Additional seating practicality comes with new design: In a first for a BMW, the new X5 can be specified with an optional third row of seats allowing up to seven occupants to be transported in comfort. An increase of 19cms in overall body length and an increase in body width of 6cms, combined with innovative design, has made it possible to introduce a brace of seats in the rear, while still retaining luggage space. However, unlike many competitors even with all seven seats in place there is still 200 litres of boot space. The two extra seats, complete with three-point seatbelts and head restraints, are stowed under the boot floor when not in use. BMW X5 owners who do not specify the third row of seats benefit instead from an additional 90-litre storage compartment situated below the boot floor.
Whatever seating combination an owner chooses, the new BMW X5 is capable of taking most payloads. In a standard five seat configuration the boot measures 620 litres - up 155 litres compared to the outgoing X5. For those looking to move sizeable objects, luggage capacity increases to 1,750 litres with all the rear seats stowed -a figure greater than that of any other BMW.
While being one of the most practical cars BMW has ever made, the new X5 still has a luxurious interior feel and a dynamic and sporty exterior shape. A drag coefficient as low as 0.33 places the BMW X5 at the top of its segment as the most aerodynamically efficient large SAV or SUV. This low figure is partly achieved by a rear tailgate that incorporates a roof spoiler and a near flat underbody to aid airflow. Nine exterior colours are offered initially alongside four levels of trim and seven upholstery colours to allow owners to personalise their X5s.
BMW's innovative iDrive control system also comes to the X5 for the first time. A new "wave" style of dashboard houses the colour display while the iDrive controller sits on the centre console adjacent to the new style of gear selector. The controller is complemented by eight buttons integrated as system short cuts for ease of use.
First SAV with Head-up Display and Run-flat tyres: The BMW X5 can be specified with Head-up Display. For enhanced safety the system projects speed, navigation and check control messages into the line of sight of the driver. Such a system allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road ahead while still being made aware of important instructions.
Run-flat tyres allow a driver to continue his or her journey in the event of a puncture for up to 90 miles at speeds of 50mph. Run-flat tyres also provide the best stability in the event of a blowout. The BMW X5 comes fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels as standard with optional 19 and 20-inch alloy wheels offered.
Petrol power: Based on the world's lightest production six-cylinder petrol engine, the BMW X5 3.0si develops 272hp at 6,650rpm. Peak torque of 315Nm is attained at 2,750rpm for in-gear responsiveness, with 0 to 62mph (100 km/h) dispatched in 8.1 seconds. Top speed for the new BMW X5 3.0si is 140mph - 225 km/h (when fitted with the Dynamic Package).
Diesel economy: Output from the 3.0d engine is 231hp, up six per cent compared to the previous model, and maximum torque is 520Nm, up four per cent. This peak torque is available from 2,000 to 2,750rpm offering near instantaneous reactions for swift yet refined motoring. Such an advanced engine powers the BMW X5 3.0d from 0 to 62mph (100 km/h) in 8.3 seconds before going on to a top speed of 134mph (130mph for a non-Dynamic Package equipped model).
New six-speed automatic gearbox: The new BMW X5 comes with an all-new faster-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox now features a new torque converter with enhanced software resulting in gearshift times up to 50 per cent quicker compared with the previous automatic gearbox. A new design of gearstick also creates more space on the centre console for additional storage space and cupholders. The use of an electronic parking brake in place of a conventional handbrake aids ergonomics further.
Development & Enginnering - Protoype Testing
Driving dynamics and safety: The BMW X5 offers unsurpassed safety credentials and on-road ability. Not only does its intelligent xDrive four-wheel drive system transfer power between front and rear wheels depending on available grip for optimum handling, but it can now be specified with Adaptive Drive and Active Steering -two advanced systems never offered before on a BMW X model.
Adaptive Drive uses active hydraulic anti-roll bars to counteract the cornering forces of the car to keep the body from leaning too heavily and unsettling the occupants. In addition to this Adaptive Drive incorporates an Electronic Damper Control system that uses sensors to continuously adjust the damper setting for optimum comfort.
Active Steering uses an electronically operated planetary gear intersecting the steering shaft that adds more lock than inputted by the driver at slow speeds to make parking effortless. When driving at speed the opposite occurs for a smoother, more composed ride.
Dynamic Stability Control+ is also standard on the new X5. DSC+ comes with four unique functions for added safety and comfort. Brake Pre-tensioning shortens stopping distances during an emergency stop by priming the brakes should it detect the driver lifting off the accelerator sharply in reaction to an incident ahead. Brake Drying improves braking performance in the wet by periodically applying the brake pads to scrub away the film of water that can build up on the brake discs.
Hill Start Assistant allows a car to pull away smoothly on a steep gradient without rolling backwards, courtesy of the brakes being held for the short time it takes the driver to apply the accelerator after releasing the foot or handbrake. Brake Fade Compensation applies additional braking without any extra effort from the driver should sensors detect that the brake pads are starting to lose "bite" due to heat build up.