Launching in the UK towards the end of the year following a debut at the Paris show in October, the premium SUV has been comprehensively re-engineered for what will be its 20th anniversary next year.
Along with the new platform, which is shared with the upcoming X7, the X5 is bigger inside and out, has updated powertrains and features BMW’s latest digital cockpit and infotainment functions in a more luxurious cabin.
X5: “extra layer of comfort” Kistler said: “We’ve built on the X5’s dynamic qualities with the inclusion of developments such as Integral Active Steering [four-wheel steer] and the latest version of Dynamic Drive Active Roll Stabilisation [electrically operated anti-roll bars], but we’ve also added an extra layer of luxury and comfort that we think will provide the new model with more appeal than ever.”
Chassis developments include optional air suspension featuring air springs both front and rear. Available as part of an off-road package that also brings off-road driving modes and a differential lock, it replaces the suspension set-up of the outgoing model, which only used air springs at the rear, and is combined with front double wishbones and a fivelink arrangement at the rear.
A stiffer bodyshell with added aluminium is also said to offer a 33% increase in torsional rigidity, to help better isolate road shock and secondary vibration. The new platform and chassis will also be used by the third-generation X6 that’s due in the middle of next year.
Viewed by Autocar in an engineering workshop at BMW’s Spartanburg factory in the US, where the new model will once again be exclusively produced alongside the X3, X4, X6 and upcoming X7, the new X5 is larger than its predecessor in every vital dimension.
X5 grows in size
Length stretches by 35mm at 4921mm, width increases by 32mm at 1970mm and height is up by 11mm at 1737mm. The wheelbase has also increased by 42mm at 2975mm in a move that provides the new BMW with slightly shorter overhangs as well as larger door apertures both front and rear.
Despite the increase in size, the new BMW offers the same boot capacity as the outgoing third-generation X5 at 645 litres (rising to 1860 litres when the 60:40 split rear seat is folded away).