BMW's X5 M Competition and the Problem With Ultra-Fast SUVs

BMW X5 M competition first edition
The percentage of people who will ever drive an SUV on a racetrack is negligible. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of those who have ever worn a helmet on the left seat of a sport utility vehicle are either auto journalists (whose willingness to try the absurd is never in short supply) or the development engineers and hot- Shoe test pilots primarily help build these things.

Despite this indisputable fact, "high performance SUVs" remain a hot data point in one of the hottest areas of the new vehicle market. The pull of a two-ton truck with a ton of power isn't too difficult to understand, as it harnesses the no-nonsense speed instinct that has run through the muscle-machine matrix since its inception in the 1960s. However, the idea of ​​making such an animal spin as smoothly as possible seems to boggle both the mind and the more than accidental requirements of Newtonian causality.

Here models like the BMW X5 M Competition 2020 are among the most fascinating success stories in recent four-wheeled history. They are marketed almost entirely for a purpose that goes 99.9 times out of 100 unfulfilled. They pour out of the showrooms and generously fill the company's coffers as legions of buyers make their way into the Upsize-M, a badge that was once reserved exclusively for sedans and coupes but now has a much more rewarding mission statement.
Coded for speed

In some areas, it is popular to view the affixing of M to anything other than a race-derived homologation special as some sort of affront to BMW's legacy. I don't share that point of view, and neither does anyone in Bavaria who is overly content to spin their story and print money off their SUV assembly lines in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the X5 and its siblings are assembled.

Much more interesting is the way in which technology has democratized automotive performance to the point where it is now becoming a commodity that is distributed across an entire range of vehicles. The technology has advanced so far that any sufficiently motivated car manufacturer can produce a respectably fast vehicle regardless of its segment. Enormous, sticky tires, fantastic electronic stability control programs, and braking systems that can withstand the heat of a space shuttle re-entry have largely banished the idea that curb weight and ride height are the main factors in turning on scorching lap times.
It certainly helps that with the BMW X5 M competition, the German brain trust began with a really excellent platform. In day-to-day use, the X5 is an outstanding provider that, with its respectable interior, well-portioned cargo space and luxury goods high-end buyers need, conveniently rolls from grocery stores to after-school taxis to weekenders. heated and cooled seats, head-up display, fantastic iDrive infotainment system) and not (gesture control).

There's really no reason why all of this couldn't be combined with kidney punch and a fantastically competent suspension melody. These two things are not in short supply at BMW. The company traditionally has powerful engines and clever cheat codes for chassis.
Here comes the boom

And so the BMW X5 M competition 2020 comes into being, a truck that seriously aims to redefine your personal definition of excess. With 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque provided by its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 (an additional 17 ponies compared to the "standard" X5 M), the competition can go 60 in just 3.7 seconds Reaching miles per hour, which is enough to put a long list of potential sports car challengers to shame. The eight-speed automatic transmission also offers several unnecessary levels of driver-controlled shift speed and firmness, as well as an even more superficial manual mode accessed by paddles behind the steering wheel.

The X5 M's all-wheel drive system provides a secure hold in snow, sleet, and exiting corners, while a litany of digital handholders closely watch the wheel (and wheel spin) to prevent heroic bursts of acceleration from ending in tearful calls to the insurance company. It's a terrifyingly fast vehicle that is just as amazing when asked to change direction, which it does with no complaint or drama.
BMW X5 M competition first edition.
BMW Group
Welcome to the bubble

The fact that the BMW X5 M Competition sticks so tirelessly to the surface it drives over is proof of its software tuning and the thick stabilizers, the strut tower strut, the 21-inch tires from Michelin Pilot Sport 4S and the adaptive dampers and should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the current state of SUV art.

Why am I so confident that after building so many references of the competition, after building so many references of the competition, I won't be used to competing anywhere but an office-parking-one-upmanship game? The answer is simple: flinging the BMX X5 M from one vertex to the next is absolutely no fun.
While there is indeed a visceral thrill of hitting the Go Pedal and holding the speedometer as far as possible (with the truck going up at 177 mph when equipped with the optional M Driver Package) is the case lacks excitement when you join a series of turns on a winding back road. The X5 M simply responds to any steering input with the rigid obedience of a high-performance automaton, servos and software buzzing in the background to ensure completely separate yet extremely precise performance.

You see, that's the "democratization" thing that I mentioned earlier. The best way to pass the power on is to completely isolate the driver from the actual act. Choosing the overall weight and typing center of gravity has the general side effect of removing real feedback from the road or vehicle and placing pilots in a carefully delineated area of ​​experience that does not risk human-machine connection so that the bottom line is not compromised becomes . Despite all its sport exhaust noise and anger, the X5 M Competition is no different. It certainly keeps the occupants deaf at three-digit speeds, which are more abstract than impressive at the moment.
Decisions, decisions

This is the riddle of the M SUV. If you're a serious weekend racer, the experience behind the wheel is reportedly more than a little important to you, and you already have an equally serious rail vehicle in your garage. Unless you're particularly into early hours of the morning, plastic trophies, and marking the occasional pylons, you will most likely be way too intimidated by the idea of ​​knocking around a multi-ton monster to risk a try, even with an instructor around the seat next to you.

The 2020 BMW X5 M Competition is a top-of-the-line luxury sport utility vehicle in every way, albeit with a staggering price tag (around $ 114,000) and tremendous fuel economy performance (15 MPG total). The thing is, all versions of the X5 are equally praiseworthy for handling regular driving tasks. The X50i model's twin-turbo V8 swaps just 0.2 seconds of inertia in a drag race against the M for a saving of almost $ 32,000 on its window sticker.

With this in mind, it becomes difficult to recommend the X5 M competition from a rational point of view. You'll never push the limits of what its hard-working designers burned into its over-athletic chassis, and if you don't defy expectations and show up in the pit lane on a Saturday morning, you'll be hard-pressed to enjoy the experience . The question then becomes, do you want the fastest, most expensive towing device out there, or would you prefer to spend that extra $ 32,000 on something that is actually fun to roll off the trailer instead?
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The Post Review: The BMW X5 M Contest and Ultra-Fast SUV Issue first appeared on InsideHook.
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BMW X5 M Competition and the problem with ultra-fast SUVs

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