BMW creates 171mph performance SUV
5 April 2009

BMW has taken the wraps off its most controversial M products to date: the 171mph X5 M and X6 M SUVs.

The cars are the first all-wheel-drive models and mark new territory for the M brand, usually tasked with making ultra-fast saloons and coupes.

Read Andrew Frankel's blog on the BMW X6 M

Both cars are fitted with a new twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, which produces maximum power of 547bhp between 5750rpm and 6000rpm. Peak torque of 501lb ft is maintained between 1500rpm and 5650rpm.

The two turbochargers in the M TwinPower unit are positioned together with the catalytic converters between the two rows of cylinders.

BMW claims that this layout creates better response and a more linear power delivery.

Both cars crack 0-62mph in 4.7sec, and while their top speed is limited to 155mph, this increases to 171mph with the optional M driver’s package.

On the outside, the cars feature large air intakes in the front bumper, gills on the front wings and quad exhaust pipes at the rear.

Inside, there is an M-branded steering wheel and leather sports seats.

Dynamic Performance Control varies the distribution of power between the two rear wheels and gives better acceleration exiting corners.

BMW claims the cars will drift under the right circumstances.

As on other M cars, pressing the M Drive button calls up the driver’s preferred power modes and DSC and EDC set-ups.

The M Sports Automatic transmission has six ratios, which can be manually selected by aluminium paddles behind the wheel. Switching to M mode activates launch control.

BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology features brake energy regeneration and an air-con system that can detach itself from the belt drive. The measures contribute to a claimed 20.3mpg.

Prices will be confirmed closer to the cars’ arrival in UK dealers in October.

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