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BMW's M Division has been churning out go-faster versions of its mainstream models since the 1970s. But the Bavarian carmaker's expanding line-up means that the M Division also gains a few more rather interesting cars, such as the X5 M.

15 Sep 2011

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Cover story
Aggressive: The X5 M evokes a menacing presence, with its flared bumper air vents matching well with the test car's Sapphire Black paintwork. You don't want to mess with it for sure.
he legend goes that BMW's M Division was started by a few engineers who were working after-hours to develop faster versions
of BMW's mainstream cars. While the true accuracy of that story can't be completely verified, there is no doubt that the M Division has come a long way since then.

With BMW's product range expanding rapidly in this very competitive age, the M Division has also benefited from a few rather, unique models, namely the opinion-polarising X6 M and the X5 M.
While purists might decry at the perceived dilution of the M badge with the introduction of these models, BMW has stated that it is merely responding to customer demand. And to that end, they're not wrong in filling voids as requested by their clients.

The X5 M probably makes more sense than the X6 M, given that performance off-roaders are now a mainstay in several premium manufacturers' line-ups. The big daddy of rocket SUVs is of course the Porsche Cayenne, but how close can the X5 M get to the snatching the Cayenne's mantle?

All M cars have a distinct presence that marks them out from their non-M counterparts, and the X5 M is no different.

Of course, being a performance car, all the added bits are there for a reason. The gaping air vents direct air flow into the radiators, and the rear roof spoiler aid aerodynamics.

Other visual enhancements include the slightly wider and lower squat, the chrome M gills with side indicators along the front fenders, the quad exhausts pipes poking out from the redesigned rear bumper, and the matt black slats on the trademark BMW kidney grille. The latter feature especially, when combined with the test car's Black Sapphire paintwork, evokes a no-nonsense stance that would send children scurrying away.
Hear me roar: Push the engine start stop button, and hear the throaty V8 powerplant come to life.
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


V8 Twin-turbocharged

Engine Cap





414kW (555 bhp) / 6000 rpm



680 Nm / 5650 rpm



6-speed (A) M sport

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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