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When was the last time a car’s braking performance made headlines? Or when a vehicle’s defining feature was listed as its ability to come to a stop in a hurry?
555 horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque
BMW Board Member Ian Robertson stands with BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld at the Shanghai Auto Show during the BMW press conference.
We had expected that BMW would premiere its new X5 M alongisde the X6 M at the New York Auto Show and so we were surprised when only the X6 M took the stage in the Big Apple.
BMW apparently decided to get all the publicity it could out of the mostly-similar SUVs, making the choice to save the X5 M for the Shanghai Auto Show. And so yesterday BMW drew back the covers on the 555hp monster.
The X5 M makes all that power through the use of a twin-turbo direct-injection 4.4-liter V8 engine. As for torque, that number is 500 ft-lbs from 1500 to 5650 rpm.
BMW says it has all but eliminated pesky turbo-lag through a new invention it calls CCM (which stands for Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold). This new manifold is a one-piece unit and has been designed with every cylinder working together to minimize “charge cycles.”
The X5 M features BMW’s M Sports Automatic transmission, which BMW claims is much faster than previous unit – although no shift times are available. Gear changes can be made by using the automatic stick shift, the paddle shifters on the steering wheel or automatically in the default setting.
The X5 M model will continue to use BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, making it (and the X6 M) the first AWD M models. Also standard is the Dynamic Performance Control system that first made its debut on the X6. It allows for power to not only be distributed between the front and rear wheels, but between the left and right rear wheels.
As a result of all this power and grip the X5 M can hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
That speedy sprint is achieved in the Power mode (and likely with the Launch Control on), which can be activated by hitting the M button on the steering wheel. The M button can not only activate the “Sport” program for the engine and transmission, but also an “Efficiency” program, allowing for earlier upshifts and improved fuel-economy.
In terms of the look of the SUV, it stays mostly similar up front but features special front fenders and a distinctive rear diffuser with quad tailpipes. A set of 20-inch wheels is also standard with 275/40/20 front tires and massive 315/35/20 rear tires.
As braking is always an important part of every M-car, and this bruiser no doubt weighs triple what some of the original Ms did, the X5 M gets four-piston calipers with 15.6-inch front rotors and 15.2-inch rear rotors.
And as for Launch Control, it’s sure to be used, and abused by many owners. Here’s how it works:
To activate Launch Control, the driver stops the vehicle, moves the gear selector into the M/S position and activates the Sports Power mode, as well as the M Dynamic mode, or respectively, the DSC-Off mode. Then, with the transmission in stage M1, the driver presses down the brake pedal and moves the accelerator to at least 60% throttle, setting Launch Control to standby. Standby status is confirmed by “starter’s flag” symbol in the instrument cluster. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the vehicle will accelerate with full power in “genuine racing style.” In the process, the M Sports Automatic transmission automatically upshifts at the ideal points, with the fastest possible shifts and optimum wheelspin control. The driver may terminate the Launch Control process at any time by reducing the throttle position.
GALLERY: BMW X5 M
More on the BMW X5 M and X6 M after the jump: