2010 BMW X5 M Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
  • New 2010 model
  • Highest-performing X5 model ever
  • Twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 555 hp
  • BMW states 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds
  • Sport transmission and suspension tuning
  • 20-inch wheels with performance tires
  • Upgraded "M cockpit" with unique gauges and seating
  • Available "Top View" parking-assist camera
  • Introduced at the 2009 New York Auto Show


The BMW X5 was introducedin 2000 as the automaker's first "SportActivity Vehicle" (SAV). In contrast to the traditional sport utilityvehicle (SUV) that delivered utility and off-road prowess, BMW's X5 wasengineered for premium handling, performance, efficiency, practicalityand versatility. The early X5 carried up to 5 passengers insophisticated luxury and it offered standard full-time all-wheel drive(AWD) for control during inclement weather and to deliver car-likehandling.

In 2002, BMW releasedits high-performance X5 4.6is model. With a4.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 340 horsepower (later bumped to 4.8liters), 20-inch wheels, performance components and tuning, it wasbuilt to compete directly against the high-performance Mercedes-BenzML55. The enthusiast-targeted 4.8is model was dropped in 2007 whenthecompletelyredesigned second-generation X5 debuted. The all-new BMW X5was slightly larger than its predecessor and it addressed the limitedcabin space of the previous model as it offered optional seating for upto 7 passengers. BMW offered the redesigned X5 with a choice of twoengines: a 3.0-liter inline-6 rated at 260 horsepower or an optional4.8-liter V-8 rated at 350 horsepower. Both models were available witha "Sport Package" which included larger wheels and tires andmildly-tuned sport suspension, but it was hardly track-ready.

New for 2010, BMW has announced its highest-performing X5 modelever:the purpose-built X5 M. Reviving the enthusiast-oriented passion of thedefunct 4.8is model, the all-new X5 M is fitted with a powerful engine,oversize wheels, track suspension, body kit, and other cosmeticupgrades.

With every 2010 X5 M, BMW provides a 4-year/50,000-mile new-vehiclelimited warranty and a 4-year/unlimited mileage membership in the BMWAssist Safety Plan. The BMW Maintenance Program includes allfactory-recommended maintenance items for the first 4-year/50,000-mileperiod of ownership.


The all-new 2010 X5 M will join BMW's X5 lineup as a fourth modelalongside the X5 xDrive 3.0i, X5 xDrive35d, and the X5 xDrive48i. AllX5 M models feature the full complement of standard luxuryaccoutrements and power accessories as found on the standard X5 lineup.In addition, the X5 M features a special "M cockpit" with a revisedinstrument cluster that features white display backlighting and avariable redline. Power heated sport seats, an M sport leather steeringwheel, M door sills, and a driver's footrest are also standard.

Upgraded over the regular X5 models, standard equipment on the X5 Mincludes Dynamic Cruise Control and Park Distance control. Optionsinclude a Driver Assistance package with High-Beam Assist, Head-UpDisplay, and a rearview camera with a new Top View feature (offeringthe driver a "bird's-eye" view of the exterior surroundings).


Offering more performance than any other X5 before it, the X5 Mfeatures a newly-developed, twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 engine delivering555 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a special6-speed M Sports automatic transmission with shift paddles on thesteering wheel. According to BMW, the new powerplant will acceleratethe all-wheel-drive X5 M to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Standard on all X5 M models is a specially-tuned version of BMW'sxDrive, a full-time AWD system that electronically varies front/reartorque split and traction control to offer optimal grip under variedroad conditions. With a near perfect weight distribution, the X5 Mfeatures fully independent M-tuned suspension with Electronic DampingControl (EDC) and Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) engineered forenhanced agility on paved roads. The steering is BMW's Servotronicpower steering, offering precisely controlled response throughout theperformance envelope, BMW says. Note that the X5 M is not designed foroff-road use; therefore it is not equipped with a transmission "lowrange" or locking differentials.

The brakes are giant 4-piston fixed calipers at the front (with15.6-inch rotors), and floating calipers at the rear (with 15.2-inchrotors). The X5 M also features unique staggered-size tires. The wheelsare 20-inch aluminum alloy on all four corners, with performance275/40R20 tires up front and 315/35R20 tires in the rear.

2010 BMW X5 M


In addition to 3-point safety belts and active head restraints, BMWequips all 2010 X5 M models with a driver and front passenger air bagsupplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technologydual-threshold and dual-stage deployment. The front passengers are alsoprotected by hip/thorax air bags. A front- and rear-compartment HeadProtection System (HPS) "curtain air bag" helps to protect outboardpassengers from injury, while a rollover sensor deploys air bags in theevent of a rollover. For additional protection, a battery safetyterminal is designed to cut off electrical power in a severe collision.Standard active safety features in every BMW X5 include anti-lockbrakes (ABS), dynamic stability control (DSC) with Brake FadeCompensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying, Dynamic TractionControl (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control, and Hill Descent Control (HDC).

The 2007-09 BMW X5 has been crash tested by the Insurance Institute forHighway Safety (IIHS).It received "Good" ratings for both the frontal offset test and theside-impact test-the highest ratings offered by the Institute. Byachieving "Good" ratings in frontal, side, and rear crash tests andoffering standard electronic stability control, the BMW X5 is listed bythe IIHS as a "Top Safety Pick" for 2009. The 2009 BMW X5 has also beencrash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In itsfrontal-impact testing, the X5 earned a 5-star rating (theAdministration's highest) for the driver and a 4-star rating for thefront passenger. Side-impact ratings were both 5-star, while therollover rating was 4 stars.
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