Autoblog Test Drive: “2010 BMW X5 M is illogically sound”

BMW X5 M | June 29th, 2010 by 4
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The folks over at Autoblog revisited the new BMW X5 M. The first M SAV coming from BMW, goes through an extensive review and the …

The folks over at Autoblog revisited the new BMW X5 M. The first M SAV coming from BMW, goes through an extensive review and the conclusion places the dot on the “i” and the cross on the “t”: the BMW X5 M is an engineering masterpiece and BMW could turn it into a best seller.

“All that said, I have to admit I’m a bit torn. If a car is – taken as a whole – the most complex consumer product you can buy, the X5 M then represents an engineering triumph, as its combination of mechanical supremacy and computational wizardry is second to none. It’s upsettingly fast, brutally athletic and the glorious brakes are most likely banned F1 technology. Swathed in many gallons of Monte Carlo Blue Metallic paint, its bulgy looks have even grown on me. Moreover, it delivers a mule-kick upside the head of Newtonian physics.

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The M might as well stand for Magic. And therein lies the conflict.

As in so what? Who cares? Does the man that has everything really need a $90,000 SUV that can upstage and outperform all but top shelf sports cars?

Probably not. Actually, most definitely not. Though, of course, the last time we checked, the market place is still open to most ideas, no matter how unhinged. Besides, while obnoxious on multiple levels (both us and the car), we had an absolute blast during our seven reality-defying days with the BMW X5 M. In the end, laughter may prove to not only be the best medicine, but the best sales tool as well.”

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Here is an excerpt from the review:

Saturday morning I decided to take Baby Huey here down to Cars and Coffee in Irvine, about 45 minutes from home. I don’t know Orange County very well and can never remember the exit. However, as I passed Disneyland I spied a bright yellow Caterham Superlight R, which could only be going to one place at 6:20 in the morning. Determined to get there, I just followed the Se7en.

As we exited the freeway, the Caterham’s pilot gunned it around a sharp corner. Figuring, “Let’s just see,” I followed suit, one-handing the X5 M’s tiller sharply to the right. What transpired is one of the most eye-popping and perplexing few seconds of my auto-reviewing career. The X5 M stayed with the Caterham. Inch for inch, line for line, apex to apex, the giant blue hulk perfectly mimicked the Se7en’s nimble flight path. Not only that, but when we straightened out, the 5,386 pound lard-ass was able to out accelerate the 1,200 pound British bantamweight. I burst out in laughter, a long, heartfelt, sustained thirty-second belly-laugh. No way man. There’s absolutely no way that just happened. Couldn’t have. But, much to my extreme disbelief (not to mention whatever was going through the Caterham driver’s mind), the X5 M totally, fully 100-percent opened up a can of 9,000 calorie whoop-ass on Colin Chapman’s lightweight ideal. And just then, all 90,000 of the X5 M’s ridiculous dollars suddenly made complete sense.


Also, the rear end rotates.

I’ve experienced the DPC (Dynamic Performance Control) before on the X6 (both straight-six and 400-horsepower V8), but never in such a powerful vehicle. DPC means that the rear axle employs torque vectoring technology and works like so: When you’re at speed and turn the wheel to the left, the rear right wheel gets the bulk of the power, allowing you to largely leave the throttle in while cornering. Vice-versa when you turn to the right. I’ll be damned if the rear end doesn’t feel as if it’s pivoting around a point. It’s a wonderful feeling, albeit a wonderfully comical feeling as you’re sitting six-feet off the ground and breaking many of nature’s laws. But wonderful nonetheless. Every time I put my foot in it and murdered a corner, I found myself realizing that it’s as easy to play back road hero in the X5 M as it is in a Mazda Miata. A 2.7 ton Miata with a lampshade on its head and a serious coke habit. But again, the damn thing can dance the dance. It’s all totally ridiculous, and I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.

Full review at Autoblog