Official release: The modern, sustainable legacy of BMW M GmbH began in 1985 when engineers placed the snarling, race-bred inline-6 engine from the M1 supercar into the production BMW 5 Series sedan, reworked the suspension and brakes, and created the first M5. Through this industry-first combination of attributes, the M5 redefined the capabilities of a sedan with levels of power, precision, balance, and linear control never before imaginable. Since
then, finding new ways to expand the boundaries of what is possible with existing
BMW models has been the singular purpose of the craftsmen at BMW M. Now the
BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M are the first all-wheel-drive models to offer the
remarkable performance, dynamic driving experience, athletic design, and
premium quality of a BMW M product.
Both models are powered by a newly-developed 4.4-liter V8 M engine delivering
555 hp at 6,000 rpm and 500 lb-ft of torque from 1500 to 5,650 rpm. This new
M engine is the world’s first with a pulse-tuned exhaust manifold encompassing
both rows of cylinders combined with high-performance twin-scroll twin turbo
For the X5 M and X6 M, engineers at BMW M pushed the capabilities of BMW’s
intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system and the Dynamic Performance Control
system to manage the power and performance potential of these two new
vehicles. The special M suspension includes Adaptive Drive and newly-developed
Servotronic power steering. These features combine to push the limits of what
was previously possible with a sports-oriented vehicle, and guarantee driving
behavior characteristic of a BMW M product: incredible stability and precisely controlled steering qualities abound throughout the performance envelope.
The BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M set new standards of acceleration, lateral grip,
steering response, balance, and stopping power among high-performance activity
vehicles. Both models accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds and
feature impressive delivery of power from the V8 twin-turbo engine which
provides maximum torque of 500 lb-ft from 1,500 and 5,650 rpm. From a
handling standpoint, both vehicles are notable for superb balance through careful
tuning of xDrive, Dynamic Performance Control, and Dynamic Stability Control
with M Dynamic Mode for linear buildup of cornering forces. These capabilities
place the performance of the X5 M and X6 M on par with the performance of
other recent BMW M vehicles.
The athletic character and amazing performance abilities of the BMW X5 M and X6
M result from levels of development never before applied to this type of vehicle.
As it did when creating the original M5, BMW M has once again shown that
applying new technologies and innovations to a solid BMW production vehicle type
will produce startling performance and an exhilarating drive. Both of these new
models offer capabilities and dynamic driving experiences which are quite unique,
and promise to provide thrills from everyday traffic to the race track.
Exterior Design: BMW M heritage reflecting function, purpose, and
The outstanding potential of both models is communicated clearly in their looks
and design, their performance-bred heritage presented convincingly by the
common design of the front end with its large air intakes.
The hood, front air dam, and headlights are virtually identical on the BMW X5 M
and X6 M. Both models feature special gills in the front fenders, as well as model-
specific 20-inch light-alloy wheels. The signs of distinction of BMW M are presented in individual style at the rear, confirming the athletic character of each
model. The rear diffuser on each model communicates a particularly powerful
presence, and the quad tailpipes of the exhaust system are again a signature of
BMW M’s masterful work.
Compared with the standard BMW X5 and BMW X6, the body-color surface area
on the side skirts are designed to place greater emphasis on their road-going
orientations. On both models the body designs fulfill major functions in terms of
aerodynamics and the carefully controlled flow of cooling air.
The first modern turbocharged M engine: twin scroll twin turbo
technology with a patented exhaust manifold.
Using BMW’s innovative, 4.4L reverse-flow V8 engine with High Precision Direct
Injection and twin turbochargers as a basis, the new M engine introduces twin-
scroll twin turbochargers and patented exhaust manifold technologies to achieve
outstanding thrust and pulling force, while preserving the most compact
dimensions possible. Two low-mass twin-scroll turbochargers are positioned
together with the catalytic converters in the “V” section between the two banks
of cylinders. By reversing the flow of gases through the engine from traditional
arrangements, the intake and exhaust ducts are shortened and widened. The
result is that pressure losses on the exhaust side are minimized.
The goals: virtually eliminate turbocharger lag while maximizing combustion
efficiency and power output. Tremendous power and performance are delivered
by the engine in the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M through a new design and
construction principle. The new M V8 engine with twin-scroll twin turbo
technology uses a single exhaust manifold with tuned-length runners,
incorporating both cylinder banks and connecting cylinders in carefully-selected
pairs. This configuration, patented by BMW M and known as Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold (CCM), offers lightning-quick response, a linear build-up
of engine power, and a broad, consistent torque curve by feeding each of the
twin turbochargers with a “charge pulse” at approximately every 90 degrees of
crankshaft rotation, rather than the more traditional “irregular schedule” of
The managed flow of exhaust gas provided by the CCM ensures high-velocity flow
of combustion gases. The appropriate separation of exhaust gas flow from
different cylinders is maintained until the gas reaches the turbine wheel, spooling
the two twin-scroll turbochargers without back-pressure. With maximum boost
pressure of 1.5 bar (21 psi), the use of twin-scroll twin turbo technology and the
CCM exhaust manifold allows complete exploitation of the benefits of
Immediate response and remarkable thrust characterize the new V8 twin-
turbocharged engine from BMW M GmbH. The impressive onset of power is
accompanied by unique, engaging engine sounds that accentuate the quick-
revving characteristics with the dynamic acoustic effect typical of a BMW M
product. The sounds are always civilized, but transform from relatively calm to
extraordinarily intense as the boost and revs build from idle. Reflecting the
tremendous power of the engine, the turbocharged M V8 is equipped with an
advanced cooling system developed specifically for the two new models. One
notable feature in this context is the presence of two high-capacity water-to-air
intercoolers which consistently optimize performance under the most demanding
driving conditions. An aluminum oil sump exclusive to BMW M with a special finned
surface guarantees optimum cooling at all times even under an extremely
demanding style of driving.
The turbocharged M V8 engine develops its outstanding power with remarkable
efficiency. In addition to BMW’s High Precision Direct Injection, both the BMW X5
M and the BMW X6 M are equipped with a range of technologies from BMW’s
EfficientDynamics engineering strategy. These include on-demand control of the
electric fuel pump, an on-demand compressor for the air conditioner, and a flow-
controlled supply of hydraulic fluid to the Active Roll Stabilization system. By
operating these features specifically on demand, energy waste is minimized. The
engine fulfills the requirements of the US LEV II standard as well as the EU5
requirements in Europe.
M Sports Automatic and M shift paddles on the steering wheel
Featured for the first time on a BMW M model, the 6-speed M Sports Automatic
transmission enhances the high-performance character of the BMW X5 M and the
BMW X6 M through its instantaneous response, direct connection to the engine,
and a high degree of shifting comfort. The new M Sports Automatic is
commanded by an electronic selector on the center console and offers the driver
not only the Drive mode, but also Sport and M Manual modes for absolute control
of gear selection.
Aluminum pull-style paddles on the steering wheel exclusive to BMW M allow
manual shifting (Right for upshifts, Left for downshifts). Upshifts occur
significantly quicker than in the past thanks to new technology that reduces
torque in the transmission through momentary deactivation of individual cylinders.
This significantly enhances the athletic character of the vehicle. In the M Manual
mode, each chosen gear is held up to redline in order to give the driver perfect
throttle-steering control of the vehicle under the most demanding driving
conditions. The transmission does not upshift or downshift automatically in this
mode. A further option in the M Manual mode is to activate the Launch Control
feature, which enables the driver to accelerate from a standstill with maximum
performance. 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.
BMW xDrive and Dynamic Performance Control with a special M setup
for optimum dynamics.
The outstanding success of BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive technology is
based on quick, electronically-controlled power distribution to the front and rear
axles. When combined with the superb, near 50-50 static weight distribution of
any BMW, xDrive can prevent the tendency for the vehicle to oversteer and
understeer as long as possible, reducing the need for Dynamic Stability Control
(DSC) to provide electronic assistance.
BMW’s Dynamic Performance Control was presented for the first time in the BMW
X6 and is now featured in the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M. Put succinctly,
Dynamic Performance Control enhances driving stability in demanding situations
and is thus perfectly suited to a powerful M vehicle. Vectoring of torque between
the right and left rear wheels (both on throttle and off) significantly improves
steering precision and tracking stability at all speeds, with DSC being required to
stabilize the vehicle only under extreme lateral acceleration. Ultimately this offers
the driver an unparalleled standard of performance, agility, balance, and traction,
and re-establishes the benchmarks in drivetrain and suspension technology for all types of performance-oriented vehicles.
In the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M the potentials of both xDrive and Dynamic
Performance Control are maximized by BMW M, with the driver able to activate
the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) with the DSC button on the center console or the
steering wheel-mounted M Button. This mode raises DSC thresholds of
intervention and ensures throttle-steering behavior typical of BMW M by shifting
the xDrive bias more to the rear and involving the Dynamic Performance Control in
the process. A pictogram in the Control Display in the instrument cluster allows
the driver to monitor the activity of Dynamic Performance Control and xDrive
through a clear visual depiction, which shows the driver how much power is being
distributed to each wheel.
As a result, M Dynamic Mode allows maximum speeds in bends and on winding
roads with the DSC system intervening only when the vehicle reaches the
absolute physical limits of grip. Even under maximum load in the apex of a bend,
the vehicle follows steering inputs with tremendous precision, giving the driver
very high speeds when exiting a turn in the interest of optimum performance.
Last but not least, DSC may be completely deactivated by experienced drivers at
the touch of a button.
Beyond the stabilizing effects of Dynamic Stability Control provided by individual
brake activation and engine power reduction under extreme conditions, DSC in the
BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M includes a wide range of additional features tuned to
BMW M standards to promote safe and exciting driving. These include ABS anti-
lock brakes, Trailer Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Brake Control
which maximizes brake force when required, Cornering Brake Control for advanced
trail-braking, Brake Fade Compensation for extreme driving conditions, automatic
Brake Drying when the windshield wipers are activated, Start-Off Assistant for driving on steep hills, and a braking function for use by the standard cruise
Both vehicles come with an electrohydraulic parking brake which features the
Autohold (Auto H) function. Auto H is a convenience feature that holds the
vehicle in position as soon as it comes to a stop at an intersection or in stop-and-
go traffic, without requiring the driver to hold constant pressure on the brake
pedal. As soon as the driver touches the accelerator again, the brake is instantly
M Suspension with standard Adaptive Drive.
The suspension developed specifically for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M with its
double-wishbone front control arms and integral four-link rear axle offers M-
specific geometry and damping. This is accomplished through optimized control
arm and A-arm bushings at the front, as well as stiffer axle support mounts at the
As part of the advanced Integrated Chassis Management system which networks
all drivetrain and suspension components, both models feature standard self-
leveling rear air suspension and Adaptive Drive with Electronic Damping Control
(EDC) and Active Roll Stabilization (ARS). The special version of Adaptive Drive
tailored to the requirements of BMW M lowers the entire vehicle by 10 millimeters
or 0.4″ versus the standard BMW X5 and BMW X6.
To quickly and reliably process data, Adaptive Drive uses the high-speed FlexRay
data transmission protocol. FlexRay enables Adaptive Drive to transfer data
through the vehicle’s on-board network at an extremely fast rate. This enables
lightning-quick changes to settings for individual shock absorbers, swaybars, and
other components as conditions and driving demands warrant. For example, if the
front wheel encounters a bump, the system responds quickly enough before the rear wheel reaches the same bump. On the X5, X6, and 7 Series, BMW is the first
carmaker in the world to use FlexRay as a regular technology.
The special Servotronic steering developed for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M
provides variable steering assistance geared to the road speed of the vehicle. This
allows the driver to negotiate parking maneuvers with lower effort while
preserving exact feedback and the highest standard of steering precision at
The degree of power steering assistance is defined by two control maps. Apart
from the standard configuration, the driver is able, through the Adaptive Drive
button or the M Drive button on the steering wheel, to call up the Sport Mode.
This activates a sports driving control map with higher control forces for
particularly dynamic driving conditions.
When changing from Normal to Sport Mode, the system alters not only the
Servotronic steering control map, but also the damper setting, with the shock
absorbers of the vehicle being significantly stiffened in Sport Mode. In conjunction
with Active Roll Stabilization, this allows an exceptionally high standard of linear
lateral forces in dynamic bends and on fast, winding roads, and keeps body roll to
M Brakes and tires to match the M Power.
Outstanding stopping power with fade reduced to a minimum is guaranteed by
the high-performance M brake system, which combines giant four-piston fixed
calipers at the front with floating calipers at the rear, combined in each case with
large, internally-vented lightweight brake discs. The brake rotors themselves
measure 15.6” in diameter at front and 15.2” at rear. They feature a riveted
connection to join the aluminum rotor hats with the cast-iron rotor discs. The BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M are the only vehicles of their type equipped
with staggered-size tires front and rear, running on 20-inch light-alloy wheels. The
choice of runflat tires in sizes 275/40 R 20 at the front and 315/35 R 20 at the
rear is a result of the special setup of both models, with the emphasis on rear-
wheel power and dynamic handling balance. This promotes exceptionally good
transmission of power to the rear axle and precise, razor-sharp steering behavior
of both models. Transitional stability is also world-class.
Maximum performance at the touch of a button: M Drive button on
the steering wheel.
In addition to the DSC mode (On, MDM, or Off) and the specific setup of the
shock absorbers and Servotronic steering, the driver may also configure the setup
of the drivetrain on the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M. Activating the Power
mode influences both engine and transmission behavior, and the driver can
choose from the Sport and Efficiency driving programs. The Sport program allows
precise control of engine power under the most dynamic driving conditions, and
ensures a linear build-up of the power delivery. The Efficiency program, in turn,
upshifts at earlier points not only to significantly reduce fuel consumption under
normal driving conditions, but also to allow a relaxed style of driving by taking
advantage of the new M engine’s prodigious torque and power available from low
engine speeds. The result, therefore, is an ideal combination of flexibility for daily
use and all-out performance when desired.
When customizing the response of the steering wheel-mounted M Drive button,
the driver uses the M Drive menu to preselect the desired Power Mode and the
setup of DSC and EDC, making a personalized combination of settings that can be
activated on-demand. The driver’s favorite setup settings are saved and
subsequently activated at any time simply by pressing the M Drive button on the steering wheel.Pressing the M Drive button again returns the vehicle to its
M-specific cockpit and sophisticated driver assistance systems for even greater ability at the wheel.
The BMW M philosophy naturally continues into the design and configuration of
the driver’s “office.” Both of these all-wheel-drive high-performance sports
vehicles come with a special M cockpit with the instrument cluster featuring a
variable redline, specific vehicle function displays, and white display backlighting.
Both the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M feature power, heated front M sport
seats, an M sport leather steering wheel, M door sills, and driver’s footrest.
Infotainment functions, standard on-board Navigation with Real-Time Traffic data
and communication functions are all controlled by BMW’s 4th-generation iDrive.
The standard HiFi audio system features 12 loudspeakers and a 230 watt
amplifier. In addition, both the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M may be equipped
with a Head-Up Display programmed specifically by BMW M. This option enables
the driver to customize the type and scope of data projected onto the windshield
through settings available in the M Drive menu.
Innovative driver assistance systems are fitted as well, with both models featuring
standard Dynamic Cruise Control, Rain Sensor, Auto-Dimming Mirrors, Park
Distance Control, and BMW’s Xenon Adaptive Headlights. The list of optional
features includes a Driver Assistance Package which includes High-Beam
Assistant, Head-Up Display, and Rear View Camera with the spectacular new Top
View feature. Top View provides the driver with an “birds-eye view” of the vehicle
on the iDrive control screen, using input from a camera on each side of the
vehicle and the traditional rear-view camera. Top View provides the driver with
additional confidence for tight parking scenarios.
Stable bodyshell and advanced safety equipment.
The BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M come with extremely stiff bodyshells. To ensure
maximum solidity, BMW’s body engineers focused on the use of intelligent
lightweight materials technology. Both the choice of materials and the
arrangement and geometry of the support bars, braces, and mounts on both
models are based on an overall concept that combines maximum crash safety
with supreme agility – which helps avoid crashes in the first place. At BMW, the
ability to avoid a crash is the best safety feature of all.
Forces acting on the unibody in the event of a crash are diverted through the
engine carriers and the chassis along several load paths in order to avoid extreme
loads acting on individual structures and help keep impact energy away from the
stable passenger cell.
Both the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M come with frontal and hip/thorax airbags, as
well as curtain head airbags to protect the occupants both front and rear from
injury. Three-point inertia-reel seatbelts are at all seating positions with force
limiters and, on the front seats, an additional seatbelt pretensioning function. To
help protect occupants from cervical spine injury in the event of a rear impact,
the front seats feature crash-activated active head restraints. ISOFIX child seat
anchors are standard on the rear seats.
All restraint systems are controlled by the vehicles’ central safety electronics,
which take the type and severity of a collision into account so that the most
effective safety elements are activated in any given crash. The frontal airbags
feature two-stage activation, to allow deployment in varying intensity as a
function of crash severity. Networked with Dynamic Stability Control, the
standard rollover sensors activate both the curtain airbags and the seatbelt
pretensioners, to ensure occupants are best positioned for and protected from
the unlikely event of a vehicle rollover.