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BMW reveals powerful new X5 and X6 M models with a hefty £110k price tag

By Paul Connolly

BMW has rolled out all-new third generation versions of its powerful X5 M and X6 M performance SUVs.

Both cars use the same twin-turbo engine with a high-revving S63 V8 set-up that pumps out up to 600bhp.

But you’ll have to pay for the privilege of owing these sporty beauties – the cars are priced in the UK from £110,610, not least because UK drivers will only get track-focused Competition variants, at least for now.

Aggressive styling marks out both the X5 M, which the German manufacturer officially describes as a Sport Activity Vehicle, and the X6 M, marketed as a Sports Activity Coupe.

BMW M is a performance division of BMW which produces modified and highly-specced cars for its parent company. All models are tested and tuned at BMW’s private site at the famous Nurburgring race circuit.

The X5 and X6 M will officially debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show next month but are already available to order.  The BMW X3 and X4 M SUVs were both relaunched recently as well.

Under the bonnet of both the X5 and X6 M models is that twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that develops 592bhp. The Competition trim bound for these isles has been uprated further, out-putting 616bhp and making the sprint from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds (0.1 seconds faster than the standard model).

Top speed is an electronically-limited 155mph, however there is an optional M Driver package that raises that figure to 177mph.

The powerplant is a BMW xDrive four-wheel-drive rig mated to an eight-speed auto M Steptronic transmission with manual and automatic shift modes.

In typical BMW rear-wheel-bias set-up, the front wheels receive power only when required. Drivers have a choice of Road and Sport settings, plus Track in the Competition models.

Exclusive dual-branch exhausts and 100mm tailpipes with electronically-controlled pipes are amongst the distinguishing features of the rear end of both models. (Competition models get a sportier soundtrack than conventional ones).

BMW M’s engineers have put much work into enhancing the suspension. A package of measures increases stiffness of the body structure and suspension mountings, including model-specific chassis technology with bespoke kinematic and elastokinematic properties.

The set-up includes M-specific adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, active roll stabilisation, M Servotronic steering and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) including M Dynamic Mode.

The exterior styling differentials include signature M features around the air intakes and aerodynamics and a BMW kidney grille with black double bars.

You’d expect the interior of a £110k car to be luxurious, and you’d be right: individual fine-grain Merino full leather trim is fitted as standard and Competition trim gets its own exclusive leather upholstery.

There is an M‑specific cockpit design, and a BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific readouts fitted as standard.

The X5 M and X6 M models are further iterations of the popular BMW X5 and X6 SUVs.

The X5, BMW’s first SUV, first arrived in 1999 and was hailed as a game-changer.  However, the first X5 M performance version didn’t appear until April 2009.

The X6 arrived in April 2008, with the M version this time following hard on its heels the following year.

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