Australian magazine Car Advice test drove and compared the new 2015 BMW X5 M against the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Both cars compete at the high-end of the SUV market and they both offer impressive thrills from behind the wheel. The X5 M is powered by a reworked M TwinPower Turbo engine, a V8 that provides more power and torque, and better power delivery than the previous engine generation.
The peak output of the new M turbocharged engine is 567 hp, three percent higher than that of its predecessor and is available between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm.
At the same time, the engine’s peak torque has been boosted by around 10 percent to 553 lb-ft, which can be enjoyed across an extremely broad rev band – from 2,200 to 5,000 rpm. The extraordinary power development of this M turbocharged engine allows the new M versions of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.0 seconds. The top speed of both is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S were the first cars to really enter the Super SUV world. The current model houses a twin-turbo, 4.8 liter V8 engine, making 570 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Despite its massive curb weight of 4927 lbs, the Cayenne Turbo S can rocket to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
Here is an excerpt from their review:
By the seat of the pants, though, both are similarly and ferociously quick. Any suggestion the extra 90 kilograms of heft the 2275-kilogram X5 M carries over the Porsche levels the performance playing field are pure semantics. Both SUVs have on-tap potency of such eye-opening magnitude that, when fully uncorked, sensible and responsible on-road application evaporates. It’s a very short and close race to the foul dark side of any Australian speed limit.
There are greater differences in character and drivability in urban driving situations, though neither seems to need much beyond 2000rpm for the bulk of commuting, 3000rpm is ample for urgent transit, while swinging tacho needles north of four grand with regularity can be downright antisocial.
While both SUVs offer ample breadth of drive mode selection to sharpen or soften reflexes, it’s the BMW that offers the most bipolar Jeckyl and Hyde-like character transitions with no more than a squeeze of the throttle.
The X5 M is quite eager off the mark and its V8 is slightly laggy to initial throttle application, demanding concentrated driver effort to prevent it lunging in bumper-to-bumper traffic. In every other driving situation, particularly on the move, it’s extremely linear in torque delivery mid-range and revs with urgency, complete with satisfying howl to redline.
The Cayenne Turbo, however, is a little more benign under the right foot in its default ‘comfort’ drive setting. It’s easier to maneuver at low speed, smoother of the mark and more relaxed in peak hour traffic. It becomes markedly sharper in Sport mode, while the degree of man-the-battleships aggression when Sport + – exclusive to the Sport Chrono option – is selected is, frankly, alarming in the most positive sense.