BMW has introduced the new, 3rd generation of the M brand’s exclusive, track-capable X5 and X6 based vehicles, the X5 M Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 M Sports Activity Coupe.
The newest M SAV and SAC vehicles offer more power and performance, improved luxury and comfort over the vehicles that they are replacing while also featuring the latest in driver assistance, personal connectivity and infotainment.
Since the introduction of the M1 in 1978, the engineers at BMW M have been driven by a single-minded passion for combining authentic motorsport functionality with everyday usability. Each M car must fulfill the highest customer expectations, not only for agility, dynamics and power but also the expression of individuality.
M Power and Performance
Power in the new X5 M and X6 M comes from the high-revving, twin-turbocharged S63 V8 engine generating 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 – 5,690 rpm. This is an increase of 33 hp and 1,090 rpm wider full torque range than the outgoing 2nd generation models. The Competition models produce an increased 617 hp and 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 – 5,860 rpm. Working with the M Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission with Drivelogic, the M xDrive all-wheel drive system with Active M differential, the power and traction allows the X5 M and X6 M to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds (3.7 seconds for the Competition models). Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, which increases to 177 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package which also includes an invitation for driver training at BMW’s Performance Center East (in Greer, SC) or West (in Thermal, CA) Driving Schools.
The BMW S63 TwinPower turbocharged eight-cylinder engine features indirect, highly-efficient liquid-to-air intercooling, a cross-bank exhaust manifold to improve gas-flow out of the cylinders and into the turbochargers, direct injection operating at 5,076 psi and VALVETRONIC variable-valve timing. The block is of a closed-deck design with sleeveless cylinder walls and a forged crankshaft.
A dual-branch exhaust system, designed specifically for the X5 M and X6 M offers an enticing sound emanating from the pair of 100 mm tailpipes with electrically controlled flaps. The exhaust note can be softened or increased via the M Sound Control button in the center console. The Competition models’ note is further enhanced with a standard M Sport Exhaust system which provides for a more sporty sound to match the models’ increased capabilities.
The cooling system in the new X5 M, X6 M and Competition models is designed to handle the highest demands which may be placed upon the vehicle by the driver or environment. A central front radiator is joined by a secondary cooler in the front, passenger-side wheel opening. Liquid cooling is available for the engine oil, transmission oil and turbochargers. A secondary oil sump is installed for when lateral or longitudinal forces place extra demands on the engine oil supply.
The engine mounts are of a stiffer design and help improve both engine response and the transfer of power through the transmission and M xDrive system while also providing sharper turn in from the chassis.
M Steptronic Automatic Transmission with Drivelogic
The eight-speed M Steptronic transmission offers both automatic and manual shift modes with three selectable levels of programming controlling shift speed and sharpness. M shift paddles allow for quick manual shifting without removing your hands from the wheel.
Intelligent connectivity allows the M Steptronic to adapt its shift strategy according to the route and driving situation by working with the standard Navigation System and if equipped, combining this data with information from the Active Cruise Control system’s radar sensor. This makes it possible for the transmission to shift proactively instead of reactively insuring that the X5 M and X6 M are always in the correct gear for the upcoming road conditions.
M xDrive all-wheel drive with Active M Differential
The M xDrive system has been engineered to handle the full transfer of 553 lb-ft of torque from a low 1,800 rpm and to work with the chassis to provide the X5 M and X6 M with class-leading traction and handling capabilities in dry and slippery road conditions as well as during the increased demands of track driving.
An electronically controlled multi-plate clutch quickly, precisely and smoothly transfers the power between the front and rear axles while the Active M Differential further divides the power between the two rear wheels as conditions dictate.
The rear-bias of the M xDrive system normally sends power to the rear wheels to produce the kind of handling characteristics for which M cars are known for. Only when additional traction is required is power directed to the front axle.
The M xDrive and Active M Differential are linked with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) which is tuned to intervene only in extreme situations.
Drivers can also select from several all-wheel drive modes to tailor the experience to their liking. The default 4WD setting offers, excellent handling with maximum traction while the 4WD Sport setting brings an increased proportion of torque transfer to the rear wheels for a substantial increase in vehicle agility during spirited driving.
Chassis and Suspension
The chassis and suspension components and settings were painstakingly tested and refined in places such as Mirimas in the south of France, Arjeplog in the north of Sweden and the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife in Germany to produce the very best combination of every-day, year-round usability and genuine track capable levels of performance.
Agility is the cornerstone of the new X5 M and X6 M vehicles’ wide-ranging capabilities and is imparted by carefully tuned suspension components, extra chassis bracing, stiff engine and suspension mounting points and increased front camber. The front suspension features a double-wishbone setup with forged upper control arms while the rear suspension is a five-link design.
Each of the four models, X5 M, X6 M, X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition, features suspension tuning that delivers predictable and linear responses imparting confidence to the driver over varied road conditions.. Further attention to detail can be seen, under the hood, in the form of a special bracing package connecting the front bulkhead with the strut towers, enhancing both visuals and structural rigidity.
The Adaptive M suspension Professional with Active Roll Stabilization is standard on all four new M models and has been engineered top provide excellent handling and comfort in varied conditions, from comfort to very sporty driving. Data from body movement, road surface conditions and steering movements is collected from sensors and is used to actively adjust the damper and stabilization bar settings in milliseconds. The driver can select, with a press of the “setup” button, from several chassis settings including COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS.
M Servotronic Steering
The M Servotronic speed-sensitive, variable ratio steering is tuned to give just the right amount of feedback and excellent directional accuracy. The ratio adjusts to changes in steering angle, ensuring that turn in response is quick while straight-line directional stability is excellent and low speed maneuvering such as in and out of parking spots is enhanced. There are two selectable settings for steering response and feedback, one comfort-oriented and one sport-oriented.
M Compound Brakes, Wheels and Tires
The new BMW X5 M and X6 M models feature BMW M’s latest integrated braking system with all featured controlled by a single compact module. An electric actuator builds up both brake pressure and maintains an even brake pedal feel. The M version of the integrated braking system allows for two pedal feel settings; Comfort and Sport to offer the driver the opportunity to select the level of response and feel to match their driving style and conditions.
The M compound brakes feature large drilled and vented 395 mm front disks with fixed six-piston calipers and 380 mm rear disks with single-piston floating calipers.
The new X5 M and X6 M vehicles come standard with 21-inch M light-alloy Double-Spoke bi-color Style 808M wheels with 295/35ZR21 front and 315/35ZR21 rear non run-flat performance tires.
Available as an upgrade option on the X5 M and X6 M, and no charge option on the Competition Models, is a staggered 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheel/tire combination featuring M Star-Spoke bi-color wheels Style 809M . Exclusive and standard on the Competition models is a similar staggered 21 inch front /22 inch rear wheel, Style 818M. Both styles of wheel come with Non run-flat performance tires sized 295/35ZR21 front and 315/30ZR22 rear.
A space-saver spare is standard but can be replaced by a mobility kit as an alternate choice.
The new X5 M, X6 M and Competition models are immediately recognizable by the large front bumper air intake openings to feed additional air to the coolers. M specific BMW kidney grilles with black double-bars, M gills on the front fenders, aerodynamic side mirrors, flared wheel arches in body color and rear diffuser with integrated quad exhaust are some of the other features unique to M models. On the Competition models, the kidney grille surrounds, exterior mirror caps, model badging, rear diffuser trim and exhaust tailpipes are finished in Black.
The X5 M and X5 M Competition feature a rear roof spoiler while the X6 M and X6 M Competition feature both a roof and lower tailgate spoiler as part of their aerodynamic enhancements.
Available exterior paint choices for all X5 M, X6 M and Competition models include: Alpine White, Carbon Black Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Marina Bay Blue Metallic, Donnington Grey Metallic, Manhattan Green Metallic and Tornado Red Metallic. Additionally available are BMW Individual colors in Tanzanite Blue II Metallic and Ametrin Metallic.
The passenger cabin of the X5 M, X6 M and Competition models have been enhanced with unique features to set them apart in both comfort and exclusivity. Splashes of red color adorn the M control buttons on the center console, on the M Leather steering wheel and on the M Leather gearshift lever. Additionally, Red, Blue and White BMW M color stitching is visible on the steering wheel and gearshift lever. The center console on the X6 M Competition and X5 M Competition features additional knee padding on the sides
Illuminated door sill plates, specific to each model are standard as is Carbon Fiber trim. The integrated head rests on the M multifunction seats incorporate illuminated model badging. The M multifunction seats offer electric adjustments for fore/aft position, head restraint height, thigh support, backrest width and angle plus pneumatic lumbar support.
Rear seats can be folded down in a 40:20:40 split configuration which can increase X5 M cargo space from 33.9 to 72.3 cubic feet and from 27.4 to 59.6 cubic feet on the X6 M. Hands-free Comfort Access opening and closing of the power tailgate facilitates loading and unloading of items such as luggage.
X5 M and X6 M models include Black Extended Merino Leather interior as standard. Available optionally and standard on the Competition models are Full Merino Leather interiors in a choice of Silverstone, Sakhir Orange/Black, Adelaide Grey, Taruma Brown, Black or Ivory White/Night Blue with color matched Alcantara headliner. The Competition models also include a no-cost choice of a Black Full Merino Leather interior with Midrand Beige Alcantara Cloth.
Displays and Infotainment with M Views
The BMW X5 M and X6 M models are equipped with BMW Live Cockpit Professional running the latest iDrive 7 operating system as standard. This comprehensive suite of integrated connectivity, control and display systems offers the driver and passengers a superb all-round package for interacting with their new X5 M and X6 M vehicle. The latest-generation of the iDrive is composed of a high-resolution digital 12.3” instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 12.3” center display. The system offers many hardware upgrades from iDrive 6, including new haptic controls for the iDrive controller, an advanced tablet-like touch interface, stunning visualizations, and the largest displays in BMW’s vehicle lineup.
The M View mode on the X5 M, X6 M and Competition models gives the choice of ROAD and SPORT settings for delivering information via the instrument cluster and Head-Up display. M View features a prominent rev counter in the center of the Head-Up display area with shift lights and locations for two widgets. These widget areas can display G-Meter, Tire Pressure and Temperature or Engine Coolant Temperature and Boost Pressure.
The Competition models add a TRACK setting which is designed to be used exclusively on closed circuits. Turning on the TRACK setting reduces the amount of information available on the displays and reduces the intervention of driver assistance systems, such as active braking and steering to a bare minimum or turns them off altogether.
The seventh generation of iDrive, which runs the latest BMW Operating System, has a cutting-edge, fully digital design and is geared to the driver’s needs by allowing him or her to customize the system to his or her own preference with customizable widgets of information. This new level of personalization is then stored in the BMW Cloud and can follow the customer to other BMW vehicles. Information from categories such as driving, entertainment, navigation, connectivity, and the vehicle info itself, can be selected in nearly any combination in any of four layouts on the Center Display. Multiple pages can be created and easily accessed with a simple swipe across the screen with your finger.
To maximize the capabilities of the large 12.3” digital instrument cluster, the traditional gauges have been finessed into an all-new design pushing the speedometer and tachometer gauges to the outer edges of the display as geometric bands. This new design opens space in the middle for routing and navigation. Information from the center display can also be shown within the tachometer. Additionally, your driving mode will determine your visual display style. Other elements of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional are the Navigation Professional system, two USB-C ports, plus Bluetooth interfaces. The driver can be automatically detected and personal settings activated either using the traditional vehicle key or by downloading the driver’s personal settings the BMW Cloud.
Drivers can enjoy the full benefits of the car’s intelligent connectivity capabilities through vehicle apps such as news, weather, office and online search. Other capabilities include Intelligent Emergency Call – which automatically summons swift assistance in an emergency – and regular updates for the navigation system’s maps.
The latest generation of the BMW Head-Up display system, standard in the X5 M and X6 M, features a larger projection area, optimized graphics and additional content. The BMW Head-Up Display projects information directly into the driver’s field of vision where it can be viewed without any need for them to divert their eyes from the road.
Driver Assistance Systems
The 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M vehicles are available with a wide variety of standard and optional driver assistance systems. The systems really come into their own when driving longer distances by relieving the strain on the driver in monotonous situations, such as traffic jams or slow-moving traffic. They enhance comfort and safety both in urban traffic and on longer trips by providing targeted assistance in complex traffic situations. The driver assistance systems process camera images as well as the data gathered by ultrasonic and radar sensors to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings, to warn of potential hazards and to minimise the risk of an accident with corrective braking or steering inputs.
The standard Active Driving Assistant on the new BMW X5 M and X6 M includes Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation (which now also alerts the driver if cyclists are detected) Cross Traffic Alert Rear, and Speed Limit Information.
The optional Driving Assistance Professional Package offers comprehensive assistance for comfortable and safe driving. This package includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. It can be used at speeds up to 130 mph and maintains the desired speed while taking not only the traffic situation into account, but also the selected distance to vehicles in front. If required, the system is able to brake the car to a stop then pull away again automatically after being stationary for up to 30 seconds, meaning greater comfort in stop-start traffic. Camera images and data from a front radar system are used for distance control.
Another component of the Driving Assistance Professional Package is the Lane Keeping Assistant with Active Side Collision Protection. This system is designed to help the driver guide the vehicle back onto the correct path with an active turn of the steering wheel. Besides emitting visual warning signals and causing the steering wheel to vibrate, active side collision protection also uses active steering intervention to help avoid a collision. Moreover, this package includes Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for limited access highways, which allows for even more relaxed driving at speeds lower than 40 mph during highly congested highway traffic situations. The Driving Assistance Professional Package includes Evasion Aid, which now also reacts to pedestrians and Front Cross Traffic Alert – which reduces the danger of a collision when manoeuvring forwards towards roads that are obstructed from the driver’s view.
Back-Up Assistant, part of the standard Parking Assistance Plus Package, offers an unmatched level of assistance when leaving a parking space or maneuvering in a confined area. The Back-Up Assistant takes over steering to maneuver the vehicle mirroring the path most recently used in the forward direction. This system makes reversing for a distance of up to 50 yards an effortless task in your new X5 M or X6 M. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brakes and monitor the surrounding area. The steering movements made during the vehicle’s last forward maneuver are stored by the system and retained. This means the Back-Up Assistant can be used to maneuver the new BMW X5 M or X6 M backwards out of a parking position that it drove into forwards the previous day.
The driver enjoys ideal all-round visibility, thanks to both the standard rear-view camera and the optional Top View, Panorama View and 3D View which are part of Parking Assistant Plus, which create a 360-degree image of the vehicle and its surroundings in the Center Display. In addition, drivers can use the Remote 3D View feature, part of the BMW ConnectedDrive App, to access a three-dimensional live image of their vehicle and surroundings on a smartphone no matter where they are at that moment.
BMW Connected: digital services for individual mobility.
BMW Connected is the companion app for BMW drivers. Intelligent connectivity helps users to reach their destination easily and with minimal stress – and not only from within their car; BMW Connected is an all-embracing concept designed to seamlessly connect the driver and their smartphone with their vehicle.
At the heart of it all is the Open Mobility Cloud, which allows the app to connect the car with the customer’s digital devices. These could include the iPhone and Apple Watch, smartphones and smartwatches running the Android operating system, Alexa-compatible smart devices and Google Home. For instance, the BMW Connected app can import appointments and addresses from the customer’s calendar entries straight into the navigation system to begin route guidance. The system calculates the optimum departure time based on real-time traffic information and notifies the driver with a message on their smartphone when it is time to leave. As the vehicle is linked up via the Open Mobility Cloud, it is able to access the calculated route directly when the navigation system starts up.
Notable X5 M and X6 M standard equipment includes:
- Sport Automatic Transmission
- M Sport Differential
- Adaptive M Suspension
- Space-saver spare
- Power tailgate
- Panoramic sunroof
- Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive 7 and Apple CarPlay Compatibility
- Heated Front Seat Armrests and Steering wheel
- Anthracite Alcantara headliner
- Leather dashboard
- Carbon fiber trim
- Extended Merino Leather Interior
- Adaptive Full LED lights
- Ambient interior lighting
- Active Blind Spot Detection
- Active Protection
- Active Driving Assistant
- Parking Assistant Plus with Back-Up Assistant, Active Park Distance Control, Surround View Camera
- Head-Up display
- Harman Kardon Surround sound audio
- SiriusXM Satellite radio with 1 year All Access Subscription
- Trailer hitch pre-wiring
X5 M and X6 M Competition models add:
- 617 hp engine tuning.
- Front 21-inch and rear 22-inch M Star-spoke bi-color wheels.
- Front 295/35R21 and rear 315/30R22 non run-flat performance tires.
- M Sport exhaust system
- M seat belts
- Extended Shadowline exterior trim
- Full Merino Leather Interior
Option packages include:
- Driving Assistance Professional Package – includes: Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for limited access highways, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Steering & Traffic Jam Assistant, Automatic Lane Change, Evasion Assistant & Front Cross-Traffic Alert.
- Executive Package – includes: Remote Engine Start, Soft-close automatic doors, Rear manual side-window shades, Heated and cooled cupholders, Front ventilated seats, Front and rear heated seats, Front massaging seats and Icon Adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight.
Individual options include:
- Full Merino Leather (standard on Competition models)
- BMW Individual trim
- Roof rails in Satin Aluminum (no-cost for X5 M and X5 M Competition only)
- Satin aluminum exterior trim (no-cost option)
- 21-inch front and 22-inch rear M Star-spoke bi-color wheels (std on Competition)
- Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound audio system
- Rear-seat Entertainment Professional
- Night Vision with pedestrian detection
- M Driver’s Package (increased top speed of 177 mph plus M Driving School voucher)