The 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M will be unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, following the introduction of the now third-generation X5 and X6 for the 2014 model year. Like their more pedestrian versions, the 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M receive significant styling and technology upgrades to better align with modern tastes, but the odd recipe for utility, all-out performance, and all-wheel-drive off-roading is unchanged.
Visually, the BMW X5 M and X6 M get a big dose of attitude for 2015. With wide front air intakes, side gills aft of the front wheels, flared wheel arches, 21-inch wheels with blue-painted calipers, staggered tires, rear diffuser, quad exhaust ports, a rear decklid spoiler (for the X6 M), and more M logos throughout than we’d even care to count, the high-powered SUVs will be some of the most distinctive looking BMWs on the road.
Inside the 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M, there are no major departures from that of the current X5 and X6, short of the copious M badging for everything from the door sills to the instrument cluster. Unique trim options include Merino full-leather interior surfaces, and two new paint colors dubbed Long Beach Blue Metallic and Donington Grey Metallic.
But it would be a mistake to think all of this braggadocio is without purpose—BMW’s M division does not fool around, even with seemingly ludicrous models like the 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M. The four front air intakes not only help reduce drag and lift in concert with the turbulence-fighting side gills and rear diffuser, but they also work to meet the increased cooling needs of the eight-speed automatic transmission, high-performance ventilated brakes with cross-drilled rotors, and revised 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine.
The updated M engine now emits 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque compared to 555 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque in the last X5 M and X6 M, which went out of production in 2013. Both models are now capable of 0-60 mph sprints in 4.0 seconds, undoubtedly aided by the available launch control feature. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. At the same time, the 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M are now more fuel efficient, with a 20 percent improvement on the European cycle, according to the manufacturer, although EPA figures for the U.S. market have yet to be confirmed.
BMW also improved the X5 M and X6 M chassis to handle the increased power and torque. A revised front suspension wth firmer spring tuning and a 0.4-inch lower ride height contribute to better handling, not to mention the SUVs’ rear air suspension and electronically adjustable dampers. As in the last generation of the super SUVs, the 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M employ staggered tires that allow the vehicles to strike a balance between precise, communicative steering at the front axle and sticky rubber for stability at the rear.
Pricing for the 2015 BMW X5 and X6 M is predictably exorbitant, coming in at $99,650 and $103,050 respectively, including destination fees. However, considering that the new-kid-in-town 550-hp 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR starts at $111,400, and a 520-hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo will set you back $114,595, the BMWs almost sound like a bargain.