Third time around for big BMWSUV

The new, lighter BMW X5 due next year will fea­ture four-cylin­der diesel en­gines for the first time, Dave Moore writes.

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

Even 14 years on, the BMW X5 is the pret­ti­est and one of the most de­sir­able SUVs on the mar­ket, par­tic­u­larly as a used car.

Next year, the model moves into its third-gen­er­a­tion and the Mu­nich-based con­cern has not messed about with the car’s styling, know­ing when to leave well enough alone.

This was also the case when the model moved into its sec­ond gen­er­a­tion in 2006. The pro­file and ba­sic de­tail­ing were re­tained and the big­gest change was to make the ve­hi­cle an op­tional seven-seater.

The third-gen­er­a­tion of what BMW calls its X5 Sports Ac­tiv­ity Ve­hi­cle (SAV, rather than SUV, folks) will be re­vealed at the 2013 Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber, but we’ve been leaked some preview pho­to­graphs that show the X5 III in good de­tail, and it’s good news.

The new X5 which will con­tinue to be a sta­ple prod­uct at the com­pany’s US Spar­tan­burg, Alabama plant will carry the model cod­ing F15, which fits in with all re­cent BMW launches which have each been pre­fixed with the let­ter ‘‘F’’.

The frontal area has been bus­ied up a lit­tle, prob­a­bly to give the pre­vi­ously quite plain nose a closer con­nec­tion to the more re­cently-in­tro­duced X1, X3, and X6 mod­els.

The new front end is also the first in the BMW line-up to fol­low the new 3-se­ries style of link­ing the head­lights to the twin­nos­trilled grilles. To achieve this the light clus­ters are wider and work well with the more up­right treat­ment of the grille.

Side on, the new X5 fol­lows its pre­de­ces­sors es­pe­cially closely, as it should. For this very rea­son the orig­i­nal late 90s X5 still looks crisp and up-to-date, which is more than you can say about pre2000 Mercedes-Benz MLs and Range Rover which are start­ing to look very dated.

Dis­guised spy pho­tog­ra­phy have re­vealed the X5’s L-shaped rear light clus­ters, and the re­ten­tion of a tail­gate re­curve with a third-pil­lar ‘‘Hoffmeis­ter’’ kink, the one styling cue that links all cur­rent BMW sedans, coupes and SAVs.

The side pro­file does re­veal a ves­ti­gial scoop just be­hind the front wheel arch. a fea­ture which was more se­vere on pre­vi­ous cars, and a in­stantly recog­nis­able de­sign cue. At the X5’s front quar­ters are G-shaped vents, and both above and be­low the bumper bar num­ber plate other grilles di­rect cool­ing air for the en­gines.

In its third gen­er­a­tion the X5 will for the first time of­fer a se­lec­tion of four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel power units for mar­kets where a lower rangewide aver­age emis­sions and con­sump­tion lev­els have ben­e­fits in terms of con­ges­tion charges, tax­a­tion and tar­iffs. A sim­i­lar line-up of in­line six-cylin­der twinpower tur­bocharged petrol and diesel en­gines as used by the cur­rent X5 are ex­pected to be of­fered as the X5’s core power units, and BMW says there will still be a place for twin-power V8 en­gines for the flag­ship and M mod­els which have al­ways had a high take-up rate in New Zealand. All the X5 III’s en­gines will use the eight-speed ZF 8HP au­to­matic trans­mis­sion which is be­com­ing stan­dard is­sue in most of the com­pany’s car ranges.

The 3.0-litre six-cylin­der xDrive30d is 19 per cent more fuel ef­fi­cient, with econ­omy im­proved by 9 per cent and CO re­duced by

2 33g/km – de­spite power and torque in­creases of 10kW and 20Nm.

The M50d, pow­ered by a three­stage sin­gle turbo ver­sion of the 3.0-litre six-cylin­der engine, is 12 per cent more ef­fi­cient.

Con­sump­tion is re­duced by 10 per cent and CO emis­sions are

2 down by 22g/km, while main­tain­ing its high power and torque out­puts. The xDrive50i has a new-gen­er­a­tion 4.4-litre V8 engine now in­cor­po­rat­ing Val­vetronic vari­able valve tim­ing as well as twin tur­bocharg­ers.

Power is im­proved by 10 per cent (30kW) and there has been a 50Nm in­crease in torque, but con­sump­tion falls by 20 per cent and CO emis­sions have been cut

2 by 50g/km com­pared with the pre­vi­ous engine.

Th­ese three en­gines will be joined at the end of the year by a four-cylin­der diesel – tak­ing ad­van­tage of the new X5’s re­duced weight– and an­other six-cylin­der diesel. The 2.0-litre four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel engine is new to the X5 and ap­pears in the sole twowheel drive model, the sDrive25d, and the xDrive25d, which pro­vi­sion­ally achieve fuel econ­omy of 5.6L/100km and 5.9L/100km re­spec­tively. The re­spec­tive pro­vi­sional CO fig­ures

2 are 149g/km and 155g/km. The xDrive40d, with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre in-line six-cylin­der diesel engine, is ex­pected to have aver­age fuel con­sump­tion of 6.4L/100km with CO emis­sions of

2 169g/km.

The new X5 be­comes the first BMW X model to fea­ture ver­ti­cal Aero Cur­tains and Air Breathers, which en­sure that air passes over the wheels with the min­i­mum of dis­tur­bance, and Air Blades, which work with the rear spoiler to smooth air­flow around the car.

The cars’ Eco Pro mode adapts the engine man­age­ment, ac­cel­er­a­tor re­sponse and trans­mis­sion char­ac­ter­is­tics to sup­port a par­tic­u­larly fu­el­ef­fi­cient driv­ing style, and even pro­grammes the cli­mate con­trol and heated seats and mir­rors for the most ef­fi­cient use of en­ergy. In con­junc­tion with the stan­dard BMW Pro­fes­sional Mul­ti­me­dia nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, it can even ad­vise the driver to ease off the ac­cel­er­a­tor when ap­proach­ing cor­ners or lower speed limit ar­eas through the Proac­tive Driv­ing As­sis­tant func­tion.

The X5 is fit­ted as stan­dard with ECO PRO, Auto Start-Stop, Brake En­ergy Re­gen­er­a­tion, on­de­mand use of aux­il­iary units, elec­tric power steer­ing and low rolling re­sis­tance tyres.

The X5’s plat­form is shared with the cur­rent 5-se­ries and is likely to find it­self un­der­pin­ning the X6 model when that is re­placed in a year or two. The new X5 will ar­rive in New Zealand at the end of the year.


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