Like everything about the 625hp BMW M8, but prefer to sit higher up? Your prayers have been answered, as BMW has today revealed the new X5 M and X6 M super-SUVs, set to hit the showroom in spring 2020.
Power is everything
Though there will be 'entry-level' versions of the BMW X5 M and X6 M in some markets, offering buyers a mere 600hp, the Irish market will focus solely on the Competition variants. These get an uprated version of the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine (as found in the BMW M8 Competition and M5 Competition), producing up to 625hp and 750Nm of torque. BMW M's version of the company's excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox channels this to an M interpretation of the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which is fully variable front-to-rear as needs be and uses an electronically controlled rear differential, too, just as pioneered in the current BMW M5. As with the X3 M and X4 M, the X5 M and X6 M don't get the M5's rear-wheel-drive-only setting, though. BMW quotes a 0-100km/h time of just 3.8 seconds for both X5/X6 M cars, with the usual 250km/h top speed limiter (or 290km/h if you opt for the M Driver's Package).
The Competition specification means a moody look for the exterior of the X5 M and X6 M with lots of black detailing. Up front, there's a new bumper with large air intakes and a particularly menacing take on the traditional BMW kidney grilles. M-styled side gills and door mirrors complement the bespoke alloy wheels (21-22 inches in diameter), while there are body-coloured wheelarch extensions on both cars. The X5 M and X6 M get individually designed rear spoilers and, as you'd expect, the rear ends are defined by new bumpers, aerodynamic diffusers and a quad exhaust system. Buyers can upgrade the engine cover, door mirror caps and (for the X6 M) rear spoiler to carbon fibre. Among the many paint colours offered for the X-M twins, there are three that are specific to M cars, while a very distinctive 'Urban Green metallic' option joins the BMW Individual paint palette. Scroll through our image gallery and you'll find an example of the X6 M finished in that.
A race-inspired cabin
BMW M has taken the regular luxurious cabins of the X5 and X6 and given them a suitably sporting makeover. Illuminated door sill plates set the scene, while inside there are fillets of carbon fibre material and a set of special front seats with integrated headrests. Within those are found illuminated model badges. The upholstery is high-end leather as standard and there are endless ways to customise the cabin. Saying that, the X5/X6 M are well-equipped as standard, including head-up display, multi-zone climate control and the impressive-looking BMW Live Cockpit Professional dashboard system with its two large display screens and multiple forms of control.
All mouth... and trousers
But the X5/X6 M twins aren't just about a lot of power and a brawny exterior; the whole chassis comes in for the BMW M treatment. A significant amount of work was expended on stiffening up the body structures and the mounting points for the suspension for a start, while the suspension is unique to the M models. Along with all the new components, it gets three-stage adaptive damping and an active anti-roll control system. Variable ratio steering and even two-mode, driver-selectable brake feel are also part of the extensive package.
All this equipment and performance does not come cheap. The 2020 BMW X5 M starts at €185,240, while the X6 M is priced from €189,890.