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.
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
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.
BRAND NEW: BMW’s new X5