BMW Reveals X5/X6 M Competition Variants With Over 600 Horsepower

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw reveals x5 x6 m competition variants with over 600 horsepower

BMW has pulled the sheets off the new M variants for its line of X5 and X6 SUVs, addressing a horsepower issue that didn’t actually exist. With base models offering over 300 hp and top-trimmed units reaching 523 hp, it’s hard to imagine there being a write-in campaign pleading with the automaker for higher performance M models. But we aren’t going to complain.

The new versions outclass the old X5/X6 M’s 567 horsepower thanks to a 600-hp, TwinPower V8 on loan from the updated BMW M5. Competition models add even more might, taking the 4.4-liter S63 motor up to a lovely 625 horsepower. BMW has also fitted the units with an M-specific adaptive suspension it claims will further improve handling — not that the ludicrously heavy utilities weren’t already impressively nimble for their size.

Even in their lightest configurations (base motor, no frills) both models surpass two tons by hundreds of pounds. In fact, the X5 instantly rockets past 5,000 lbs the second you plant your butt in the driver’s seat. M variants are even heavier — the 2020 BMW X6 comes in at 5,225 lb while the boxier X5 tips the scales at 5,258 lb.

Despite all that heft, BMW says its M models should reach 60 mph in about 3.8 seconds, with M Competition variants shaving off another tenth of a second. Latter examples also raise the electronically-limited top speed from 155 mph to 177 mph.

While BMW attributes some of that to the standard ZF eight-speed auto and rear-biased, all-wheel drive with Active M differential, it’s the motor helping the SUVs drop below the M50i’s 4-second rush to highway speeds. The turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 features direct injection, air-to-water intercooling, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, and variable valve timing. On standard M variants of the X5/X6, that results in 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft; Competition models receive 625 horsepower and the same 553 lb-ft of torque. The power band has also been broadened slightly.

For improved handling, BMW had added additional chassis bracing (boosting stiffness), M-specific adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, active roll stabilization, M Servotronic steering and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) including the company’s M Dynamic Mode.

Alloy wheels (21‑inch front; 22-inch rear) are standard for Competition model and an option for both the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M. Behind them rest a quartet of M-compound brakes with six-piston calipers. Rotors measure 15.6 inches in the front and 15.0 out back, with BMW’s brake-by-wire system allowing drivers to configure pedal feel to their heart’s desire. BMW will also let you fiddle with the settings for the engine, dampers, and steering — which you can then save as your own presets.

BMW refers to the X5 as a “Sports Activity Vehicle” (SAV) and the X6 as a “Sports Activity Coupe” (SAC). This hasn’t changed under their newest M guise, as the manufacturer stated both are emblematic of the body styles — serving as the “visual expression of supreme potency.”

While that throbbing vigor is on full display with the standard M variants’ oversized intakes, gills, rear spoiler, rear apron with diffuser, and M exhaust system with four ports, M Competition SAV/SACs take things a step further by issuing these components in a contrasting black color scheme.

All models receive an M-specific cockpit design with head-up display, BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional, navigation, voice command, and park assist. Branded sport seats with fine-grain Merino leather trim are standard with the Competition getting upgraded leather.

BMW informs us that the X5 and X6 M should arrive at dealerships in the spring of 2020. The base MSRP for the 2020 X5 M is set at $105,100 (before destination fees), with the swept-back X6 M starting at $108,600. Set aside another nine grand if you want either of the Competition models.

While both represent noteworthy improvements over their predecessors, most people looking for thrills would probably be just as happy inside the 523-hp BMW X5/X6 M50i — which is about $20,000 cheaper than the new M models — unless they spend loads of time on the Autobahn.

[Images: BMW]

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4 of 31 comments
  • GoNavy99 GoNavy99 on Oct 03, 2019

    I've always found it strange that some SUV manufacturers have decided to go the route of "performance" over that of "capability." While you see the likes of Toyota/Lexus continue to layer on capability (where needed) in its Land Cruiser/LX line, all you see are bigger engines/better suspension out of BMW. Also, kidney grilles so large that the deer may enter the engine bay in a collision. Would I want this thing in the apocalypse? No. Can't carry much; clearance isn't that great and mindlessly complex engine. Plus I feel like a single well-placed ding will send it to the shop for expensive repairs. Would I want it on the track? No, for reasons so obvious they aren't worth repeating. So who are these things for? Automotive dilettantes who have no idea what they can actually get for $110k if they simply looked around.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Oct 03, 2019

    This is what posers are buying instead of an M5 or E63. If you're one of the buyers considering this, everyone will think you have shortcomings if you do. Buy the E63 wagon or the forthcoming Audi RS wagon instead. You'll get more attention, respect and kudos. You'll be viewed as a hero... someone who marches to his own beat instead of someone beating his own drum. Know what I mean?

    • Hummer Hummer on Oct 03, 2019

      Honestly I’m betting 99% of people that see these have no idea they’re “special”; midsize crossover with a V8 isn’t very special in America as it is in the rest of the world. I see an X5 BMW and it doesn’t really register as special or high class, why anyone would spend $110k for a special edition version that has an engine that should be available at half the price should be the real mystery. No ones impressed, no one even realizes the midsize X5 crossover costed over $50k to begin with. I’m not even going to go on about the X6, that’s just a horrible impractical looking station wagon I wouldn’t want to be seen in.

  • Cprescott Yawn.
  • 28-Cars-Later Wrangler people are crazy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Transition" to layoffs, this guy is the Bob(s) from Office Space.
  • Vap65689119 As a release engineer I also worked in quality, if they are serious they should look at Toyotas business model which has their suppliers as genuine partners, thats how you get a quality product
  • Mike-NB2 I seem to have landed in an alternate universe. $12,000 for a Jeep that's going on a quarter-century old and with an automatic transmission? Wow.