2024 BMW X5 M and X6 M Gain Hybrid System and Go Full Competition
For 2024, BMW gives the X5 M and X6 M new powertrains, updated looks, and giant dash-mounted displays.
The 2024 X5 M and X6 M are now Competition only, pairing BMW's latest twin-turbo V-8 with a 48-volt hybrid system.
Matching their new-look front ends are redesigned dashboards with curved displays running the brand's iDrive 8 infotainment software.
Hybrid technology is continuing to propagate across BMW's sacred M lineup. Perhaps to ease the inevitable proliferation into the iconic M3 and M5 sedans, the 2024 X5 M SUV and its hunchbacked counterpart, the X6 M, are the first of the brand's highest-performance vehicles to adopt a 48-volt electrical system, which is also part of a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh.
New Kind of Competition
Previously, the BMW X5 M and X6 M were offered with an individual Competition package that brought an extra 17 horsepower, a rowdier exhaust note, and larger-diameter rear wheels and tires—among other bits. For 2024, both models are now only available in Competition guise, meaning all that performance-enhancing hardware becomes standard.
At their heart remains a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. However, it has been heavily revised. BMW says the new S68 engine features myriad changes intended to make it more responsive and efficient than its predecessor. Peak output remains the same at 617 horses and 553 pound-feet of torque, but it's now supplemented by an electric motor added to the eight-speed automatic transmission. The motor generates 12 hp and 148 pound-feet, with the 48-volt system also acting as a starter-generator.
The transmission itself includes better cooling components and new gear ratios. Along with a wider ratio spread than before, the first three gears are now shorter. Despite all these powertrain changes, BMW doesn't expect the '24 X5 M or X6 M to be any quicker than the year before. Both are still claimed to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. BMW does expect them to produce fewer engine emissions thanks to new catalytic converters. Official EPA ratings have yet to be announced.
Other mechanical changes to the X5 M and X6 M include revised dampers and rear-suspension tweaks intended to improve high-speed stability. BMW also says both SUV bodies are now more rigid due to additional bracing. Both M utes still have standard all-wheel drive and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear diff, but they can now work independently of the stability-control system.
M SUVs Get a Nose Job
While BMW's latest design language is arguably the most divisive it's ever been, the brand appears to avoid the brunt of the backlash with its facelifts of the X5 M and X6 M. Instead of giving them the polarizing pig nostrils worn by the four-door M3 and two-door M4, or the alien-looking arrangement seen on the X7 SUV and 7-series sedan, the M-badged mid-size SUVs have a less offensive nose job. Of course, we're sure some people will still find ways to be offended.
The front of the X5 M and X6 M now features narrower headlights with arrow-shaped accents that double as daytime running lights and turn signals. Their black kidney grilles gain horizontal slats, and the nameplate badge is larger than before. A black section now frames the grille as well as the one below it in the front bumper, creating an X-like shape. A different set of air intakes on either side contribute to the nose job.
Out back, the X5 M and X6 M add taillights that echo the X motif up front. That and lower vertical reflectors constitute the rear changes for 2024. BMW also adds more metallic paint options that include Isle of Man Green as well as Brooklyn Grey and Frozen Pure Grey.
A Step Up In Tech
For those who don't already know, BMW is retrofitting a giant curved screen into models that currently don't have it, which up until now included the X5 M and X6 M. The setup combines a 12.3-inch gauge cluster with a 14.9-inch touchscreen under one piece of glass. The infotainment system supports the company's iDrive 8 software, which provides diverse interaction controls along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The curved display takes up most of the real estate on top of the dashboard and brings a redesigned layout. The latter applies to the slimmer HVAC vents and a new ambient light strip with a crystal-like texture. The lighting element is customizable and can even alert the user of an incoming call.
Other changes inside the X5 M and X6 M include new carbon-fiber paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel. Carbon fiber is also the default interior trim, but it can be replaced with wood elements.
The 2024 BMW X5 M starts at $123,295. That's $4100 more than a '23 model with the Competition package, but it also includes a host of notable updates. The 2024 X6 M starts at $128,195—a $4200 increase versus before. Both models are slated to start production in April and will likely go on sale sometime this summer.
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