2009 New York Auto Show – BMW X6 M and BMW X5 M Make World Debut
Sales for BMW’s M Division were up 50% in 2008. Go figure. And, when they announced these figures back in February of this year, BMW M Gmbh promised to actually expand its range in 2009, bucking the current economic climate and prevailing trends. Until now their product line included the M3 Coupe/Sedan/Convertible, M5, M6 Coupe/Convertible and Z4 M Roadster/Coupe.
The 2009 NY Auto Show will showcase the new BMW X6 M and BMW X5 M sporting twin-turbocharged 555 hp engine capable of 500 lb-ft of torque in a wide power band from 1,500 up to 5,650 rpm. This is a substantial boost from the standard 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 found in both previous top-of-the-line vehicles that produced a maximum of 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. And how, pray-tell, did they accomplish this feat? With a little engineering wizardry known as Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold (CCM). The new M engine is the first in the world with a pulse-tuned exhaust manifold covering the cylinder rows in combination with high-performance twin-scroll twin turbo technology. The end result is that both models perform 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
For the first time in a BMW M model, there is a new 6-speed M Sports Automatic transmission that offers various drive options including Sport and M manual modes. Switching gears is controlled by operating aluminum paddle shifters that, when pulled on the left, downshift and, pulled on the right, upshift. There is also a Launch Control feature available for when you need to get out of your driveway and down to the grocery store in a hurry. Basically, you activate DSC-Off mode, keep the brake peddle pressed down in first gear while pushing the gas to at least 60% throttle, which sets launch control to standby (hint: two feet are required). When you see the starter flag on the center console you can release the brake peddle and hurl yourself in any direction at breakneck speed.
The BMW X6 M and BMW X5 M share a hood, gaping front air dam and headlights. They also have special gills in the front fenders and a new rear fascia in back featuring a set of double-tipped exhaust outlets. The wheels are 20 inch alloys sporting 275/40 R 20s in front and 315/35 R 20 in back. Massive brakes are required to bring these hefty powerhouses to a stop. The M braking system includes 15.6 inch rotors with 4 piston fixed calipers in front and 15.2 inch rotors working with floating calipers in rear.
To keep things stable, controllable and in check BMW offers xDrive (all wheel drive), Dynamic Performance Control, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), AntiLock Brakes (ABS), Dynamic Brake Control, Trailer Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Cornering Brake Control, Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Drying, Adaptive Drive, Electronic Damping Control, Active Roll Stabilization (ARS)…. Basically, you get a lot of electronic systems that do their best to prevent you from putting these things into Indy-style roll flips.
But the point is that BMW has really put alot of well spent time and energy into engineering a vehicle that is both incredible from a performance standpoint and practical and safe as a daily driver. And with the general lack of announcements and pizzaz out of the 2009 New York Auto Show, the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M will be real show-stoppers. We can only hope that we see the M treatment applied to the last remaining standout, the BMW 1 Series, in the very near future.
BMW X5 M Gallery:
BMW X6 M Gallery: