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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
But it is the way it does it that is worth noting. In 'normal' mode, the X5 M achieves its rate of speed smoothly and without fuss, swatting away slower traffic like as though they don't exist.

Push the much-vaunted M button though, and you'll feel a marked difference. The throttle response is sharper, and you'll propel towards triple-figure speeds and beyond faster than you can say "M Dynamic Mode".

As with all modern BMWs, the M Dynamic Mode is highly customisable, with the EDC, M Drive and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) functions all available to set to one's desire, whether you want it to be hard-core all the time, or just a bit more sedate.

The trade-off for that bahn-storming performance though, is that the X5 M drinks like a camel. The argument is that if you are able to afford an X5 M, it probably won't matter to you anyway, but still, an indicated 4.8 km per litre when we had the test car for just a couple of days without much hard driving is an astonishing figure.

And having established that the X5 M is able to annihilate most cars in a straight line, it is a surprise to find that the beefy off-roader more than holds its own in the corners as well. In fact, it feels decidedly car-like in its demeanour, with its well-weighted steering providing good feedback.
Ride quality depends very much on which setting you prefer to have it in, but under most circumstances the X5 M copes fairly well on Singapore’s well-paved roads, although of course there is a noticeable firmness to it.

One final point. The X5 M’s brakes are incredibly effective, and haul the car back to earth from insane speeds very well. Perhaps it might be a bit too sharp for some, but it just requires a little getting used to. For sure, you’ll be thankful for them once you’ve experienced the X5 M’s abilities.

Conclusion

In truth, while the X5 M is quite an enjoyable car to have, it is a pity that its full capabilities are unlikely to see much use in the real world.

In that sense, the X5 M is almost like a supercar, with its crushing performance, incredible thirst, and sheer silliness of the idea.

Sure it makes no sense in the real world, but sometimes, that is what makes life so special.

Just the thought of a large SUV like the X5 M being able to go head-to-head with some of the fastest sports cars in the world, is enough to put a smile on my face.
Engine
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Engine capacity 4,395cc
Engine Type V8 Twin-turbocharged
Compression ratio 9.3
Bore x Stroke (89.0 x 88.3) mm
Power 555 bhp
Torque 680 Nm
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Performance
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Acceleration 4.7s (0-100 kmh)
Top speed 250 kmh
Fuel consumption 7.1 km\L
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Misc Technical Data
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Transmission 6-speed (A) M sport
Drive type AWD
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Measurements
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Body type SUV
Dimensions (L x W x H)
(4851 x 1994 x 1764) mm
Wheelbase 2,933 mm
Min turning radius unknown
Kerb weight 2,380 kg
Fuel tank capacity 85 L
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Brakes
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Brakes (Front) Ventilated disc
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated disc
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What we reckon
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The good  Whacking great performance
The bad  Fuel consumption (but you'd expect that)
Prev
Mmm: At the end of the day, the M badge always represents something special. And the X5 M is no different.

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Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

V8 Twin-turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

4395cc

Horsepower

:

414kW (555 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

680 Nm / 5650 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) M sport

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4.7sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

7.2 km/L

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