As downsizing and electrification are becoming the latest trends sweeping the auto industry, are big SUVs (with equally large engines) still relevant? For BMW, it's a resounding yes after the Bavarian automaker recently unleashed two of their most powerful SUVs to date.
Say hello to the 2020 BMW X5 and X7 M50i, two of the mightiest Bavarian SUVs that produce over 500 horsepower and 750 Nm of torque.
While it's hard to see what M Performance changed on the X5 and X7, there are some subtle changes that depict that these are not your run-of-the-mill models. For starters, both receive bigger air inlets in the front apron to help cool the engine better. There are also unique rear and side aprons, as well as the signature Shadow Line that give it a flashier look. Finally, select exterior trim pieces of the X7 and X5 are painted Celerium Gray which further highlight the eight-cylinder models.
Pictures of the interior were not provided although BMW did say it gets some M goodies. It gets a M leather steering wheel, a gear selector that shows the M logo, Vernasca leather upholstery with contrast stitching, and a choice of trim pieces availabe in aluminum, wood or high-gloss metallic. There's even the availability of having illuminated door sill plates, Anthracite or Alcantara headliner, and a Harmon Kardon sound system.
Under the hood, the two SUVs are powered by a new 4.4-liter TwinPower V8. It may be the same size as the previous motor but it gets upgraded components. From the crankcase, cylinder barrels, pistons, crankshaft, and cylinder heads, BMW was busy amping up the V8's power. Paired with an improved twin-turbo system, both the X5 and X7 M50i now generate 530 PS and 750 Nm of torque. This allows the X5 to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in as little as 4.3 seconds while the X7 can do it in 4.7 seconds. Power is then sent to an eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission with xDrive all-wheel drive and M Sports differential.
Aside from having a stonking V8 under the hood, BMW also gave each SUV a bespoke suspension system. While both have a double wishbone front and multi-link rear, that is where the similarities end. The smaller X5 is equipped with Adaptive M Suspension with electronically-controlled dampers that can be set to either Sport or Comfort. Meanwhile, the X7 gets adaptive dual axle air suspension which allows the driver to either raise or lower the ride height of the SUV depending on the situation.
Already powerful enough for you? While these two are already the most powerful SUVs to come out from BMW, they have yet unleash the BMW X5 M which could come with more horses under the hood. Does this mean an X7 M is also on the cards? We'll have to find out soon if ever BMW does indeed make one.