Will it go faster?

The current BMW X5 is five years old as of 2018 and, according to the company’s lifecycle plan, it will be around for a couple more. However, the fourth-generation SUV has already been spotted testing on public roads, and as a result, we’ve already created a rendering based on the camouflaged prototype. Now, BMW has begun testing the beefed-up M version near the Nurburgring and it’s time to have a closer look at the range-topping version of the SUV.

Likely to break cover toward the end of 2018, the upcoming X5 M will ride on the same CLAR platform as the new 5 Series sedan and the next-generation X5 it will be based on. Of course, the M-badged SUV will get unique chassis tuning as well as a wild V-8 with massive output. Interestingly enough, the new X5 M will arrive just in time for the redesigned Mercedes-AMG GLE63, also due to break cover in 2018. Find out all you need to know about the upcoming X5 M in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW X5 M.


  • Bigger intakes and sportier bumpers
  • Beefed-up fenders and side skirts
  • Redesigned headlamps
  • New kidney grille
  • Bigger wheels
  • "M" badges
2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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Much like most new-generation Bimmers, the X5 M will get bigger everything up front

Due to the first prototype being camouflaged to the teeth, there wasn’t much to talk about back in 2017. However, a new test car was spotted testing in Sweden and there’s a bit less camo on the body, giving us a better glimpse at the new X5 M. Of course, we can also use our rendering of the standard X5 and the design elements of the current X5 M to get a good idea of how the upcoming performance SUV will look like.

Much like most new-generation Bimmers, the X5 M will get bigger everything up front. That includes a wider and taller kidney grille, larger outlets on each side of the bumper, and redesigned center vents. This is noticeable on the prototype too, despite all that camouflage getting in the way.

2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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The redesigned taillights, bumper and tailgate should be complemented by a larger spoiler, new diffuser, and quad-exhaust pipes

While the headlamps won’t be noticeably larger, they will have a different, sportier shape. On top of these generational updates, expect the X5 M to sport the familiar M parts that add aggressiveness and give it a more powerful stance. The SUV should have a sportier bumper with revised intakes and a big splitter, darker chrome for the grille, honeycomb mesh for the bumper grilles, and the mandatory "M" badge on the main grille.

The profile of the M model shouldn’t differ much from the standard SUV apart from the beefed-up fenders, slightly revised side skirts, unique-design lightweight wheels wrapped in performance tires, and a lowered ride height. Look for black-painted mirror caps — with optional carbon-fiber — too. The spy shots reveal significantly wider side skirts, bigger wheels, and big, blue-painted calipers with drilled discs.

Around back, the standard redesigned taillights, bumper and tailgate should be complemented by a larger roof spoiler, a motorsport-inspired diffuser, and a quad-exhaust configuration with large tailpipes. The package should be rounded off by a couple of unique exterior colors and a range of optional carbon-fiber elements.

Upcoming BMW X5 M Vs. Current BMW X5 M

2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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2015 BMW X5 M
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2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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2015 BMW X5 M
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  • 5 Series-based interior
  • State-of-the-art tech
  • New convenience features
  • Sportier front seats
  • Enhanced legroom
2017 BMW 5 Series High Resolution Interior
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Note: 2017 BMW 5 Series interior shown here.

The revised dashboard should add a couple extra inches of leg and knee room.

The X5’s interior is still a mystery, but we can look inside the 5 Series for a few hints. For starters, it’s safe to say that the X5 will also take inspiration from the 7 Series, so look for a really wide center stack and center console, with the A/C vents and the radio and HVAC controls integrated into the same element.

The revised dashboard should add a couple of extra inches of leg and knee room for the driver and front passenger, who will also benefit from bigger door pockets The sedan’s built-in sound absorbing materials in the headlines should find its way into the SUV as well.

Revised seats are also on the table, but the X5 M's should come with heavy bolstering.

Revised seats are also on the table, but as is the case with performance-oriented vehicles, the X5 M’s should come with heavy bolstering. The front units should be 20-way adjustable and come with optional ventilation and massage function. An M Sport steering wheel will sit in front of the instrument cluster, which should have custom graphics and an "M" badge. While the infotainment screen will be largely identical to the standard X5, it should have a custom display and start-up screen. Aluminum pedals and footrest and exclusive, M-branded floor mats will round off the front compartment.

In the rear, passengers should get revised seats and maybe a bit more leg and knee room than before.

Tech-wise, the high-resolution, 10.25-inch screen will provide access to navigation, phone, vehicle, and entertainment features.

Tech-wise, the high-resolution, 10.25-inch screen will provide access to navigation, phone, vehicle functions, and entertainment features. Optionally, BMW will offer the latest version of gesture control that debuted in the 7 Series. Drivers will also be able to use the new Advanced Real-Time Traffic with navigation instructions and have access to a wealth of information projected onto the windshield. With a resolution of 800x400 pixels, the projection area is around 75 percent larger than on the outgoing model. Finally, the SUV will be equipped with wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, and WiFi hotspot.


  • Revised 4.4-liter V-8
  • More than 600 horsepower
  • Close to 600 pound-feet of torque
  • Lighter CLAR platform
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds
  • Revised M automatic transmission
2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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BMW will continue to use the twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 engine

There’s no hint as to what engine will lurk under the SUV’s hood, but it’s very likely that BMW will continue to use the twin-turbo, 4.4-liter in the outgoing X5 M. The N63 unit may seem a bit dated given that it has been around for 10 years now, but the V-8 gained various updates over the years and it should get a makeover for the new generation. As always, it will also get a host of upgraded internals, which should translate into more power, enhanced fuel economy, and better reliability.

While the current V-8 is no slouch at 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, BMW is reportedly aiming for at least 600 horsepower, to go with more than 570 pound-feet of twist. The extra 30 to 50 horsepower would not only make the redesign worth while, but would also put the X5 M in a better position against the Mercedes-AMG GLE63, which will deliver 603 horses and 627 pound-feet in its range-topping S version.

2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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BMW is reportedly aiming for at least 600 horsepower and more than 570 pound-feet of twist

The fact that the new CLAR platform is lighter will also make the upcoming SUV significantly quicker and more agile and fun to drive. While the outgoing model needs four seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, the new X5 M could get there in as quick as 3.8 clicks. Top speed will probably remained locked at the usual 155 mph, but an optional performance package will increase it to more than 170 mph.

The eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission, which was brand-new in 2014, should get a big update for quicker shifts. The xDrive system, also revised, will be standard.


2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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As it always happens with redesigns, pricing of the fourth-generation X5 M should be higher than the outgoing model. It’s tough to predict how much since it could be a hike of anywhere between $2,000 to $6,000. But with the current model priced from $100,700, it’s safe to assume that you’ll have to pay at least $103,000 to take the next X5 M home.


Mercedes-AMG GLE63

2019 Mercedes-AMG GLE63
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Six years old as of 2017, the GLE is a bit long in the tooth compared to the current X5 M. And although the latest upgrade dates back to 2015, Mercedes-Benz needs to act fast in order to not fall behind. Still, the current GLE63 is quite the performer, as the 5.5-liter V-8 is good for 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in standard guise. Upgrade to the S model and output jumps to 577 horses and 561 pound-feet. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.1 seconds in the latter and 4.2 clicks in the former. This is obviously slower than the current X5 M, but the next-gen model should be able to achieve the benchmark in four seconds or less. However, it remains to be seen whether the next GLE63 S will be at least as quick as the upcoming X5 M. The new GLE63 will have a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 563 and 603 horsepower, respectively. Pricing for the current model starts from $102,550, but this sticker could jump to nearly $108,000 with the redesign.

Read our speculative review of the next Mercedes-AMG GLE63.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo: An SUV with Attitude and Sports Car Performance Exterior High Resolution
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Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Cayenne is as impressive as performance SUVs get, especially in Turbo guise. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8, the Turbo model comes with 550 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque, which enables it to reach 60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds with the Performance Start option. While it’s not as powerful as the upcoming X5 M, there’s a chance it will be as quick as its German rival. The good news for Porsche fans is that a Turbo S model is also underway. The current SUV benefits from 570 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, so the new model could get close to 600 horses and more than 600 pound-feet of twist. Given the figures and the performance of other turbocharged Porsche models, there’s little doubt that the Turbo S will be the quickest of the bunch. On the flipside, the Cayenne Turbo is significantly more expensive that the competition. While the Turbo retails from $118,100, the Turbo S fetches $161,600 before options.

Read our review of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

Maserati Levante Trofeo

Maserati Levante Trofeo grabs Porsche Cayenne Turbo by the throat with V-8 engine Exterior
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Based on the already hot-looking Levante, the Trofeo is a performance update aimed straight at the BMW X5 M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Fitted with a handful of aggressive exterior elements and a few bespoke features inside the cabin, the Trofeo also gained the twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 engine from the Quattroporte sedan. Assembled by Ferrari in Maranello, the mill was upgraded to generate 582 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque,a whopping 158 horsepower and 110 pound-feet over the Levante S. The sprint to 60 mph comes in 3.8 seconds in this configuration, while its top speed is rated at 187 mph, higher than most every other SUV available right now. The Q4 all-wheel-drive system is standard, but the Trofeo also uses a retuned chassis and a new Corsa driving mode that improves engine response and dynamics. Pricing information is not yet available, but with the Levante S priced from $86,100, the Trofeo will probably cost in excess of $120,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 Maserati Levante Trofeo.


2019 BMW X5 M Exterior Spyshots
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While the performance SUV market has gained a lot of traction in recent years, this segment is still young and not very populated. You’d be hard pressed to find a proposition outside the X5 M, Mercedes-AMG GLE63, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and Audi SQ7, which is why the Bimmer has been so successful. Granted, it’s not due only to the lack of stiff competition. The X5 M is indeed one of the quickest SUVs you can buy, it handles brilliantly, and has a lavish interior, but it has a few downsides, such as not being exactly suitable for daily driving in the city. But to be honest, BMW doesn’t have much to fix aside from a fresh design inside and out and new technology. The X5 M isn’t for everyone and if you like comfortable rides, it’s best to stay away. On the other hand, if your goal is to go incredibly fast, the Cayenne Turbo S might be the better option.

  • Leave it
    • * Very expensive
    • * Likely not the quickest option



2015 BMW X5 M
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW X5 M.

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