2015 BMW X5 M, X6 M Launch Into the Real World

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Eschewing traditional auto show etiquette, BMW just revealed complete details about its newest line of performance crossovers ahead of their debut in Los Angeles next month.

The 2015 X5 M and X6 M continue in their predecessor’s large performance footprints by being lighter, quicker, more powerful and more fuel efficient. It’s a big order to fill, so grab some snacks and dig in.

Engine displacement remains the same for the new generation and as you probably know that means these “SAVs” (BMW parlance for crossover) use a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. But in this case it makes 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That’s an extra 12 horses and 53 lb-ft the company says play a key role in allowing the new cars to reach 60 MPH in four seconds flat compared to the 4.5 seconds it took the previous cars.

When you aren’t busy stomping on the throttle and taking off, BMW also says the new models are 20 percent more fuel efficient on the European test cycle. American mileage figures aren’t available yet, but they will be here before the wholesale release to dealers next spring.

An eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission is one the primary reasons BMW can boast the better mileage. It replaces the old six-speed unit and offers a wider gear ratio spread that obviously isn’t hurting acceleration, but offers the ability to cruise at lower RPM.

And as tempting as it might be to “cruise” in a BMW utility vehicle, enthusiasts and current owners can probably agree that both versions of the car SUV whatever-yah-call-ems are designed for performance. For example, the front wheels are 285 mm wide and the rears are 325 mm from side to side. That’s well over a foot wide and the same as the Lamborghini friggin Aventador for crying out loud.

Rear wheel width be damned, BMW is also encouraging its future customers to test the vehicle’s limits by kicking the rear end out. There are three modes for the traction control system. One offers complete stability control, another will let the tail end slide out a little before catching you and the final “off” mode will let you pull an all-out tail slide… to a point. BMW also said that even in the DSC off mode, the system will intervene if it senses extreme changes in lateral acceleration, also known as “that awkward moment when you’re in too deep.”

BMW also beefed up the brakes for this generation using cast iron, ventilated and cross-drilled rotors and brake pads that have 50 percent more surface area than the previous model. It has six-piston fixed calipers in the front and one-piston floating calipers in the rear.

Of course this is based on the new X5 and X6 meaning the same styling cues are at play here, but with a more aggressive BMW M twist to the body panels, wheels and interior design.

Your first chance to poke and prod all that will arrive in roughly three weeks during the L.A. Auto Show, but if you’re ready to break out a deposit already you can expect to spend at least $99,650 on the X5 M or $103,050 on the X6 M including delivery, but without any options.

GALLERY: 2015 BMW X5 M / X6 M Group Photos



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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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