What is it?
Back in 2009, when BMW launched the first X5 M, purists were not pleased. The hallowed M Division had always said "no" to anything other than rear-wheel drive and yet here was a bulky, behemoth of an SUV, carrying that famous letter.
Well, with the launch of the second-generation, it’s time to accept that the X5 M is here to stay.
The 4.4-litre direct injection twin-turbo V8 now produces a whopping 567bhp and 553lb ft of torque. That’s 20bhp and 51lb ft up on the previous version, and even more potent than the similarly engined M5. Perhaps more pertinently, it’s also more powerful than either a Range Rover Sport SVR or Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Despite weighing in at a hefty 2275kg, the extra power coupled to four-wheel drive means that the X5 M can out-accelerate an M5 by a tenth of a second. It will now go from 0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds. By comparison, the SVR can manage only 4.7 seconds, although the Cayenne gets closer with a time of 4.5 seconds.
With that in mind, there can be no doubt about the X5 M’s pace. However, is it merely a one-trick pony, or does it have the range of abilities to win over those who still believe it shouldn’t exist at all?