Image credits: © BMW.

2012 BMW X5 M50d

The global success of the BMW X model concept is rooted in a level of sporting flair unmatched by any other all-wheel-drive car wîth off-road capability. The powerful engines, advanced chassis technology and BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system (whose primary talent, in addition to maximising directional stability and traction on loose ground and in adverse weather conditions, lies in enhancing dynamic performance through corners) of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 provide driving pleasure beyond the reach of their §egmènt rivals. Plus, the six-cylinder in-line diesel versions of the Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupe, in particular, impress wîth surprisingly low fuel consumption and emissions given their construction and performance capability.

The launch of the BMW M Performance Automobiles adds another layer to the BMW X models' reputation for presence, poise and efficiency. With the most powerful diesel in the BMW engine line-up and the optimisation of power transfer, handling and aerodynamic balance for which M is renowned, the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d set new standards in their class in terms of sporting performance, conceptual harmony and efficiency.

M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology: an efficient route to enhanced sporting performance.Increased diesel power and an M-specific set-up make the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d even more assured performers. The engine developed for the BMW M Performance Automobiles generates maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft), making the two BMW X models the envy of every other diesel-engined model in this §egmènt. The BMW X5 M50d races from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds, while the BMW X6 M50d brings that time down to 5.3 seconds. Both models also benefit from the immense reserves of power provided by their diesel engine when it comes to short sprints at higher speeds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) in both cases.

The two models' frugal approach to fuel use offers further evidence of their impressive abilities. At 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres (37.7 mpg imp) and 7.7 l/100 km (36.7 mpg imp) respectively in the EÚ test cycle, the average fuel consumption figures of the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d are only slightly above those for the existing diesel variants of the two models. CO2 emissions stand at 199 grams per kilometre for the BMW X5 M50d and 204 grams per kilometre for the BMW X6 M50d.

Outstanding efficiency is a characteristic the eight-speed Sports automatic transmission in the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d shares wîth the new diesel engine. Added to which, BMW EfficientDynamics technology guarantees intelligent energy management. Brake Energy Regeneration, the need-based operation of ancillary components and a disengageable air conditioning compressor are all standard.

BMW xDrive: intelligent control, optimised to enhance dynamics.

The BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch to distribute the engine's power between the front and rear wheels variably and according to the situation at hand. Indeed, drive can be switched between wheels in a split-second to optimise traction, directional stability and driving dynamics. xDrive and the DSC stability control system work together to provide advance analysis of the driving situation ahead. The ability to detect the danger of drive slip at an early stage and counteract one or several spinning wheels by varying the distribution of power has helped earn xDrive its status as an intelligent all-wheel-drive system.

In normal driving situations drive is sent predominantly to the rear wheels, accentuating the renowned handling characteristics of BMW cars. The M-specific set-up of the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d has been optimised to enhance dynamics, helping it to retain a rear-wheel bias under dynamic cornering. Even when the car is stable through corners, a larger proportion of the engine's power is channelled to the rear axle to enhance agility and stave off understeer.

In addition, Performance Control enhances the handling agility of the BMW X5 M50d, while Dynamic Performance Control does a similar job for the BMW X6 M50d. As soon as the front wheels of the BMW X5 M50d start to push excessively to the outside of a corner, the control electronics of xDrive and DSC team up to brake the rear wheel on the inside of the bend as required. The loss of forward propulsion is balanced out by an increase in engine power, the intervention of Performance Control ensuring precise turn-in. Power distribution can be varied to an even greater degree in the BMW X6 M50d, which comes as standard wîth Dynamic Performance Control. This system reroutes engine output from the inside rear wheel to the outside rear wheel around a corner if the system detects an imminent risk of understeer. Dynamic Performance Control also counteracts oversteer in its early stages, switching drive from the outside rear wheel - which is experiencing particularly high centrifugal forces - to the inside rear wheel. Dynamic Performance Control also steps in to stabilise the car when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator, ensuring precise and agile turn-in and enabling extremely dynamic acceleration out of corners.

M-specification chassis set-up produces accurate §teering and precisely controllable handling.

The chassis technology underpinning the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d is based on a double-joint spring-strut front axle and integral rear axle. This arrangement offers the ideal platform for a sporty handling set-up which also achieves high standards of ride comfort. Both models also feature air suspension wîth automatic self-levelling at the rear axle. The support mounts, elastokinematics, spring and damper system, and Servotronic mapping of the hydraulic §teering - among other things - have been modified to imbue the chassis set-up of the two BMW X models wîth hallmark M characteristics.

Stronger body mounting reduces roll, which in turn optimises §teering accuracy through corners. At the same time, the linear build-up of lateral forces for which M cars are renowned enables precisely controllable handling up to the limit. The M-specification tuning of chassis components extends to the electronically controlled dampers and active anti-roll control function of Adaptive Drive, which comes as standard on the BMW X6 M50d and is available as an option for the BMW X5 M50d. Meanwhile, the large-format braking system - wîth 385-millimetre front discs and 345-millimetre rear discs - provides powerful and consistent braking, even under heavy loads.

Exclusive design features: aerodynamically optimised body, sporty interior ambience.

Exclusive exterior and interior design features for the two BMW M Performance Automobiles based on the BMW X models provide clear visual differentiation, optimised aerodynamic balance and enhanced driving pleasure. Its powerful presence and distinctively three-dimensional contours make the body-coloured front apron a genuinely eye-catching item. To optimise the supply of cooling air to the power unit, the spaces normally reserved for foglamps on regular BMW X models take on a new role as air intakes, and these large surfaces offer a tantalising hint of the engine power lurking behind the scenes. Horizontal bars in the colour shade Ferric Grey metallic course across their surface. The race-inspired air-channelling flaps sited below the side air intakes optimise the cars' aerodynamic balance at high speeds.

Titanium-coloured vertical bars for the BMW kidney grille, exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey metallic, a model badge on the tailgate and BMW High-gloss Shadow Line trim for the side window surrounds and exterior mirror bases add further model-specific touches. The BMW X5 M50d comes as standard wîth 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design, the BMW X6 M50d wîth 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design. Both models are also available wîth optional 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Ferric Grey metallic developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles and fitted wîth mixed tyres. The powerful appearance of the BMW X5 M50d is given additional presence by wheel arch extensions and bespoke side sills and kick plates, while the athletic stance of the BMW X6 M50d is underlined by a bonnet sporting a striking powerdome as standard. Both models also boast a muscular rear apron wîth the embellishers for the exhaust tailpipes integrated left and right.

The sporting driving pleasure served up by the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d is summed up in their interiors by door sills bearing the 'M Performance' lettering, the inscription 'M50d' in the instrument cluster, a gearshift lever wîth M logo, an M leather §teering wheel wîth gearshift paddles, an M driver's footrest, a BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite and Brushed Aluminium Shadow interior trim strips. Both models are also fitted as standard wîth exclusive Alcantara/Nappa leather M sports seats offering electric adjustability and a memory function. The black seats are adorned wîth white contrast stitching and an embossed M logo.

Among the other items of standard equipment fitted on the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d are xenon headlights wîth LED daytime driving lights, Cruise Control wîth braking function, 2-zone climate control, a rain sensor, the Radio Professional and the iDrive control system. Highlights of the options list include Comfort Access, automatic tailgate operation (standard on the BMW X6 M50d), a glass/panoramic sunroof, doors wîth Soft Close Automatic function, a trailer coupling, a heated §teering wheel, active seats, navigation systems wîth hard disk storage and high-quality audio and rear-seat entertainment systems. Customers can also order the BMW X5 M50d wîth a third row of seats, while the BMW X6 M50d is available wîth optional Adaptive LED Headlights.

The range of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive offers a wide selection of options designed to optimise convenience, safety and the use of infotainment functions. The BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d can be specified wîth equipment including Park Distance Control, a rear-view camera wîth Top View, Adaptive Headlights, the Head-Úp Display, High-Beam Assistant, Active Cruise Control wîth Stop & Go function, and Speed Limit Info. Other innovative technologies enabling the link-up of the car wîth the outside world and the integration of mobile devices give drivers access to the BMW Assist service (including Advanced Emergency Call wîth automatic position finding and BMW Online), as well as unrestricted in-car internet usage. Real-Time Traffic Information, meanwhile, gives the driver extremely extensive and precise traffic information. Among the benefits of the likewise optional Apps function is access to online services Facebook and Twitter.

The powertrain: The most innovative and sporty diesel engine in the world.

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 381 hp
Torque: 546 ft-lbs

8-speed Automatic
Impressive statistics headline the enviable regard in which modern diesel engines are held. The output now within their compass, but more significantly the maximum torque they are capable of generating have fuelled their popularity among even performance-minded drivers. The high efficiency of diesel technology also ensures extremely low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. BMW has played a major role in the burgeoning appeal of the diesel engine, developing units which have time and again raised the bar in terms of sports performance and efficiency. The company's record of diesel engine development, which began in 1983 wîth the launch of its first diesel model, now continues into another fascinating dimension. The first of the new BMW M Performance Automobiles - founding a product category focusing on sporty driving pleasure - are powered by a diesel engine. The 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line unit, whose cover bears the M Performance badge, has all the necessary tools to fulfil the brief handed to the new breed: technology without parallel worldwide, the highest output ever achieved by a BMW diesel engine and outstanding levels of efficiency.

Fitted in the BMW M550d xDrive, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d, the 2,993 cc engine generates maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp. No less imposing is its peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft), all of which the driver will find on tap as low down as 2,000 rpm. Instantaneous torque development maintained into the upper reaches of the rev range is the hallmark feature of the new unit, one underpinned by an array of innovative and globally unique technical wizardry. Taking centre stage - for the first time in a BMW - are a trio of turbochargers. Their arrangement and interplay strategy are the key to the engine achieving its exceptionally high efficiency.

More pressure, more output, more torque: world premiere for six-cylinder in-line diesel engine wîth three turbochargers.

The coordinated interplay of turbochargers of different sizes endows an engine wîth instantaneous responsiveness at low revs and allows charge pressure to be increased according to need when the engine is placed under greater loads. BMW uses this concept in the six-cylinder in-line diesel engines wîth BMW TwinPower Turbo technology fitted in models including the BMW 535d, BMW X5 xDrive40d and BMW X6 xDrive40d. And now the company is set to become the world's first carmaker to present a diesel engine which expands the principle of multi-stage turbocharging to incorporate a third turbocharger. The engine developed for the BMW M Performance Automobiles will, for the first time, see two comparatively small high-pressure chargers working wîth a larger low-pressure unit. The integration of an additional high-pressure turbo increases the engine's capability when it comes to generating charge pressure, a key ingredient in taking the engine's power output to the next level.

The M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology - including the requisite charge air cooling - is, like its predecessor, integrated into a small space in the main unit. Its compact construction puts the engine in a position to meet future pedestrian protection stipulations, while the arrangement of the three turbochargers is also part of an extremely intelligent system. Both the exhaust inflow to drive the turbos and the supply of fresh air, plus the channelling of compressed air to the combustion chambers, have been designed to ensure that the three compression units work as a team as effectively as possible at all engine speeds. Efficiency is further optimised by the variable turbine geometry of the two high-pressure chargers, which allows them to react even more precisely to the driver's power needs.

Instantaneous responsiveness and precisely coordinated interplay.

One of the two small turbos is activated at engine speeds just above idle. Its low moment of inertia allows it to respond without delay to the slightest movements of the accelerator and therefore supply the combustion chambers wîth compressed air at an early stage. As revs increase, the flow of exhaust gas also reaches the larger turbocharger, which announces its arrival wîth the engine spinning at just 1,500 rpm. Working together wîth the small charger, it ensures that the impressive peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft) is generated at this low engine speed and maintained up to 3,000 rpm.

To further increase the performance of the large turbocharger, a greater volume of exhaust gas is required at around 2,700 rpm. If the driver calls up additional power, a vacuum-modulated exhaust flap instantly opens up another supply route, allowing extra exhaust gas to flow past the already active high-pressure charger to the large low-pressure turbo. The third turbocharger - integrated into this bypass line - also has a low moment of inertia and variable compressor geometry, which allow it to spring into action as soon as the exhaust flap opens. The result is additional charge pressure, generated by two sources at the same time. The large turbocharger is able to deliver its full output, while the second small turbo builds on the effect of its two active colleagues by supplying even more compressed air to the combustion chambers. This arrangement allows the turbocharging system to drive the engine wîth forceful and sustained thrust to its maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp, which it notches up between 4,000 and 4,400 rpm. The maximum engine speed of the new diesel powerplant is 5,400 rpm.

In order to ensure that charge pressure is developed as effectively as possible, not to mention efficiently, both the exhaust flow and supply of fresh air to the turbos and the channelling of compressed air into the combustion chambers is regulated wîth maximum precision. If the large turbocharger is spinning at particularly high speeds, a vacuum regulator opens a wastegate valve to relieve the pressure and so avoid unwanted exhaust backpressure. The supply of fresh air is also controlled according to need by means of pneumatically activated flaps. For example, at low revs a bypass flap ensures that the air is channelled directly to the high-pressure charger, which spins into action very early. At less than 2,700 rpm a change-over flap keeps the air away from the third turbo, which is not yet active, to prevent unnecessary fluctuations in pressure.

Indirect charge air cooling enables the temperature of the air compressed by the three turbos to be reduced to the optimum level for increasing engine output. Both the main radiator positioned immediately in front of the combustion chambers and the intercooler behind the low-pressure charger are supplied by a low-temperature water circuit wîth separate electric pump.

Detailed optimisation enables higher combustion pressure, increased output and enhanced efficiency.

The new torquey and high-revving diesel engine also breaks new ground wîth its specific output of 93.6 kW per litre of displacement. However, the output possible using M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology is generated not in the turbochargers but in the core of the basic engine, which has therefore also been extensively modified. Maximum combustion pressure has risen from the 185 bar of the most powerful diesel engine in the existing BMW line-up to 200 bar.

As part of this development, the crankcase in the new 3.0-litre diesel engine features an innovative tie rod concept for the assembly of the main bearing caps and cylinder head. The sintered main bearing caps are given extra strength by a central screw. Like the crankcase, the cylinder head is also subjected to a special high-pressure compression process. This 'HIPen' manufacturing concept sees the aluminium castings heated to solution annealing temperature and the casting pores created during manufacturing welded under high pressure. This process gives the finished component additional strength. A double diagonal bore ensures the interbore bridges have high thermal stability.

The geometry of the crankshaft and connecting rods has been further optimised and they are now made from higher-strength materials. Added to which, hub bushings and bowl rim remelting enhance the effect of the increase in piston compression height.

Higher pressure also raises the efficiency of the injection system.

The injection system of the new six-cylinder in-line diesel engine has also benefited from a rigorous process of further development. The common-rail direct injection system plays its part in enhancing the engine's efficiency and promoting clean combustion by sending extremely precise quantities of fuel into the cylinders. The upgraded system raises the injection pressure of the piezo injectors to 2,200 bar. During each power stroke, three pre-injections, one main injection and four post-injections of fuel take place. An ultra-high-performance pump channels the fuel to the combustion chambers through a common rail made from forged stainless steel.

The output and capacity of the cooling system have been given another boost, too. An additional low-temperature circuit supplied by an electric water pump controls the temperature of the intercoolers. The exhaust treatment system includes a diesel particulate filter and oxidation catalytic converter, which is located close to the engine in the same casing. More efficient exhaust cooling, meanwhile, minimises the formation of nitrogen oxides. And standard-fitted BMW BluePerformance technology, which includes a NOX storage catalytic converter, helps the new diesel engine powering the BMW M550d xDrive to meet the EÚ6 exhaust standard not due to come into force until 2014.

Eight-speed Sports automatic transmission wîth M-specific gearshift dynamics.

The combination of the most powerful diesel engine ever offered for a BMW wîth an eight-speed Sports automatic transmission ensures that drive is transferred onto the road surface extremely effectively and efficiently. The configuration of the transmission management system for the BMW M Performance Automobiles promotes dynamic acceleration. The M-specification gearshift dynamics enable extremely rapid gear changes wîth an almost uninterrupted flow of power. The eight-speed Sports automatic transmission offers the driver two automated shift programs - D and S modes - as well as the option of changing gear manually (in M mode).

The automatic gearbox is operated using an electronic gearshift lever on the centre console adorned wîth an M logo. Manual mode allows the driver to change gears sequentially using either the gearshift lever or the paddles on the §teering wheel. In customary M fashion, the right-hand paddle changes up a gear and the left-hand paddle is used for downshifts. If the driver activates manual mode using the gearshift lever, the transmission holds the gear selected until the engine's revs hit the limiter. By not shifting up automatically in this mode, the gearbox gives the driver maximum control over the car when pushing the dynamic boundaries. The driver can also switch instantaneously from automatic gear changes to M mode wîth a nudge of one of the gearshift paddles; if M mode is selected in this way, the gearbox's automatic shift-up function remains active. The transmission also restores automatic mode if the gearshift paddles are not used again following an upshift or downshift.

Enhancing the natural soundtrack inside the car turns driving pleasure up yet another notch.

The performance capability of the diesel engine and the hallmark M driving characteristics of the BMW M Performance Automobiles underpin a new definition of driving pleasure. Imposing torque and a set-up focused squarely on sports performance give drivers a dynamic driving experience they will never have previously sampled in a diesel car. The BMW M Performance Automobiles also lace this driving pleasure wîth additional acoustic appeal. Through sound design technology, the natural engine sound is specifically enhanced to suit the driving situation at the time and sent into the interior via the audio system, ensuring an authentic reproduction of the new engine's unmistakable straight-six soundtrack.

The system's digital signal processing technology exchanges data directly wîth the engine management, allowing it to base its precise transmission of the engine's timbre on the revs at any one time, the amount of torque being produced and the car's speed over the road. Accentuating the straight-six diesel's turbine-like, sporty and sonorous tones adds to the emotional appeal of the driving experience, especially in the BMW M550d xDrive when SPORT or SPORT+ mode is activated using the Driving Experience Control switch. This gives the driver an impressively accurate impression of how hard the engine is currently working and of the power being unleashed, and provides an even clearer window into the car's responses on the road. Controlling the audio system in this way also ensures that the engine sound can be enjoyed to equal effect from every seat.

New six-cylinder engine wîth three turbochargers - a milestone in the glittering history of BMW diesel engines.

The engine developed for the BMW M Performance Automobiles represents a new high water mark in the illustrious history of diesel engines at BMW. The premium carmaker has offered customers diesel-powered models since 1983. The BMW 524td that kicked off this fine tradition quickly earned itself the status of the sportiest diesel model on the market. Its engine developed 85 kW/115 hp and delivered the best performance yet also the lowest fuel consumption of any car in its class. Since then, diesel BMWs have regularly emerged as the most efficient models in head-to-head tests. A host of prestigious awards - such as the Engine of the Year Award - and the impressive success of diesel-powered BMW models on the track headline the company's unrivalled expertise in the development of diesel technology.

And so it is entirely in keeping wîth the company's proud heritage that the first BMW M Performance Automobiles are now set to line up wîth a diesel engine under the bonnet. The unit developed to power them fulfils its sporting brief wîth leading performance in a range of disciplines and, in so doing, dismantles the historic contradiction between driving pleasure and economy even more effortlessly than ever.

Source - BMW
A mid-size crossover SUV unveiled in 1999, the BMW X5 was BMW's first SUV also known as 'Four-by-Four' in the UK. All BMW X5's are manufactured in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The X5 comes with all-wheel drive and is available with either manual or automatic transmission along with a range of gasoline inline-6s, V8s and diesel engines are available. Rather than being a SUV, BMW describes the X5 as a Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) to shift emphasis on its on-road capability despite its size. The BMW X5 brought about the shift from truck-based body-on-frame SUVs to sedan-based crossovers that would have occurred in the late 2000s. The X5 was powered by the V8 4.4i with a manually shiftable five-speed automatic transmission.

In the late 1990s, Chris Bangle came up with the first sketches at the BMW DesignworksUSA studio in California, and in many ways, the current X5 still closely resembles these initial sketches. Rover's takeover ended up being helpful for BMW in the area of development of the X5. The engineers at BMW were able to review and use Range Rover technology and parts in their design of the X5, including hill-descent control. The design of the X5 was heavily influenced by its British counterpart, included the two-piece tailgate taken directly from the Range Rover. Numerous parts and electronics were also taken directly from the E39 5 Series parts bit to save on costs.

The X5 was designed as a sporting road car, in contrast to the Range Rover models, unfortunately the X5's off-road capabilities were significantly less than those of Land Rover. BMW made it well known that the X5 was referred to as an SAV rather than a SUV. Though the X5 was an all-wheel drive vehicle, BMW chose from the start to route 62% of the engine's torque to the rear wheels, working hard to make it feel as similar as possible to the company's rear-wheel drive sedans.

BMW launched a smaller version, the X3 in 2003, which used the ‘X' prefix applied to the BMW SAVs which were derivatives of the BMW number-series models.

The first generation of the BMW X5 crossover vehicle was introduced in 1999 and was produced until 2003 and had a wheelbase of 110.0 inches, an overall length of 183.7 inches and a width of 73.7 inches. The X5 was produced until September of 2006 and was replaced by the BMW E70. At the time that the E53 was developed, BMW still owned Land Rover and because it this is shares many of the components and designs with both Land Rover and also the BMW E39 5-series.

For 2001 no changes were made on the BMW X5. For 2002 the high-performance 4.6is model was introduced with a 340-horsepower V8 engine. Against Mercedes-Benz ML 50/ML55 AMG, the X5 was quite a big contender. Along with this were aero body add-ons, and the new model received 20-inch wheels along with a special sportier interior. For this year option packages received some content revisions.

The Premium group now came with rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof for both the 3.0i and 4.4i and automatic climate control for the 3.0i. The 4.4i edition could also be equipped with a new Rear Climate package that included privacy glass and rear window shades. Optional were rear torso side-impact airbags.

For 2004 the X5 didn't change much and a revised model was debuted in 2004. The all new X5 was revamped completely, and a new 6-speed manual transmission option, and a 315 hp V8 compared to the previous year's 290 hp in 2004. The 04 X5 also received new headlights, a few new exterior colors, upgraded engines and a new four-wheel drive system. The grilles were enlarged along with their actually slats being modified in a ‘flame surfaced' style. The X5's headlights received ‘angel-eyes' which were rings or halos around all front headlamps.

The 2004 taillights also received a similar facelift to the BMW E39 and the exterior glass was transformed from a ‘dotted' pattern to a cleaner ‘line' pattern. Called xDrive, BMW invented a new four-wheel drive system that was shared both in the X5 and X3 in 2005. Rather than using the earlier X5 system which had consisted or power being split 62-38 (rear wheels – front wheels) and DSC to brake wheels losing traction, the xDrive could vary power to the front or rear axles in milliseconds which transferred up to 100% of engine power to either axle, therefore allowing the vehicles to regain traction quickly.

Additional extras were added to the 2004 X5 were soft-boot close feature which allowed the top part of the trunk to pull itself closed, Trailer Stability program which made it an ideal tow vehicles and adaptive headlights. At the end of 2003 it was originally announced along with the rest of the X5 facelift, the X5 4.8is first started shipping in April 2004. Replacing the 4.6 L engine was a new larger 4.8 L engine that was also later used in the 2005 750i/Li. It also included a slightly modified bodykit, 20' wheels and along with the 4.6is were the only X5's ever to feature large chrome-tipped exhaust which hid the quad pipes.

For the 2005 version a few optional versions became standard on BMW's American-built SUV. The 4.4i offered newly standard front and rear obstacle detection which was optional on 3.0i. Now steering linked were Xenon headlights which were standard on V8s and optional on the 3.0i. Along with the rest of the BMW lineup (apart from the E65 7 series) the 2005 X5 received Bluetooth kits straight from the factory if ordered with the Premium Package.

For the 2006 BMW X5 no significant changes were made. The X5 wasn't fitted with the new BMW R6 engine which upped power for both the 2.5i and 3.0i I6 versions of the 2006 X3 and Z4 significantly. Some rumors implied that BMW held back deploying the engine in the 2006 X5 so they didn't waste development costs in retooling the assembly line so they could make way for a more dramatic unveiling of the new 2007 BMW X5. This year was also the end of the E53 X5 as well.

The second generation of the BMW X5, the E70 was introduced in 2008 and had a wheelbase of 115.5 inches, a length of 191.3 inches, a wheelbase of 115.5 inches and a width of 76.1 inches. The E70 is the current X5 SAV which replaced the BMW E53 in November of 2006. The E70 platform replaced the BMW E53 as the X5's underpinnings. A ton of new technological advancements were introduced on the E70-based X5 SAV including BMW's iDrive system as standard equipment, and the first for a BMW, an optional third row seat.

This current generation incorporates safety innovations for the crossover segment like a unique rear framing section that protected 3rd row occupants from injury due to an impact. From late 2008 until the new BMW branding scheme, the X5 3.0sd is now called the X5 XDrive 35D and the 4.8 i is called the X5 XDrive 48I.

During the spring of 2000, a lower-priced six-cylinder 3.0i edition was introduced with a standard five-speed manual transmission and optional four-speed automatic. Both of these models were produced in South Carolina on an exclusive uni-bodied platform. BMW X5's came with a standard permanently engaged four-wheel drive, traction control, all-disc antilock braking, an antiskid system and a tailgate with separate lift glass.
Not intended for severe off road use the X5's four-wheel drive system lacked low-range gearing. Instead, the XM automatically brakes individual wheels to limit slippage in low-grip conditions. The speed was limited to 6 mph down steep slopes down a standard hill descent control.

The standard equipment included power tilt/telescopic steering wheels, 70/30 split folding rear seats and front side-impact airbags which were head-protecting tubular airbags that deployed from above front door windows in a side impact.

Optional on the X5 were rear lower-body side airbags. A load-leveling suspension was included on the 4.4i and optional for the 3.0i, along with 18 inch wheels and tires, wood interior trim and leather upholstery. A Sport Package was available and included black exterior trim, a sport suspension and the 4.4i received 19-inch tires. Available with either model was an optional navigation system with dashboard-mounted video screen. The biggest competitor for the X5 was the Lexus RX 300, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and the Acura MDX.

BMW produced a one-off version of the X5 that was dubbed the X5 LM and equipped it with the M70 S70B56 V12 engine from the Le Mans winning BMW V12 LRM. In 2000 it was driven by Hans Joachim Stuck to receive a lap record at the Nürburgring.

By Jessica Donaldson
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