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  • First Look – 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M

First Look – 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M

“Motorsport” Variants of Popular Midsize SUVs on Their Way

Oct 2, 2019
BMW pulled the covers off of the 2020 X5 M and X6 M today, revealing the company's latest additions to its "Sports Activity Vehicle" lineup. The 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M join the smaller X3 and X4, with power and torque that befit their status at the top of the performance SAV family.

Power Corrupts

Photo 2/62   |   2020 Bmw X6 M Competition Exterior Engine Bay

BMW's M division had fun breathing on the X5 and X6, if the spec sheet is to be believed. Using the same S63 V-8 as the current M5 uber-saloon, the X5 and X6 M produce 600 hp at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft between 1,800 and 5,690 rpm (an increase of 33 hp over the old models, with a torque peak that comes on sooner and lasts longer). Furthermore, the twin-turbocharged 4.4L V-8 gets tuned a bit higher in the available X5 M and X6 M Competition models: 617 hp at 6,000 rpm and the same 553 lb-ft between 1,800 and 1,860 rpm.

 
Both versions of the engine are mated to an M Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission, routing power to standard, M-optimized xDrive all-wheel drive. A traction-optimizing active rear differential gives the X5 and X6 M the grip needed to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, dropping slightly to 3.7 if the Competition package is selected. The Competition also includes a higher maximum velocity, 177 mph compared to "just" 155 mph on the base model.
Photo 3/62   |   2020 Bmw X5 M Competition Exterior Front Qaurter 07

Photo 4/62   |   2020 Bmw X6 M Competition Exterior Front Quarter 01
BMW M threw a lot of technology at the engine to enable those prodigious numbers. Liquid-to-air intercooling helps keep intake temperatures low, while a cross-bank exhaust manifold increases airflow out of the engine and into the turbos. High-pressure direct fuel injection and variable valve timing improve performance even more. The closed-deck block, sleeveless cylinder walls, and forged crankshaft help the engine in one piece when dealing with the twin-scroll turbos' maximum 25.9 psi of boost.

Stability Control—Analog and Digital

As with any modern vehicle, if the driver gets in over their head, the 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M will step in to course-correct. But to avoid that possibility, the SUVs also feature a good amount of "analog" stability control. A robust, stiff chassis forms the starting point, with additional bracing relative to the already-granitic non-M X5 and X6. Stiffened engine and suspension bushings enhance control (likely at the expense of some, but not much, ride refinement). A double-wishbone front suspension boasts robust forged upper control arms, while the rear suspension is a revised five-link design.
Hooked up to those engineering bits is Adaptive M Suspension Professional with Active Roll Stabilization. The kit's actively adjustable dampers and stabilizer bars take data inputs from the steering wheel, body sensors, and road surface to help optimize the X5 and X6 M for a variety of driving situations, including pre-set parameters for Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus. As one might expect, each successive setting dials in more steering effort, stiffer suspension tuning, and higher (electronic) stability control intervention for enthusiastic or on-track driving.
Photo 5/62   |   2020 Bmw X5 M Competition Exterior Rear Quarter 01

Dedicated M-compound brakes also appear on the X5 and X6 M, controlled by BMW's integrated brake system that builds boost and maintains a consistent pedal feel. The brakes themselves are appropriately massive—15.6-inch drilled and vented front rotors with six-piston calipers and 15.0-inch rear rotors with floating calipers. Standard 21-inch wheels front and rear receive the buyer's choice of all-season or summer rubber; the Competition model also boasts a no-cost 21-inch front/22-inch rear wheel option.

Appropriately Aggro

As seen in the photos BMW released today, the 2020 BMW X5 M is substantially more aggressive than its more pedestrian sibling. BMW's traditional double kidney grilles look great with the M model's twin-vertical bars, and their ever-expanding size is much more attractive when paired with the chunky front bumper and larger side and lower air intakes.
Photo 6/62   |   2020 Bmw X6 M Competition Exterior Rear Quarter 02

Other exterior enhancements include pointy-edged aerodynamic sideview mirrors, front fender gills, flared wheel arches, and a rear diffuser bookended by quad-outlet exhausts. Of note—BMW only showed off Competition versions of its new M SUVs, which receive gloss black accents for the grilles, intakes, mirror caps, badging, diffuser, and exhaust tips.

Alterations to the 2020 BMW X6 M are largely similar, but they're obviously paired with that model's faster rear styling and more aggressive proportions. What's more, while the regular X5 M and X6 M get only a roof spoiler, the Competition models add a fin to the hatchback's trailing edge.

Lean, Mean Luxury

Photo 7/62   |   2020 Bmw X5 M Competition Interior Cockpit

Inside, you'd be right to expect a few unique touches to the X5 and X6 M. Flashes of bright red adorn buttons on the shifter, steering wheel, and drive-select. The M division's tricolor filigree appears on the steering wheel and shifter stitching, giving each a unique and retro touch.

Photo 8/62   |   2020 Bmw X6 M Competition Interior Front Cabin

On the functional side of cosmetic upgrades, there are M-specific multifunction seats with fixed headrests up front, with upgraded rear seats as well as added knee padding on the center console for spirited driving. Those headrests incorporate illuminated, model-specific badging, a surprise-and-delight feature that owners are sure to love.

Photo 9/62   |   2020 Bmw X6 M Competition Interior Dashboard

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster can be customized with several different displays, including full-screen navigation and a conventional "Road" setting." A "Sport" setting reduces the amount of information to help mission-critical gauges stand out, and there's a "Track" setting on Competition models that makes only the bare essential information available to the driver, helping them focus on the task at hand.

The company's newest iteration of iDrive makes an appearance on the 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M. Using cloud storage, the driver can create a preference profile that can then be saved to a specific key fob or downloaded to another compatible BMW vehicle. The X5 and X6 M also get a standard heads-up display, Harmon Kardon audio, and more, befitting their place at the top of their respective vehicle lineups.

Legend in the Making

BMW M has been making versions of the company's sport utes since the 2010 model year, during the E70/71 generation of the X5 and X6. Those vehicles' success (and an arms race against Mercedes-AMG versions of the M- and GLE-Class SUVs) have ensured the X5 M and X6 M are here to stay, renewed for 2015 and again for 2020. Whether this trend of outrageously sporty SUVs is here to stay or not, it's clear that BMW wants to be on the bleeding edge of this particular brand of high-speed fashion.
Source: BMW

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