Breaking into the 600-horsepower club.
For most, the standard BMW X5 and X6 will be plenty. They’re comfortable, practical and reasonably quick. For some though, standard-trim cars can never be enough, and that’s exactly why BMW has dropped a pair of 600-horsepower family-friendly surface-to-surface missiles capable of mashing anything in the cargo hold against the rear window. Welcome to the 2020 X5 M and X6 M.
As with the regular models, the X5 M is the longroof SUV while the X6 M has a sloping roofline, but both M models cut tauter, leaner silhouettes with vents and scoops and fins to herald their performance. The front fascia adopts the new M styling language with a scowling expression and grilles large enough to inhale small children. Big flares fit big rubber, a full 315-millimetres wide in the rear. The side scoops are larger to expel more air from the fenders and the side skirts sweep low, cutting an aggressive profile. Out back, four big exhaust tips sit in a deep, diffuser-style trim piece. As for the aforementioned fins, the trademark M mirrors slice in towards the greenhouse and contoured spoilers add a touch more boy racer to an already aggro look.
Inside the 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M, the front seat occupants are treated to big, body-hugging sport seats, a red start button, a unique shifter and a chunky sport steering wheel with two red programmable M buttons, first seen on the current M5. Trim is also upgraded, with hexagonally-stitched leather inserts on the seats and doors, stitched materials on the dash and centre console and aluminum sport pedals. Noteworthy too, is the new BMW M cluster, which has a mode that turns the oddly-shaped backward-swinging digital tachometer into a vertical bar that should be much better suited to performance driving.
Under the skin, the biggest highlight of the 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M is the 4.4-litre twin-turbo S63 V8 which pumps out 600 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque and can catapult either model to 100 km/h. Unless, of course, the box is ticked for the Competition trim of each model. The Competition models develop a further 17 horsepower and can catapult all their mass to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Both engines put their power through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with three levels of shift speed and ferocity, and pummel the pavement through M xDrive all-wheel-drive with an active rear limited-slip differential. Unfortunately, neither the X5 M nor the X6 M can disengage their front drive wheels for smokey shenanigans but they should make up for that in grip. Adaptive active roll-stabilizing suspension, speed-sensitive variable-ratio steering, double-staggered non-runflat summer tires and rear-biased AWD are expected to make these big SUVs corner far smaller than their actual mass, while big six-piston front brakes with adjustable pedal feel should haul the X5 M and X6 M down from speed quite effectively.
With big power and big grip, the 2020 BMW X5 M and X6M are expected to be some of the quickest SUVs on the market. Pricing will be announced closer to their on-sale date in the spring of 2020.