Was at the Zwartkops Race track a while back to drive the BMW X5 M Competition & BMW X6 M Competition models. Apart from it being the first tactile driving experience the media have had since Covid-19 lockdown, what a pair of dynamic SUV’s to start up again. These cars are beasts, 2.5 tons average each, but the look of them is absolutely awesome. The X5 M is slightly more square than the Coupe like X6 M, and if I had to choose, it would be the latter. Ditto with the general handling around the track and on road.
The X6 M just felt more planted and secure. However, by no means is that a slight to the X5 M, as it is also magnificent, just small nuances tip the scales. The pair offer great looks, with signature M features, optimising cooling air supply and aerodynamics.
Large air intakes, that signature BMW kidney grille with double bars, M gills on the front side panels, a roof/rear spoiler, rear apron with diffuser elements and an exhaust system with two sets of twin tailpipes complete the powerhouses. The rear with the twin exhaust pipes looks particularly impressive.
For the first time, a special BMW Individual paint finish is now available for BMW X models, further highlighting the vehicles’ striking aesthetics. The Black colour in the X6 M particularly got my fancy.
The official title of the X5 M is an SAV( Sports activity vehicle) & the X6 M is an (Sports activity Coupe)
The interior is both Sporty and luxury. Offering a raised seating position, it creates a majestic M feeling. A generous feeling of space, high degree of variability, M‑specific cockpit design and BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific readouts are fitted as standard.
M multifunction seats and BMW Individual fine-grain Merino full leather trim are also standard offerings. Setup buttons for direct access to the settings for the engine, dampers, steering, M xDrive and braking system are within easy reach. Two individually composed overall setups can be selected using M buttons on the steering wheel.
M Mode allows driver assistance system interventions, instrument cluster displays and Head-Up Display readouts to be configured individually.
Drivers are afforded the choice of ROAD, SPORT and TRACK settings. Standard specification includes BMW Live Cockpit Professional with navigation system and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and the Parking Assistant. A large selection of driver assistance systems and BMW Laser light are available as options.
The seats are very comfortable with lots of settings. The high seating position gives great viz, but might not make everyone feel comfortable, as the weight of the car is around 2.4 tons, so to the uninitiated, might feel heavy.
But let’s get down to what these models are about, and that is the performance. Both powerhouses possess a high-revving 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, resulting in a power increase over their respective predecessors of 37 kW for both the BMW X5 M Competition and the BMW X6 M Competition. This sees both the BMW X5 M Competition and the BMW X6 M Competition boasting 460 kW of power (at 6 000 rpm) and a maximum torque of 750 Nm between 1800 – 5600 rpm.
This is a lot of power & torque, and frankly, you need to know what you are doing here. Probably better to have done some kind of high-performance driving course, which is offered by BMW as well. I found that the fantastic drive systems offered, helped keep the cars in check. Just keep it tidy and don’t run out of talent. Driving within yourself will give you an exhilarating experience. They handled great in corners on track as well as on road. And at top end, they were rock steady.
Versatile power delivery is effortless, thanks in part to an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and the M xDrive all‑wheel-drive system with rear-biased setup, which can be adjusted in 4WD / 4WD Sport modes. The M xDrive teams up with Active M Differential to optimise traction and dynamics.
With an ultra-high rigidity engine mounting, cooling and oil supply systems tuned to top-level dynamic performance, the Sports exhaust system delivers an emotionally stirring soundtrack.
Both the BMW X5 M Competition and the BMW X6 M Competition accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds – up to 0.4 seconds faster than their predecessors.
A unique overall concept raises performance above that of any rival. Seamless interplay of the powertrain, chassis and body serve up sublimely controllable agility and dynamism.
M light-alloy wheels in 21‑inch format at the front axle and 22-inch at the rear are fitted as standard for both Competition models. Outstanding stopping power is provided by M compound, while the integrated braking system enables individual configuration of pedal feel under braking.
Packed with enhanced technology
An extensive package of measures increases stiffness of the body structure and suspension mountings, aided by model-specific chassis technology with bespoke kinematic and elasto-kinematic properties.
An M-specific adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, active roll stabilisation, M Servotronic steering and Dynamic Stability Control form part of the M Dynamic Mode.
South Africa has a rich history with BMW M vehicles. This ranges from what locals consider to be the predecessor to all M cars – the South African built BMW MLE 530 – to the South Africa specific M5 Pure Metal Edition (F10).
To attest to local customers’ insatiable appetite for “The most powerful letter in the world”, the South African market sold the third most M cars in the world, compared to overall sales figures. This was for the year 2019. These models are certainly not cheaply priced by any means, but you get what you pay for, and that is an SUV that is great looking, performs like you stole it, and gives you the luxury that you wish you could afford.
Recommended Retail Price (incl. 15% VAT):
|Available model||X5 M Competition||X6 M Competition|
|8-speed M Steptronic Automatic transmission with Drivelogic||R 2,605,900||R 2,707,200|
|CO2 tax||R 26,358.00||R 26,220.00|
|Retail price including CO2 tax||R 2,632,258.00||R 2,733,420.00|