Introduced in 2009, the X6 debuted to an SUV-crazed world that didn’t know what to think of it. The very next year, the M-version rolled out with a massively powerful, 4.4-liter V-8, all-wheel-drive, and a sport-tuned suspension. Now things were really confusing BMW’s SUV-that-isn’t-really-an-SUV is getting a substantial update for 2015, including both the standard X6 and its high performance variant, the X6 M.
Time has now passed and the X6 has been mostly accepted into the BMW fold. Like its cousin, the X5, the X6 and X6 M are getting a smart refresh for 2015. Both M vehicles receive important changes under the hood, with a three percent increase in horsepower, a welcomed 10 percent increase in torque, and an estimated 20 percent gain in fuel economy.
The changes behind the kidney grille are only part of the story. Keep reading for the full story.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW X6 M.
February 10, 2014 - 2015 BMW X6 M testing in the cold
Updated 08/28/12: The BMW X6 M is losing its camouflage slowly buy surely. This only means one thing: expect the luxury coupe SUV to be revealed sooner than later.
The X6 still sports its signature fastback roof design that both makes it easy to spot and also controversial.
The X6 M is clearly distinguishable from the lesser X6. Huge vents, air intakes, and diffusers populate nearly every inch of real estate on the exterior. But the extroverted styling isn’t just for looks. The air intakes at the front help keep the twin-turbocharged engine, eight-speed transmission, and massive brakes cool during track duty. The little vent behind the front tires is there to help smooth turbulent air inside the front wheel wells.
The 2015 body changes also include more pronounced accent lines along the vehicle’s flanks, headlights that are extended to meet the grille and a revised kidney grille. The X6 M still sports its signature fastback design that makes it easy to spot and also very controversial.
While the X6 M has never been a beautiful vehicle, this is certainly the best looking X6 M to date.
4,909 MM (193.26 Inches)
1,989 MM (78.30 Inches)
1,689 MM (66.49 Inches)
2,933 MM (115.47 Inches)
1666/1667 MM (65.59/65.62 Inches)
195 (7.7 Inches)
12.8 M (42 Feet)
A four-zone climate control system keeps everybody comfortable while a Harman Kardon sound system tickles the ears.
Things inside are equally new and interesting. The cabin is awash in fine Merino leather topped by an Alcantara anthracite headliner. Aluminum accents abound as does Nappa leather along the dashboard and door panels. That aluminum continues onto the gear shifter and iDrive controller. A four-zone climate control system keeps everybody comfortable while a Harman Kardon sound system tickles the ears. BMW also updated the navigation system to include better graphics, more capability, and 3D mapping.
Getting down to business, BMW swapped out the standard instrument cluster for an M-specific unit. It includes a gear selection display, system status readout of the Dynamic Damper Control and M Servotronic, and M Drive Modes. The optional Heads-Up-Display also gets an M-specific look, with a digital speedometer, rev counter, shift light, and gear display.
BMW is also integrating smartphones into the system. With an app called M Laptimer, owners can sync their phones to the iDrive system and pull driving data and lap time information after their day at the track.
Weight, unladen, to DIN/EU
2265/2340 KG (4993/5158 LBS)
Max load to DIN
685 KG (1510 LBS)
Max permissible weight
2950 KG (6503 LBS)
Max axle load, front/rear
1420/1610 KG (3130/3549 LBS)
Max trailer load (12 %) braked/unbraked
2950/750 KG (6503/1653 LBS)
Max roofload/max towbar download
100/140 KG (220/308 LBS)
Luggage comp capacity
550–1525 liter (19.4-53.8 Cu. Ft.)
Other technologies include BMW’s VALVETRONIC, or variable valve timing and direct fuel injection.
At the heart of the X6 M lies the 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8. Updated for 2015, this V-8 boasts an output of 567 horsepower between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque between an amazing 2,200 and 5,000 rpm. Much of this power can be attributed to the twin-turbos integrated with cross-bank exhaust manifolds. In other words, the V-8 uses a hot-V design with the turbos sitting in between the heads while the intake ports are outboard, perched where the exhaust ports normally live. This greatly reduces turbo lag as well as makes the entire engine unit a more compact design.
Other technologies include BMW’s VALVETRONIC, or variable valve timing and direct fuel injection. These help increase the engine’s overall performance while giving it better fuel economy ratings. BMW estimates the X6 M will drop its C02 emissions and fuel consumption by more than 20 percent.
Mated to the V-8 is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The eight-speed unit also helps achieve better efficiency at highway driving as well as performance at the track. Zero to 60 mph comes in just four seconds, making it faster than every 2015 M model except the M3 and M4 with the auto transmission, while its top speed is governed at 155 mph.
Getting that power to the ground is BMW’s Dynamic Performance Control that continuously distributes torque between the rear wheels. The system works in conjunction with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system to distribute torque between the front and rear axle.
Engine Config/No of cyls/valves
BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology with variable inlet geometry, TwinScroll biturbo charging, High Precision Petrol Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC
Capacity, effective cm³
Compression ratio :1
567 HP @ 6,000–6,500 RPM
553 LB-FT @ 2,200–5,000 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio (DIN) kg/kW
Output per liter kW/ltr
Acceleration 0–60 mph)
250 km/h (280 km/h with optional M Driver’s Package) (155 mph; 173 mph)
Suspension And Brakes
Active Roll Stabilization also has a major hand in keeping things turning around the bend.
The X6 M’s suspension system is nearly as complex as it drivetrain. The heavy SUV needs some sophisticated underpinnings to make it handle like an M3 sedan. A 10-mm (0.39-inch) drop in ride height brings the center of gravity down while firmer shocks keep body roll to a minimum. Revised upper control arms with optimized camber progression and steering pivot axis helps turn-in and corning abilities. More ridged bearings help decrease slack between parts. Active Roll Stabilization also has a major hand in keeping things turning around the bend. Out back, an air suspension setup keeps things level and provides a smooth ride when not on the track.
The driver has the ability to change the vehicles Dynamic Damper Control settings between COMFORT, SPORT, and SPORT+, making the X6 M capable of track days and work days.
Double-joint spring strut axle with M-specific elastokinematics,
small, negative steering roll radius, anti-dive
Integral-IV rear axle with M-specific elastokinematics, spatially-acting suspension with anti-squat and anti-dive, air suspension with automatic self-leveling
Standard: DSC incl. ABS and M Dynamic Mode, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Electronic Differential Lock ADB-X, Dry Braking function, Fading Compensation, Start-Off Assistant; DSC cross-linked with xDrive all-wheel drive, Dynamic Performance Control, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Adaptive Drive
Standard: airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front and rear seats, crash-activated head restraints at the front, three-point inertia-reel seatbelts on all seats with belt stopper, belt latch tensioner and belt force limiter at the front, crash sensors, rollover sensors, tire defect indicator
Electric Power Steering (EPS) with M-specific Servotronic function
Of course all this technology and high levels of luxury doesn’t come cheap. The 2015 X6 M has a starting price of $103,050. That includes the $950 destination and handling fee. Expect to see the X6 M in dealer showrooms by the spring of 2015.
The Porsche Cayenne has undergone some major changes for 2015, including a heavily revised exterior, a classier, better looking interior, and several updates to engine performance and output. Now in place of the Hybrid is the S E-Hybrid that shares its parts with the Panamera S E-Hybrid. The Cayenne S has dropped the V-8 in favor of a more powerful twin-turbo V-6. The Cayenne Turbo now benefits from a revised twin-turbo V-8 that kicks out 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.
Pricing for the Cayenne is still high, starting at a relatively low $61,700 for the Diesel and rocketing up to $113,600 for the Turbo.
Also new for 2015 is the Mercedes-BenzML-Class of SUV. If the German automaker decided to bring back the AMG model (fingers crossed they do!), the sport version of this family hauler will prove to be stiff competition for the BMW X6 M. The rivalry between the two automakers has always been undeniably fun to observe and 2015 should prove to be no different.
There’s no solid word on what might power an AMG ML Class, but last year’s had a twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-8 under the hood that was good for 518 horsepower and did the 0-to-60-mph run in a scant 4.7 seconds.
Starting price for a 2014 ML63 AMG is $97,250 and that won’t likely increase much with the new model year.
The BMW X6 first saw production in 2008. Even then, many didn’t know what to make of the new Sports Activity Vehicle pitched between a SUV and sports sedan. The exterior design surely caught some eyes, but its performance was undeniable — especially with the M version starting in 2009.
The X6’s body has gone relatively unchanged since its introduction, while powertrain options have expanded. Several versions of gasoline engines have been offered, along with a couple of diesel options for the world market.
The X6 has seen its sales slump after its initial launch, but BMW hopes this second generation update will spur sales in an upward direction.
The overall changes for 2015 make the BMW X6 M a more competitive vehicle in both on-track and off-track driving situations. The engine’s new-found power output helps move the heavy SUV with more purpose than before. The interior updates are also very welcomed, with added amenities and comfort features. The updated exterior looks make the 2015 X6 M more desirable than in years past. With all that leaning in its favor, the X6 M might see a growth in its sales number coming soon.
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.
Read full bio
About the author
The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M see BMW M GmbH setting the pace once again in the high-performance Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) segment. When the previous generation of the two vehicles arrived in 2009, it was the first time the high-performance character distilled by BMW M GmbH had been transplanted into an all-wheel-drive BMW X model. The result was class-leading dynamics. The new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M pull no punches in writing the next chapter in this success story with another significant step forward in dynamic excellence, distinct M design and outstanding efficiency. The 2015 BMW X5 M will be offered at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $99,650 and the 2015 BMW X6 M will start at $103,050, including $950 Destination and Handling, both models will arrive in US showrooms in the Spring of 2015.
The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M combine the characteristic features of the successful BMW X family – exclusivity, robustness, agility and everyday usability – with the commitment to high performance that defines an M vehicle. The latter is resoundingly highlighted by the vehicles’ impressive performance figures. Both models complete the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in
4.0 seconds in conjunction with the new eight-speed M Steptronic transmission.
Innovative engine technology.
The new M TwinPower Turbo V8 for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M is the most powerful engine ever developed by BMW for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Boasting innovative M TwinPower Turbo technology with a pair of TwinScroll turbochargers, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, VALVETRONIC and High Precision Direct Injection, the 4.4-liter V8 produces maximum output of 567 hp between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm. That represents a 3 percent increase over the predecessor models. The step up is even clearer when it comes to the power development of the new engine. Peak torque has been boosted by 53 lb-ft which equates to a rise of 10 percent. Its 553 lb-ft can be enjoyed across a broad rev range between 2,200 and 5,000 rpm.
At the same time, fuel consumption of the new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M in the European cycle (official EPA values will be available closer to the start of sales) has been cut by 20 percent, CO2 emissions are likewise down by more than 20 percent, to 258 g/km. The two models accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds through the standard eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Powerful looks and exclusive equipment.
With their striking use of forms, the looks of the new BMW X5 M and
BMW X6 M foretell their performance potential. With their exteriors painted fully in body color, both models cut a low-slung figure on the road, while mixed tires showcase their sporty track width. Additional exterior design modifications, moreover, elevate the M models even further than before from the standard BMW X5 and BMW X6. Large air intakes at the front end, side gills with a model badge and Air Breathers, signature M exterior mirrors in twin-stalk style, a typically M four-tailpipe exhaust system and a rear spoiler (for the BMW X6 M) give them a standalone look M fans will immediately recognize. Setting the seal on this exclusive range of features are standard M-specific, forged 21-inch M light-alloy wheels.
The high-quality interior impresses with its well-thought-through combination of sporty features, exclusive materials and flawless workmanship. The M instrument cluster, M leather steering wheel with aluminum gearshift paddles and M gearshift lever – which works in the same way as the familiar M Double Clutch Transmission gearshift lever – are complemented by electrically operated M multi-function seats for the driver and front passenger, an M driver’s footrest and the optional Head-Up Display which, in addition to the standard information, also includes an M-specific display with gear indicator, rev band and shift lights.
New BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M customers also have the choice between various options exclusive to the M models, such as Merino full-leather trim. And there’s also a choice of two new and exclusive M paint finishes – Long Beach Blue Metallic and Donington Grey Metallic.
A finely balanced overall concept.
At BMW M GmbH, high performance is about more than engine output and top speeds alone. Here, high performance means all of a vehicle’s components working in perfect harmony and the precise interplay of various details resulting in maximum performance, agility, precision, poise and assurance out on the road. This sense of balance is a defining feature of all the vehicles produced by BMW M GmbH and is, needless to say, also present in the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M.
The function-led design of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M is immediately clear with athletic, muscular looks betraying their high-performance credentials before they so much as turn a wheel. The four large air intakes and flaps at the front end, and the diffuser at the rear, are fully functional, they are an essential part of the engineers’ drive to optimize aerodynamics and ensure efficient cooling.
Thanks to a clever aerodynamics concept, the airflow is guided so efficiently around the vehicle that drag is minimized and lift is also reduced. The engine, powertrain and brakes are all kept sufficiently cool, even when placed under extreme loads on the track. Elements which look like pure design accents when they first catch the eye, in fact, fulfill functional tasks. For example, the M-specific Air Breathers behind the front wheels reduce turbulence in the front wheel arches.
Optimum temperature management.
The high-performance engine under the hood of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M requires a high-performance cooling system in order to guarantee the optimum operating temperature in all conditions – i.e. normal everyday driving, stop-start traffic and extreme action on the race track. A highly efficient, newly developed combination of low-temperature and high-temperature radiators, which also handles the cooling of the turbochargers, charge air and transmission oil, maintains an optimum temperature, even with all components working flat out.
New Eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.
The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M send their engine power to the wheels via the newly developed eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, which closely follows the operating philosophy of the M Double Clutch Transmission used by other M models. With its instantaneous responses, rapid gear changes and direct reaction to load changes, the torque converter automatic transmission links up seamlessly with the new higher-torque turbocharged engine and showcases its talents. At the same time, its wider ratio spread allows it to offer a clear drop in fuel consumption over the six-speed transmission offered in the previous generation, as well as an increase in driving comfort and improved performance.
The new eight-speed M Steptronic transmission allows drivers to sit back and enjoy automatic shifts or change gear manually using the gearshift paddles on the M leather steering wheel. And for the perfect getaway, the driver can activate the Launch Control system adapted from use in racing vehicles. Here, the driver keeps their foot on the brakes and pushes the accelerator down almost to the floor, which prompts the system to dial in the ideal getaway rpm. Releasing the brakes prompts Launch Control to let the vehicle off the leash, and it accelerates off the line with maximum propulsion.
The driver can also use the three-stage Drivelogic function to choose whether to prioritize fuel economy, comfort or Sport performance. This functionality is available both in automatic and manual shifting modes.
Intelligent all-wheel drive.
BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive and Dynamic Performance Control play a key role in the outstanding dynamics of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M. The xDrive system employs an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch to allow fully variable distribution of drive between the front and rear axles – from 100 percent at the rear to up to 100 percent at the front. This ensures the best possible traction in all road conditions. In the interests of greater agility, xDrive normally operates with a rear-biased torque split-in the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M.
Dynamic Performance Control oversees the continuous distribution of torque between the rear wheels – both under load and on the overrun – regardless of engine output. Working in combination with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the result is a whole new bracket of dynamic flair, agility and traction. The vehicle follows the course set by the driver far more accurately, whatever the road surface, and the system also reduces the amount of wheel work required of the driver: the steering responds more directly and far fewer corrections are necessary. Moreover, the inherent propensity of conventional all-wheel-drive vehicles to understeer is eliminated. An improvement in traction is also impressively noticeable (on road surfaces with differing friction levels, in particular), and active safety is markedly enhanced as a result. The driver can see how Dynamic Performance Control is operating on the display, with arrows at all four wheels visualizing where the engine power is currently being sent.
An open door to controlled drifts.
Among the other highlights of the overall concept behind the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M is Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The control functions of DSC have been Optimized over previous versions of the system to improve driving dynamics further still. The extra functions which have become part of DSC enhance active safety (Brake Standby, Brake Drying, Fading Compensation) and comfort (Start-Off Assistant, parking brake with automatic hold function).
Dynamic Stability Control allows the driver to choose from three modes: DSC on, MDM (M Dynamic Mode), DSC off. While DSC on counteracts understeer and oversteer to great effect with selective brake activation and torque reductions, MDM allows greater wheel slip – to give keen drivers the chance to execute some mild drifts. However, the driver aids will also intervene to assist the driver in this mode if a predefined limit is exceeded. Deactivating DSC (through DSC off) gives the driver the chance to fully explore the vehicle’s limits on the track and nudge the vehicle into power oversteer (i.e. a drift) using the accelerator. In this mode, the system will only intervene in extreme situations involving significant shifts in lateral acceleration.
The new M TwinPower Turbo engine. A V8 with even more torque, backed by an emotionally rich soundtrack.
To say the newly developed engine of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M has a pounding heartbeat would be something of an understatement. After all, the 4.4-liter V8 uses innovative M TwinPower Turbo technology – consisting of cross-bank exhaust manifolds, a pair of TwinScroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC – to push torque and output to higher levels still. This unrivalled combination ensures that a strong wave of torque is maintained from low revs and allows direct and rapid responses, linear power delivery and customary M soundtrack.
Maximum performance meets outstanding efficiency.
The peak output of the new M turbocharged engine powering the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M is, at 567 hp, three percent higher than that of its predecessor and is available between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm. At the same time, the engine’s peak torque has been boosted by around 10 percent to 553 lb-ft, which can be enjoyed across an extremely broad rev band – from 2,200 to 5,000 rpm. The extraordinary power development of this M turbocharged engine allows the new M versions of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.0 seconds. The top speed of both is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The outstanding efficiency of the new M TwinPower Turbo engine is illustrated by its 20 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions in the in the European cycle (official EPA values will be available closer to the start of sales) compared to its predecessor. All of which means that the range of the two vehicles on a single, identically sized tank of fuel has increased by 26 percent to 475 miles) in each case (European cycle).
The turbocharged V8 engine fitted in the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M delivers impressive performance with lightning-fast responsiveness.
The key factors here are the engine’s High Precision Direct Injection (2900 psi injection pressure), state-of-the-art VALVETRONIC system and cross-bank exhaust manifolds, which send two converged exhaust gas streams to drive the two TwinScroll turbochargers through four separate exhaust ducts.
The new engine features a closed-deck crankcase with an extremely rigid construction. This enables higher cylinder pressures to be achieved, paving the way for improved power output. A forged, torsionally stiff crankshaft is used to transfer the impressive torque, its low weight contributing to a significant reduction in rotating masses and thus a further sharpening of the engine’s responses.
From race track to road.
In the development of every model at BMW M GmbH, a familiar maxim applies: it must be “fit for the Nordschleife”. The aim in the development of BMW M cars is to master the world’s most challenging race track at race speed without a hitch. The extreme lateral and longitudinal acceleration generated when lapping the Ring places huge demands on the engine’s oil supply. But sophisticated oil sump and suction snorkel geometry allows the new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M to safely operate up to 1.2 g lateral acceleration.
The cooling systems for the new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M are similarly track-ready, as highlighted the first time you set eyes on the vehicles by the large air intakes in the front end. A combination of low-temperature and high-temperature radiators ensures that the optimum temperature is maintained for engine cooling fluid, charge air, engine oil and transmission oil – even when venturing into high-performance territory.
The exhaust system has been modified to satisfy the sporting ambitions of the new M models. A distinctively familiar BMW M engine note resonates out across the whole rev range via electrically controlled flaps, which open or close according to demand, and sounds even sportier and richer than that of its predecessor. Selecting one of the preconfigured driving modes, moreover, engages a finely balanced set-up that also provides acoustic feedback on the engine load at any one time.
The chassis. Hitting the heights of agility, precision, poise and assurance.
The new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M once again set the pace in the high-performance Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupe segments thanks to extensive chassis upgrades. These combine to provide outstanding performance together with unbeatable directional stability and excellent traction, along with the type of neutral self-steering typical of M vehicles, in particular when accelerating out of corners and approaching with the dynamic limits.
To this end, the double-wishbone front suspension features revised kinematics. A modified upper wishbone (increase in camber, optimized camber progression and steering pivot axis) allows a further increase in cornering force potential and agility. At the same time, M-specific elastokinematics with more rigid bearings improve wheel guidance and therefore directional stability – both at the front suspension as well as
the Integral-IV rear suspension (an independent suspension system with anti-squat and anti-dive geometry). Firmer suspension spring tuning and a 10-milimeter drop in ride height team up with the Active Roll Stabilization to bring about an effective reduction in body roll, pitch and yaw. In addition, the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M come standard with self levelling rear air suspension. Dynamic Damper Control with electronically adjustable dampers – the driver can select from three modes (COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+) at the touch of a button – ensures the perfect balance between dynamic flair and ride comfort.
Mixed tires for optimized handling.
Another central element in the driving characteristics of the new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M are the special tires, whose development closely followed that of the front and rear axle design. In the high-performance segment, tire choice for the front axle focuses – alongside lateral stability and brake forces – primarily on steering precision and feel. By contrast, the engineers’ attention in the development of the rear tires centerd on traction, lateral stability and directional stability. In order to meet these part-contradictory, part- complementary demands, the BMW M GmbH engineers have developed two sets of mixed tires for the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M. The interconnected development of tires, steering and axles endows the new vehicles with assured handling properties and good rolling comfort. Both models are fitted standard with low-weight non-runflat 21-inch forged wheels (front: 10 J x 21, rear: 11.5 J x 21) shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport UHP tires (front: 285/35 R21 Y, rear: 325/30 R21 Y).
M Servotronic steering with individual adjustment.
One of the most important interfaces between driver and vehicle is the steering. Here, BMW M GmbH’s high-performance models have set the benchmark from day one when it comes to providing a direct steering feel, precise feedback on the driving conditions and a finely-tuned balance when exploring the dynamic limits. Continuing this tradition, the M Servotronic steering in the new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M comprises M-specific gear ratios and an intelligently composed overall set-up. This rack-and-pinion system with electric power assistance uses no energy when the vehicle is travelling straight ahead. The Servotronic function familiar from hydraulic systems, which controls the degree of steering assistance according to the vehicle’s speed, is another integral element. Furthermore, drivers can choose from three steering settings (COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+) – at the touch of a button in the center console or by storing their preferred settings in the M Drive buttons – to adjust the steering characteristics to personal tastes or the situation at hand.
High-performance brakes borrowed from motor sport.
The remarkable high performance potential of the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M is backed up by the M compound brakes with large six-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating callipers at the rear. Excellent stopping power, precise feel, low weight and increased resistance to heat are their headline features. The brake discs in compound systems – which were originally developed for racing – use a cast iron, ventilated and cross-drilled rotor mounted to an aluminum hat. The surface of the brake pads is 50 percent larger compared with those on the predecessor models. At the same time weight is down by 1.6 kilograms, helping to reduce unsprung and rotating masses. This also contributes to the improved acceleration, responsiveness and handling of the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M. The compound brakes signal their performance capability visually as well. All the brake discs are perforated and inner-vented, and the brake callipers are painted in Dark Blue metallic, in typical M fashion, and marked at the front wheels with the M logo.
The design. High performance, even when standing still.
The outstanding performance of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M are also showcased through their M design signatures. The close ties between the two models – they have identical performance and equally strong dynamic potential – are reflected particularly clearly in the shared design of the front end with its large air intakes. However, the individual characters of the two high-performance Sport models are still very distinct, as is clear the first time they come into view. The proportions of the BMW X5 M provide an instant showcase of its muscular power and elegance, not to mention its impressive versatility. The flowing lines of the BMW X6 M, meanwhile, accentuate the prominent coupe lines and sporting athleticism of the BMW Sports Activity Coupe.
The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M have been designed for use on the road. Both of these elite Sport machines combine the raised seating position of an all-wheel-drive BMW X model with the outstanding overall concept balance of a BMW M vehicle. In order to visually reinforce the further improved on-road attributes of the new M models, the whole body is painted the same color. In combination with a 10-millimeter reduction in ride height and the wider track created by the use of mixed-size tires, the vehicles have a lower, more powerful stance, cut an even sportier figure even when stationary, and as a result enjoy a very distinct personality when compared with their BMW X5/BMW X6 siblings.
Visually striking yet fully functional front end.
The shared front-end design of the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M is likewise a clear departure from that of the respective standard models and follows the classic “form follows function” maxim. The large air intakes and voluminous “kidneys” of the radiator grille, with the now customary M double-bar look, are mandated by the high cooling air requirements of the powerful engine, transmission and high-performance front brakes. Despite the large amount of cooling and more stringent pedestrian protection requirements, the designers have managed to integrate foglamps into the front end of the vehicles. Both new M models borrow their headlights from the BMW X6, complete with headlight washer system. Elsewhere, the special flaps low down in the outer air intakes –adapted from those on racing vehicles – reduce lift and emphasise the optimized aerodynamics of the two new models.
Same genes, distinctive looks.
The differences in the character of the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M are particularly evident when the two models are viewed from the side. The BMW X5 M reinforces its presence and functionality with its upright stature, long roofline and large window surfaces. By contrast, the BMW X6 M displays the unmistakable, flowing lines of a BMW Sports Activity Coupe through its gently curved glasshouse, sloping roofline and pronounced wedge shape. M‑specific features of both models include the familiar twin-stalk exterior mirrors with integral side indicators and optional display for the Active Blind Spot Detection. Another signature element of models from BMW M GmbH are the gills in the front side panels featuring chrome trim that includes a model badge and Air Breather.
Powerful rear end with racing accents.
The rear ends of the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M also differ significantly from their standard siblings, exuding a stronger aura and majoring on bold, sporty accents. This approach is underlined in particular by the wide rear tires (which are a different size from the fronts), the distinctive M rear aprons painted in body color and the hallmark M four-tailpipe exhaust. The diffuser element (likewise in body color) adapted from racing vehicles helps to ensure aerodynamically optimized airflow at the lower edge of the rear bumper moulding, allowing the new M models to highlight once again the impressive functionality of their design features. A rear spoiler painted in body color on the BMW X6 M reduces rear-axle lift.
Sporting ambience and flawless ergonomics.
As with all vehicles from the BMW brand, the design of the interior prioritizes intuitive, quick and error-free usability. And M GmbH also makes its own distinctive mark here. For example, the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M come with a newly developed, ergonomically optimized M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, while the M gearshift lever has an equally distinctive design. The instrument cluster, M Drive menu in the information display, displays in the optional Head-Up Display and special multifunction switch with M Drive buttons on the steering wheel also fit the M template.
The sporting ambience on board the new BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M is accentuated by the exclusive, electrically operated M Multifunction seats for the driver and front passenger – in fine-grain Merino leather with contrast stitching and embossed M logo in the backrests – and by the leather-covered BMW Individual instrument panel. Door sill strips with model lettering, aluminum interior trim strips and the standard Alcantara anthracite roof liner lend the interior an additional touch of exclusivity.
High-quality standard equipment and options.
The new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M come with an extensive range of exclusive equipment from the factory which illustrates their character as high-performance Sport machines that can be used every day. Customers can also dip into a large selection of optional equipment with which to make their vehicle even sportier, for example, or to satisfy the most exacting requirements in terms of comfort. Standard-fitted exterior features painted in body color and fitting the classic M profile are a key factor in the striking appearance of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M. These include a front apron with large air intakes, a double-bar kidney grille, familiar M twin-stalk exterior mirrors, side gills with the M logo and Air Breathers, a rear apron with integrated diffuser and a four-tailpipe exhaust system in chrome. Both models are fitted with standard forged 21-inch BMW M light-alloy wheels in Orbit Grey and with mixed non-runflat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
High-quality interior with an exclusive allure.
Elegance and impressive functionality are also defining features of the interior of the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M. As well as the new M leather steering wheel with integrated aluminum gearshift paddles and M multi-function seats in Merino leather for the driver and front passenger (with electric adjustment and memory function), the M-specific standard equipment of both models also includes a Nappa leather dashboard, an Alcantara anthracite roof liner, aluminum interior trim strips, door sill finishers with model lettering, knee pads on the center console and an M footrest for the driver.
Likewise included as standard equipment for the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M are an alarm system, power tailgate, automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors, a headlight washer system, 4-zone automatic climate control, a Harman Kardon surround sound system,
Park Distance Control rear-view camera. Xenon and adaptive headlights are also part of the standard equipment for the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M. These items are in addition to the driver assistance systems familiar from the regular BMW X5 and BMW X6 and the mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive. Among the highlights here is the new-generation Navigation system Professional, which boasts even greater capability and sharper graphics and incorporates 3D elements into its map display.
In keeping with their high-performance pretensions, the two new M models also come as standard with an M-specific instrument cluster – complete with displays showing the gear selected, system status (engine dynamics, Dynamic Damper Control, M Servotronic), M Drive mode and a compass, the M Drive menu in the information display and M-specific buttons on the M leather steering wheel. Over and above the information projected by the standard system, the optional Head-Up Display for the new BMW X5 M and new BMW X6 M also features a special M display including a digital speed display, gear display, rev band and Shift Lights.
Accurate analysis of driving style with the M Laptimer app.
BMW M GmbH has developed the BMW M Laptimer app for smartphones so customers can access extensive analysis of their personal driving style on the track. With the smartphone linked up to the vehicle, the BMW M Laptimer app can be operated using the iDrive Controller. The app records the vehicle’s speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, the gear currently engaged, steering angle and accelerator position. This data can subsequently be used to precisely analyze the driver’s actions and reactions at the various points around the track via graphic displays on the customer’s smartphone. Another feature allows two recordings on the same track to be compared corner-by-corner. The readings used here can be either the driver’s own or data shared by other drivers via email or social networks.