BMW X5 M and X6 M Competition gain 628bhp MHEV powertrain

3 months, 2 weeks ago - 22 February 2023, autocar
BMW X5 M and X6 M Competition gain 628bhp MHEV powertrain
High-riding pair become first M-tuned cars to be fitted with a hybrid-assisted powertrain

The BMW X5 M Competition SUV and its rakish BMW X6 M Competition sibling will arrive with a mid-life refresh next month, boosting their starting price to more than £123,000.

The high-riding pair will also be the first BMW M-tuned cars to be fitted with a hybrid-assisted powertrain: a crankshaft-mounted electric motor, powered by a 48V battery.

This mild-hybrid set-up supplements their predecessors’ upgraded 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 – on its own still delivering 616bhp and 553lb ft – with an extra 12bhp and 147lb ft when called upon. 

The new motor has been brought in to boost mid-range oomph. Both cars now shift from 50-75mph in 3.2sec in fourth gear. Top speed is limited to 155mph, but can be raised to 180mph as part of the optional M Driver’s Package.

Despite the motor, standing acceleration is 0.1sec slower than the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition they replace, with both cars hitting 62mph in 3.9sec. 

This updated power is again sent through BMW’s M Steptronic eight-speed gearbox to all four wheels, although both have a rear bias. They also continue to get an Active M differential at the rear and Adaptive M suspension, now with reworked dampers, as standard.

Big changes have been made to how the cars look. Their front ends now feature the brand’s new open, blacked-out kidney grilles, bringing them in line with other performance BMW models, although stubbier than the M3’s controversial 'teeth'. Gaping air vents add to the “muscular” look as well as aiding engine and brake cooling.

Other touches include twin-dual M Sport exhausts as standard, forged alloy wheels (21in at the front and 22in at the rear), slimmer LED headlights, and Competition badges. The rakish X6 M Competition gets a black spoiler lip.

Inside, there are similar luxuries as before. It is clad in merino leather, features the dashboard-wide BMW iDrive curved screen and is fitted with carbonfiibre shifters.

Both cars will replace the current BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M in the German car maker’s global line-up, mirroring the UK’s offering.

They will be built at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the US, with production starting in April. They will share a production line with the X3 M, X4 M and XM.

They are available to order now and pricing starts at £123,350 for the X5 M Competition and £126,050 for the X6 M Competition, up from £110,610 and £113,310 respectively. But with an array of options available, average sales prices are likely to move above £150,000.

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