Just like with the BMW X7 and 7 Series, the BMW X5 will soon be getting the brand’s newest V8 engine—the S68. All V8-powered Bimmers, if they haven’t already, will be switching over to the S68, to replace the aging S63, and the upcoming BMW X5 M60i is no different. So here’s what to expect.
New Engine, New Name
For starters, it gets a name change. The old M50i name will be gone, replaced with the M60i name. Moving forward, ’60’ will be the numeric nomenclature with which BMW will identify its S68 V8 (or equivalently powered) vehicles. So if you see the M60i badge, it’s rockin’ the S68 engine.
Proper M Engine
Perhaps most interesting about the engine change is that it now gets a proper M Division engine. Previously, M Performance cars used standard BMW engines. However, BMW recognized the fact that developing more than one new V8, during a massive transition to EVs, is financially irresponsible. So BMW gave the M Division money to create a new proper M V8 and decided to use it for everything. So even though the BMW X5 M60i will be a more comfortable M Performance car, it will still pack some real M Division heat.
New Toys to Play With
Just like with the X7 M60i, the BMW X5 M60i will get the same interior updates. For instance, the X5 M60i will get iDrive 8, just like the X7 LCI, 7 Series, iX, and i4. It will also ditch the funny robot-leg shifter and replace it with a toggle switch, as with the other cars. And it will gain BMW’s new digital gauge cluster, which still uses an annoying backwards tach but at least features far better graphics and more customization. Sadly, the introduction of iDrive 8 also means the X5 will lose its physical climate controls.
Sharper Grille, New Headlights
As with all BMW LCI updates, the X5 will get a more aggressive grille, one that’s closer to that of the X6, and some updated headlights. Its new lights seem slimmer and more modern looking in recent spy photos, which should actually be a pretty drastic change. Will it look better? It’s too early to tell, given that we’ve only seen the car wrapped in camouflage. However, the current X5 is a handsome car, so we expect the LCI version to be as well.
[Top Render BMW X5 M LCI unofficial rendering / SRK Designs]