BMW stuffs the beefy M5 engine into the X5 and X6 M

When BMW comes up with the latest evolution of the powerhouse of an engine used in the M5 super-sedan, you know all those twin-turbocharged mills are no longer bound exclusively for the world’s benchmark Autobahn-burner. The same 4.4 V-8 goes into everything above a certain size in the lineup, and frankly, what better way to make massive SUVs sporty than with a V-8 that can produce 617 horsepower without breaking a sweat?

For 2020, the standard X5 M and X6 M will give you 591 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, while the Competition-guise tanks grant you 617 hp and 553 lb-ft. That translates to a 0-62 mph run in either 3.9 seconds or 3.8 seconds, blisteringly quick by any measure, let alone by the measure of something as massive as the X5. To make sure the V-8 stays in place during the process, BMW used what it is calling, “ultra-high-rigidity engine mounting.” 

Perhaps more importantly, gone is the standard X6’s gaudy illuminated grille—it’s being replaced by a double-bar unit for maximized air flow, in an effort to keep that fire-breathing engine somewhere between scorching and surface-of-the-sun hot, a bi-product cars running forced-induction.

2020 BMW X5 X6

The rest of the spec sheet goes exactly as you’d imagine. Tuned and optimized cooling, a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, stiffer suspension, a sports exhaust, and a body kit. 

Unlike it’s sedan organ donor, these super-utes won’t have a drift mode. That’s because, unlike an M5 or an M8, an SUV has to deal with a higher center of gravity. BMW wouldn’t risk you rolling over, regardless of which roofline you prefer. However, the X5 M and X6 M come with two individually tuned modes which can still be selected using M buttons on the steering wheel, not unlike in the new RS Audis. A quick jump to full beans, when needed, if you will.

The new BMW X5 M, X6 M, and respective Competition models will be launched together at the Los Angeles Auto Show, available from April 2020 with adaptive LED Laserlight headlights, BMW Individual special paint finishes, and a whole fleet of digital assistance systems. For the pleasure, prices (including destination) start at $106,095 for the X5 M and $109,595 for the X6 M. Tack on $9000 for the Competition models, as well. That’s major coin, but there’s no doubt it’s one of the most brutal and over-the-top performance SUVs out there.

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