New 2023 BMW X5 M facelift spotted testing on track
BMW’s popular X5 SUV will receive a facelift towards the end of this year and a revised X5 M model will follow soon after. We’ve caught the sporty X5 M testing before, but these latest images of it being evaluated at the Nurburgring reveal some new design touches not seen before.
At the front, the new X5 M will adopt slimmer upper headlight units – a design trait that has appeared on new BMWs recently such as the latest 7 Series and iX electric SUV. These will flank a new pair of kidney grilles with a more angular design, although BMW has resisted fitting a set of oversized openings.
The lower grille has a thicker bezel, and sits in front of a reprofiled intake that appears lower and wider than before. On this test car, BMW looks to be covering up a pair of fog lights and vertical cooling slats.
This pre-production example also wears a set of 22-inch alloy wheels, shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. The X5 M’s roof spoiler and quad tailpipe setup remain, with a heavily sculpted rear bumper that looks similar to the current model’s, although the final car could feature small tweaks to the diffuser. The tail-lights also look like they’ll be changed from the current model.
Inside, we’ll see the inclusion of BMW’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment system that has appeared on the iX electric SUV and new i7. This combines a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 14.9-inch touchscreen beneath a single sheet of curved glass, and BMW will redesign the top of the X5’s dashboard to accommodate it.
Key features of iDrive 8 include augmented-reality navigation, improved 5G connectivity and overhauled voice control. The user can navigate the interface via the touchscreen, or by using a click wheel on the centre console. Elsewhere, the X5 M’s cabin design won’t change dramatically. We’re unlikely to see the introduction of the ‘BMW Interaction Bar’ seen on the new 7 Series, but the new X5 M could get new switchgear and potentially some new trim and upholstery.
In the UK, the more potent X5 M Competition is the only model available, which uses a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 616bhp and 750Nm of torque. This drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the new X5 M will retain the same drivetrain, albeit possibly with more power.
The BMW M5 CS uses a tuned version of this engine, with 626bhp. This makes it the most powerful road-going BMW to date, at least until the XM SUV is released with more than 700bhp, and the new X5 M could use the same unit.
Either way, BMW’s engineers will probably fine-tune the dynamics of the facelifted car with retuned suspension settings, while the new My Modes feature of the iDrive 8 infotainment system could enable a wider range of drive modes than before.
The new X5 M is expected to go on sale in 2023, for a small premium over the existing car’s £115,350 price.
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