glory. Enjoy!
GALLERY: BMW X6 M Exterior
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GALLERY: BMW X5 M Exterior
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GALLERY: BMW X6 M Interior
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GALLERY: BMW X5 M Interior
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GALLERY: BMW M TwinPower Turbo Engine
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VIDEO: BMW X5 M and X6 M Footage – a whole 38 minutes of driving, exterior and interior, engine sounds and even track footage!FULL PRESS RELEASE FROM BMW