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LA show: BMW adds Competition to X5 M and X6 M

460kW V8 makes new Competition BMW X5 M and X6 M most powerful ever

2 Oct 2019

BMW’S fourth-generation X5 M and X6 M will get a more potent Competition flagship version for the first time when the sportiest SUV wagon and coupe twins go public at the Los Angeles motor show next month ahead of their global roll-out next year.


Packing 460kW of power from the revised twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, the X5 M Competition and its similarly equipped X6 coupe sibling are 19kW more powerful than the new ‘standard’ M variants (441kW) and up 37kW on the superseded X5/X6 M (423kW) that hit local streets in 2015. Peak torque remains the same at 750Nm.


Like the United Kingdom, Australia will take only the full-house Competition specification when the M variants arrive in both X5 SUV and X6 coupe styles in the second quarter of 2020, just after the European showroom debut.


BMW Group Australia says it will announce pricing closer to launch. The new M-enhanced variants will sit above the xDrive 50i X5 and X6 that are priced at $143,990 plus on-road costs and $155,990 respectively.


The big SUVs from the Munich manufacturer again will employ an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel-drive system to put the power and torque to the tarmac, with the wagon and coupe Competition variants both stopping the clocks on the 0-100km/h dash at a respectable 3.8 seconds – a tenth of a second quicker than the M versions and 0.4s faster than predecessors.


The AWD system is biased towards rear-wheel drive via an active rear differential, but drivers can step up this rear-axle bias by selecting AWD Sport mode.


BMW’s M division says it put a lot of effort into the handling of the latest X5 M and X6 M to increase driving pleasure.


Measures include M-specific adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, an active roll stabilisation system and M Servotronic steering.


The big SUVs also get the M-developed brakes with two settings for brake pedal feel.


Design wise, all of the new X5 M and X6 M get a blacked-out grille with vertical double bars, big air openings, more aerodynamic mirrors and M-style side ‘gills’ behind the front wheels.


Wheel arch extensions to cover the wider wheels are painted body colour, as is the rear roof spoiler on the X5 version (a boot lip spoiler substitutes on the X5 M Competition).


The M-developed sports exhaust system ends with a pair of twin round exhaust tips protruding from the rear diffuser.


The Competition variants are set apart from the garden-variety X5 M and X6 M by staggered wheel sizes – 21 inch on the front and 22 inch at the back.


The Competition variants also get an extra driving mode – Track – on top of the standard M Road and Sport settings.


The driver can adjust various settings via M Mode. Two individual modes set up by the driver can be selected by a button on the steering wheel.


Inside, the Competition gets leather trim on the dash, along with sports seats with integrated headrests and quilted leather upholstery in a hexagonal design.


Other typical M additions include a sports steering wheel, sports instruments and M-specific transmission selector. A head-up display is standard.

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