If BMW’s X5 M Competition were a person it would be Usain Bolt – big, muscular and explosively fast. Based on the highly appealing X5 luxury SUV, BMW’s M tuning wizards have shoehorned a 625HP V8 engine into the X5 M Competition with predictably exhilarating effects.
No need to worry if people will mistake your X5M Competition for a standard X5. BMW’s über-performance SUV has a distinctive front bumper with large, angular air intakes as well as a new rear end and diffuser. The X5M Competition is also wider than the X5, riding on 21-inch wheels at the front and 22-inchers at the rear. A roof spoiler completes the transformation. Inside, the steering wheel has M-design buttons and the seats are M-branded too. Options include carbon-fibre trim and hexagonal quilting.
Even in a large luxury SUV, a 625HP 4.4-litre V8 packs a mighty shove. 0-62mph takes just 3.8 seconds and although top speed is limited to 155mph, you can have that lifted with the optional M Driver package. The engine is held in place with stiffer mountings and a unique M Competition exhaust system liberates the V8’s snarl, while Adaptive M suspension Professional reduces roll and enables the X5M to be placed with precision. Drive is sent to all four wheels via xDrive and an eight-speed transmission, with the rear-biased distribution of power most enthusiasts prefer. Controlled drifts are possible in 4WD Sport mode.
The BMW X5 Competition comes with an array of technologies, including intelligent voice control, Connected Navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot and three months subscription to BMW Music. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant can be woken by the command ‘Hey BMW’ and it can even learn your preferences.
BMW’s Driving Assistant includes approach control warning, rear cross-traffic warning, lane change warning, lane departure warning and rear collision prevention systems. The optionally available Driving Assistant Professional will add evasion aid, lane change assistant (indicate and the X5M will check for traffic before changing lanes for you) and crossroads warning with city braking function.
Verdict: BMW became famous making ‘the ultimate driving machine’ and M Sport has achieved cult status, creating iconic models like the M3. Fans worried if the M Competition magic could translate to a large SUV, but the proof is in the driving. If ever an SUV was built to shine at the Nürburgring as well as on the M25, this is the one.