X5 ex­pected to re­main leader

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

BMW Group Aus­tralia ex­pects its new fourth-gen­er­a­tion X5 large SUV to re­tain its place as the best-sell­ing model in the seg­ment, a po­si­tion it has man­aged to hold over the past decade de­spite strong com­pe­ti­tion from the Mercedesbe­nz GLE, Range Rover Sport and Audi Q7.

Speak­ing to Goauto at the launch of the new X5, BMW Aus­tralia head of prod­uct and mar­ket plan­ning Bren­dan 0LFKHO VDLG WKH FRPSDQ\ ZDV FRQ¿ dent the new-gen­er­a­tion model would re­main Aus­tralia’s favourite over$70,000 large lux­ury SUV.

³:H GH¿QLWHO\ H[SHFW LW WR UHPDLQ seg­ment leader,” he said. “It’s next level. It’s the whole new next gen­er­a­tion.

³,W¶V WKH ¿UVW RI D ORQJ OLVW RI QHZ cars com­ing in the near fu­ture with idrive 7 user in­ter­face tech­nol­ogy, that new KAFAS cam­era with the three cam­eras moved in to scan the road, it’s the next gen­er­a­tion of level two au­ton­o­mous tech­nol­ogy as well, so there’s plenty to talk about and plenty of new tech in the car.”

With two months left in 2018, the out­go­ing X5 re­mains the best seller in its seg­ment de­spite its age, with %0: ¿QGLQJ QHZ KRPHV IRU WKH large lux­ury SUV ahead of the Range Rover Sport, 1900, Lexus RX, 1710, Audi Q7, 1575, and Mercedes-benz GLE, 1749 – the lat­ter set to ar­rive in all-new guise in the sec­ond quar­ter of next year.

While BMW is launch­ing the new­gen X5 with only two vari­ants – the vol­ume-sell­ing 30d and per­for­mance­fet­tled M50d – a third vari­ant, the petrol-pow­ered 40i, will join the range in WKH ¿UVW TXDUWHU RI IROORZHG E\ more vari­ants fur­ther down the line.

While the 30d has tra­di­tion­ally been the best-sell­ing vari­ant in the range, Mr Michel be­lieves the ad­di­tion of the 40i may usurp its crown.

“We think the 40i will po­ten­tially be the sweet spot in our mar­ket given the ex­tra per­for­mance it has over the 30d, and such a low en­gine sur­charge over the 30d as well,” he said.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing to see whether our cus­tomers grav­i­tate to­wards get­ting ex­tra per­for­mance in the 40i.”

Fur­ther down the line, the range will be bol­stered with the ad­di­tion of the 45e plug-in hy­brid, which will fea­ture twice the pure-elec­tric range of its pre­de­ces­sor while up­ping the petrol en­gine from four cylin­ders to six.

A rear-drive, four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel en­try-level ver­sion is ex­pected to ar­rive at some point, as is a full-fat M ver­sion, which is yet to be an­nounced for the new gen­er­a­tion.

While more vari­ants are com­ing, Mr Michel said the model range will likely be smaller than the out­go­ing F15 gen­er­a­tion’s seven-strong line-up.

“I think we need to eval­u­ate it over the next 12 to 24 months on what ex­tra en­gines we bring to the mar­ket,” he said.

“I think it was at some stage we had seven dif­fer­ent en­gines you could get on the pre­vi­ous-gen­er­a­tion X5 – that might have been a lit­tle too com­plex for not only our cus­tomers but our deal­ers to be able to main­tain stock, so we’ll fo­cus on the mod­els that we sell well and we know will sell well.”

He said the most likely vari­ant to not be car­ried over is the 40d, which sits in between the 30d and M50d for diesel vari­ants.

For now, the range kicks off at $112,990 plus on-road costs for the 30d, up to $115,990 for the 40i and top­ping out at $149,900 for the M50d.

The new X5 has grown in all di­men­sions over its pre­de­ces­sor, stand­ing 19mm taller, 66mm wider and 36mm longer, with a 42mm in­crease in wheel­base and 39mm in rear track. The ex­tra width helps the X5 re­main more sta­ble on the road, while the wheel­base and length in­crease has meant more room in the pas­sen­ger sec­tions of the in­te­rior.

Boot space re­mains the same at 650 litres – 1870L with the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats down – but a new elec­tri­cally op­er­ated split tail­gate in­creases prac­ti­cal­ity and ver­sa­til­ity.

New tech­nol­ogy has been a ma­jor fo­cus of the X5 up­date, with modern fea­tures in­cluded through­out the in­side and out­side of the ve­hi­cle.

Driver as­sis­tance tech has been im­proved with the ad­di­tion of the new three-cam­era KAFAS sys­tem that fea­tures a wider, longer lens that can see fur­ther than be­fore, dif­fer­en­ti­ate between pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists and is bet­ter at keep­ing the ve­hi­cle cen­tred when lane keep as­sist is ac­ti­vated.

2YHUDOO WKH QHZ ; IHDWXUHV ¿YH UD dar sen­sors, 12 ul­tra­sonic sen­sors and seven cam­eras.

Mak­ing use of the new cam­eras is the re­vers­ing as­sis­tant fea­ture, which can au­tonomously back­track up to 50m in re­verse at speeds un­der 35kmh, re­trac­ing the path the ve­hi­cle has just taken.

,QVLGH WKH ; EHFRPHV WKH ¿UVW ve­hi­cle to score BMW’S lat­est idrive 7 user in­ter­face, with im­proved voice and ges­ture con­trol, up­dated lay­out, third-gen­er­a­tion head-up dis­play and a 12.3-inch fully dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter.

Each of the three ini­tial vari­ants use a dif­fer­ent pow­er­train, start­ing with the 30d which em­ploys a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel in­line six-cylin­der en­gine ca­pa­ble of out­putting 195kw/620nm, help­ing achieve a zero to 100kmh sprint time of 6.5 sec­onds.

All vari­ants drive all four wheels via an eight-speed Step­tronic au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Stan­dard equip­ment on the 30d in­cludes park­ing as­sis­tant plus with surURXQG YLHZ FDPHUD UHDO WLPH WUDI¿F in­for­ma­tion, Ap­ple Carplay, DAB+ dig­i­tal ra­dio, au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol, 10-speaker sound sys­tem, adap­tive LED head­lights, fog­lights and tail-lights, au­to­matic wipers and head­lights, and the xline trim pack­age.

TOP OF THE CLASS: BMW be­lieves the new fourth-gen­er­a­tion X5 large SUV will con­tinue to hold its place as the seg­ment leader, against com­pe­ti­tion from the likes of Mercedes-benz GLE, Range Rover Sport and Audi Q7.

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