The BMW X5 is due to be facelifted next year, and as these spy shots reveal, testing has begun for the updated high-performance M version.
The new X5 M will receive numerous design changes, a revamped interior and potentially even more power.
At the front, slimmer headlight units flank a new pair of kidney grilles with a more angular design, although BMW has resisted fitting a set of oversized openings. The new grilles have a thicker bezel, and sit above a reprofiled lower intake that appears lower and wider than before. On this test car, BMW looks to be covering up a pair of fog lights and vertical cooling slats beneath the headlights.
This pre-production example also wears a new set of alloy wheels, shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. The X5 M’s roof spoiler and quad tailpipe set-up remain, with a heavily sculpted rear bumper that looks similar to the current model’s, although the final car could feature small tweaks to the diffuser set-up. The tail lights are identical, too.
The big changes will be inside, however, with the inclusion of BMW’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment system that first appeared in the iX electric SUV. This combines a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 14.9-inch touchscreen beneath a single sheet of curved glass, and BMW will redesign the top of the X5’s dashboard to accommodate it.
Key features of iDrive 8 include augmented-reality navigation, 5G connectivity and improved voice control. The user can navigate the interface via the touchscreen, or by using a click wheel on the centre console. Elsewhere, the X5 M’s cabin design won’t change dramatically, save for some new trim and upholstery options, potentially.
In Australia, the more potent X5 M Competition is the only model available, which uses a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 459kW and 750Nm. This drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the new X5 M will retain the same drivetrain, albeit possibly with more power.
The BMW M5 CS uses a tuned version of this engine, with 467kW. This makes it the most powerful road-going BMW to date, at least until the XM SUV is released with more than 522kW, and the new X5 M could use the same unit.
Either way, BMW’s engineers will probably fine-tune the dynamics of the facelifted car with retuned suspension settings, while the new My Modes feature of the iDrive 8 infotainment system could enable a wider range of drive modes than before.