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Fresh from the paparazzi comes a batch of spy shots showing what appears to be a tuned-up BMW X5 test mule wearing bigger exhaust pipes and a revised front bumper with bigger air intakes that extends farther down to the tarmac.

Could this be an M version of the X5? Anything's possible, but don't count on it. According to M Division chief Gerhard Richter, the X5 is too big and heavy to be turned into a genuine M product. The first-generation X5 had a high-performance version called the 4.7iS, which was, for all intents and purposes, the M-tuned X5, but it wasn't labeled as such. The current top-end engine in the X5 is already larger than that at 4.8 liters, but a BMW sport-ute with the M5's V10 would prove devastatingly fast and pose quite a challenge to the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG.

Whatever BMW decides to call it, you can bet it'll be fast.

[Source: WorldCarFans]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like it, I think its time BMW makes a change!

      Dedicated to the BMW 128i, 130i, 135i
      • 7 Years Ago
      The first generation X5, the E53, had an "on-road" aero package. This was the 4.8is...although BMW did make a 4.6 version of this engine (and very few), there was no "4.7iS"; BMW has not made a 4.7 liter engine. The M60, M62, N62, and N62TU V8s have only come in 4.0, 4.4, 4.6, and 4.8 versions.

      I doubt BMW would put the torqueless S85B50 V10 in the X5 as drastic gearing changes would be needed as is used in the E60 M5; although it has a 7-speed SMG, only 7th gear is an overdrive gear.

      For the record, I'm typing this from the parts counter of a BMW dealership ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      This IS NOT a high performance mule of the X5. This is a mule of the X6. Note the front airdam is identical to the X6.
      And for those who think there is low demand for a high powered X5, you are wrong, there are plenty of X5 enthusiasts like myself you would like to see it.
      AND, it will NOT be called "M X5" or "X5 M", it will be an "is" labled X5. BMW will never make an M version of the X5.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a car guy through and through, but I'm starting to feel some major fatigue with these pumped up on-road SUVs. Obviously this is what the market wants, but where's the innovation? The creativity? The point? These products are well-executed yet incredibly boring. A diesel Land Rover Defender has more personality in its right headlamp.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Couldn't agree more.

        People don't want to make compromises with their car purchases anymore, so the 500HP, 5,000LB SUV is replacing the 350HP, 3,500LB sports sedan. The MX5 crowd want their cars to be big, fast and full of luxo-bloat (just don't mention mileage), but the penalty is weight and fun.

        No matter how well this thing performs, it would be better with 1,000 less LBs of SUV ass being dragged around.

        On a personal note, I had an original 1988 E30 M3 (still the most exciting car I've ever driven), so the idea of an M SUV is blasphemy to me, just as I think the Cayenne is to the Porsche brand regardless of its success. I'm not living in denial, but I still don't have to like the path these companies are following.

        • 7 Years Ago
        i agree too. performance cars don't want the suv's extra weight

        but we've got to remember that in this money-hungry, profit-starved industry, the companies go nuts when they can earn a pretty sizable profit by simply reaching into their parts bins, tacking a corporate engine onto an existing platform, and beefing it up a little. the $ is enough of a "point" for the manufacturers to green-light the cars for production.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They definitely can't call it an MX5 because of Mazda's MX-5 Miata!
      • 7 Years Ago
      i think it was 4.6is then 4.8is
      • 7 Years Ago
      what I meant of course that it is the high performance version of the X6. (not the base model).
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think that the M5's v10 would be such a good idea.
      It has a lot less torque than either of the two competitors you mentioned, and it's notoriously high-strung (check out reviews of the manual-box M5).
      Both the Merc's NA v8 as well as porsche's turbo have gobs of low-down torque and drivability.
      A staggered-twin-turbo ( 335-style ) v8 would be a wonderfull ideia, though :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where is the twin turbo V8 from the new 7 series?
      maybe the 8 speed auto too.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You read my mind. This could be a mule for the X5 with the turbo V8. After all, its very likely to get that motor sometime in its lifetime.
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