BMW has taken the wraps off its latest-gen X5 SUV. The fourth-generation BMW X5 promises “new-found comfort and refinement”, according to Johann Kistler, the model’s project manager. The premium SUV has been comprehensively re-engineered for what will be its 20th anniversary next year.
Along with the new platform – shared with the upcoming X7 – the new X5 is bigger inside and out, has updated powertrains, and features BMW’s latest digital cockpit and infotainment functions in a more luxurious cabin.
Chassis developments include optional air suspension featuring air springs in both, front and rear. Available as part of an off-road package that also brings off-road driving modes and a differential lock, it replaces the suspension set-up of the outgoing model – which only used air springs at the rear – and is combined with front double wishbones and a five-link arrangement at the rear.
A stiffer bodyshell with added aluminium is also said to offer a 33 percent increase in torsional rigidity to help better isolate road shock and secondary vibration. The new platform and chassis will also be used by the third-generation X6 that’s due in the middle of next year. The new X5 is larger than its predecessor in every vital dimension.
Its length stretches by 35mm, at 4,921mm; width increases by 32mm, at 1,970mm; and height is up by 11mm, at 1,737mm. The wheelbase has also increased by 42mm, at 2,975mm; a move that provides the new BMW with slightly shorter overhangs as well as larger door apertures at both, front and rear.
Despite the increase in size, the new BMW X5 offers the same boot capacity as the outgoing third-generation X5, at 645 litres (rising to 1,860 litres when the 60:40 split rear seat is folded away).
The new model can be ordered with optional electronic control for both the upper and lower sections of the two-piece tailgate. It also receives an electric luggage blind cover that can be stowed automatically within the boot floor at the press of a button.
The new X5’s evolutionary styling includes an angular kidney-shaped grille that is joined in the middle to help give it greater prominence. It also has active air flaps to help the model achieve a drag coefficient of up to 0.31. Headlights come with a laser light option, which is said to increase high-beam reach by more than 200m when compared with standard LED headlights.
Inside, there is more space for all occupants. Tech highlights include a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a similar-sized infotainment screen, both featuring BMW’s new ID7 operating system. At the rear, an optional third row of seats is said to provide added leg- and headroom, compared with the existing X5.
Other options include a head-up display with a larger screen than the outgoing X5’s, a Bowers & Wilkins sound system, conversational speech recognition control, gesture control and a touch-control rear seat entertainment system.
Under the hood, a six-cylinder petrol and two six-cylinder diesel engines will be available initially. The petrol engine is BMW’s familiar turbocharged 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder with 340hp and 500Nm in the xDrive40i.
The most popular engine option globally is expected to be the 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel-powered xDrive30d, which produces 265hp and 620Nm. Positioned at the top-of-the initial line-up will be the M50d M Performance, whose quad-turbocharged 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder diesel engine delivers 400hp and 720Nm of torque.
Additional engines will follow, including a plug-in hybrid that will use a turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine in combination with a gearbox-mounted electric motor to deliver a combined 325hp and 900Nm as a successor to today’s xDrive40e. As with the current X5, all models come as standard with an eight-speed, torque-converter-equipped automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system.
The new X5 will take on the likes of the next-gen Mercedes GLE SUV that is also under final testing phase ahead of an official unveil.
2018 BMW X5 image gallery