Cars always look better in official design sketches and the 2024 X5 M and 2024 X6 M are certainly no exception. BMW Head of Design Domagoj Dukec took to his personal Instagram account to share some of his work and provide some insight about how the pair of high-performance SUVs came to be:

“The X5 at its most extremest, the X6 at its most expressive: For the first time, we’ve styled the new BMW X5 M Competition with the bold, extroverted front of the new BMW X6 M Competition, following the same approach as with the BMW M3 and the BMW M4.”

With or without the Life Cycle Impulse applied, the dynamic duo doesn’t look nearly as striking as the model that dethroned them from the top of the X rankings. We’re talking about the new XM, an unconventionally styled plug-in hybrid SUV that splits the headlights and wears a larger kidney grille. The X5 M and X6 M, now sold exclusively as Competition models, look tame by comparison. One would argue the fully electric iX and the facelifted X7 are also more polarizing than these two.

Although BMW hasn’t radically changed the exterior appearance of its two brawny SUVs, the horizontal slats of the kidney grille do give them a fresh identity. Those matrix LED headlights are now visibly slimmer than before while the model’s badging on the grille is bigger. The updated design gives the front fascia an “X” motif where the grille meets the central lower air intake. It’s a recurring theme since the updated taillights have “X” graphics.

While the XM is BMW M’s first-ever model to have a plug-in hybrid setup, the X5 M and X6 M will go down in history as the first models from the “world’s most powerful letter” to feature a mild-hybrid 48V setup. There’s more electrification to come as every full-fat M car going forward will have a hybrid setup, with an EV to follow later this decade.

Source: Domagoj Dukec / Instagram