The global success of the BMW X model concept is rooted in a level of sporting flair unmatched by any other all-wheel-drive car with off-road capability. The powerful engines, advanced chassis technology and BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system ( whose primary talent, in addition to maximising directional stability and traction on loose ground and in adverse weather conditions, lies in enhancing dynamic performance through corners) of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 provide driving pleasure beyond the reach of their segment rivals. Plus, the six-cylinder in-line diesel versions of the Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupe, in particular, impress with surprisingly low fuel consumption and emissions given their construction and performance capability.
The launch of the BMW M Performance Automobiles adds another layer to the BMW X models’ reputation for presence, poise and efficiency. With the most powerful diesel in the BMW engine line-up and the optimisation of power transfer, handling and aerodynamic balance for which M is renowned, the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d set new standards in their class in terms of sporting performance, conceptual harmony and efficiency.
Increased diesel power and an M-specific set-up make the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d even more assured performers. The engine developed for the BMW M Performance Automobiles generates maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft), making the two BMW X models the envy of every other diesel-engined model in this segment. The BMW X5 M50d races from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds, while the BMW X6 M50d brings that time down to 5.3 seconds. Both models also benefit from the immense reserves of power provided by their diesel engine when it comes to short sprints at higher speeds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) in both cases.
The two models’ frugal approach to fuel use offers further evidence of their impressive abilities. At 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres (37.7 mpg imp) and 7.7 l/100 km (36.7 mpg imp) respectively in the EU test cycle, the average fuel consumption figures of the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d are only slightly above those for the existing diesel variants of the two models. CO2 emissions stand at 199 grams per kilometre for the BMW X5 M50d and 204 grams per kilometre for the BMW X6 M50d.
Outstanding efficiency is a characteristic the eight-speed Sports automatic transmission in the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d shares with the new diesel engine. Added to which, BMW EfficientDynamics technology guarantees intelligent energy management. Brake Energy Regeneration, the need-based operation of ancillary components and a disengageable air conditioning compressor are all standard.
The BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch to distribute the engine’s power between the front and rear wheels variably and according to the situation at hand. Indeed, drive can be switched between wheels in a split-second to optimise traction, directional stability and driving dynamics. xDrive and the DSC stability control system work together to provide advance analysis of the driving situation ahead. The ability to detect the danger of drive slip at an early stage and counteract one or several spinning wheels by varying the distribution of power has helped earn xDrive its status as an intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
In normal driving situations drive is sent predominantly to the rear wheels, accentuating the renowned handling characteristics of BMW cars. The M-specific set-up of the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d has been optimised to enhance dynamics, helping it to retain a rear-wheel bias under dynamic cornering. Even when the car is stable through corners, a larger proportion of the engine’s power is channelled to the rear axle to enhance agility and stave off understeer.
In addition, Performance Control enhances the handling agility of the BMW X5 M50d, while Dynamic Performance Control does a similar job for the BMW X6 M50d. As soon as the front wheels of the BMW X5 M50d start to push excessively to the outside of a corner, the control electronics of xDrive and DSC team up to brake the rear wheel on the inside of the bend as required. The loss of forward propulsion is balanced out by an increase in engine power, the intervention of Performance Control ensuring precise turn-in. Power distribution can be varied to an even greater degree in the BMW X6 M50d, which comes as standard with Dynamic Performance Control. This system reroutes engine output from the inside rear wheel to the outside rear wheel around a corner if the system detects an imminent risk of understeer. Dynamic Performance Control also counteracts oversteer in its early stages, switching drive from the outside rear wheel – which is experiencing particularly high centrifugal forces – to the inside rear wheel. Dynamic Performance Control also steps in to stabilise the car when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator, ensuring precise and agile turn-in and enabling extremely dynamic acceleration out of corners.
The chassis technology underpinning the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d is based on a double-joint spring-strut front axle and integral rear axle. This arrangement offers the ideal platform for a sporty handling set-up which also achieves high standards of ride comfort. Both models also feature air suspension with automatic self-levelling at the rear axle. The support mounts, elastokinematics, spring and damper system, and Servotronic mapping of the hydraulic steering – among other things – have been modified to imbue the chassis set-up of the two BMW X models with hallmark M characteristics.
Stronger body mounting reduces roll, which in turn optimises steering accuracy through corners. At the same time, the linear build-up of lateral forces for which M cars are renowned enables precisely controllable handling up to the limit. The M-specification tuning of chassis components extends to the electronically controlled dampers and active anti-roll control function of Adaptive Drive, which comes as standard on the BMW X6 M50d and is available as an option for the BMW X5 M50d. Meanwhile, the large-format braking system – with 385-millimetre front discs and 345-millimetre rear discs – provides powerful and consistent braking, even under heavy loads.
Exclusive exterior and interior design features for the two BMW M Performance Automobiles based on the BMW X models provide clear visual differentiation, optimised aerodynamic balance and enhanced driving pleasure. Its powerful presence and distinctively three-dimensional contours make the body-coloured front apron a genuinely eye-catching item. To optimise the supply of cooling air to the power unit, the spaces normally reserved for foglamps on regular BMW X models take on a new role as air intakes, and these large surfaces offer a tantalising hint of the engine power lurking behind the scenes. Horizontal bars in the colour shade Ferric Grey metallic course across their surface. The race-inspired air-channelling flaps sited below the side air intakes optimise the cars’ aerodynamic balance at high speeds.
Titanium-coloured vertical bars for the BMW kidney grille, exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey metallic, a model badge on the tailgate and BMW High-gloss Shadow Line trim for the side window surrounds and exterior mirror bases add further model-specific touches. The BMW X5 M50d comes as standard with 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design, the BMW X6 M50d with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design. Both models are also available with optional 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Ferric Grey metallic developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles and fitted with mixed tyres. The powerful appearance of the BMW X5 M50d is given additional presence by wheel arch extensions and bespoke side sills and kick plates, while the athletic stance of the BMW X6 M50d is underlined by a bonnet sporting a striking powerdome as standard. Both models also boast a muscular rear apron with the embellishers for the exhaust tailpipes integrated left and right.
The sporting driving pleasure served up by the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d is summed up in their interiors by door sills bearing the “M Performance” lettering, the inscription “M50d” in the instrument cluster, a gearshift lever with M logo, an M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, an M driver’s footrest, a BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite and Brushed Aluminium Shadow interior trim strips. Both models are also fitted as standard with exclusive Alcantara/Nappa leather M sports seats offering electric adjustability and a memory function. The black seats are adorned with white contrast stitching and an embossed M logo.
Among the other items of standard equipment fitted on the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d are xenon headlights with LED daytime driving lights, Cruise Control with braking function, 2-zone climate control, a rain sensor, the Radio Professional and the iDrive control system. Highlights of the options list include Comfort Access, automatic tailgate operation (standard on the BMW X6 M50d), a glass/panoramic sunroof, doors with Soft Close Automatic function, a trailer coupling, a heated steering wheel, active seats, navigation systems with hard disk storage and high-quality audio and rear-seat entertainment systems. Customers can also order the BMW X5 M50d with a third row of seats, while the BMW X6 M50d is available with optional Adaptive LED Headlights.
The range of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive offers a wide selection of options designed to optimise convenience, safety and the use of infotainment functions. The BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d can be specified with equipment including Park Distance Control, a rear-view camera with Top View, Adaptive Headlights, the Head-Up Display, High-Beam Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and Speed Limit Info. Other innovative technologies enabling the link-up of the car with the outside world and the integration of mobile devices give drivers access to the BMW Assist service (including Advanced Emergency Call with automatic position finding and BMW Online), as well as unrestricted in-car internet usage. Real-Time Traffic Information, meanwhile, gives the driver extremely extensive and precise traffic information. Among the benefits of the likewise optional Apps function is access to online services Facebook and Twitter.