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New BMW X5
Tuesday, 08 August 2006
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New BMW X5
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Its predecessor paved the way for a brand-new type of vehicle.  Now the new BMW X5 raises the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) driving experience to an even higher standard. Powerful eight and six-cylinder engines, unique suspension, enhanced BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive technology, as well as a weight-optimized bodyshell with extreme torsional stiffness all interact to ensure excellent agility and dynamic performance.he new BMW X5 is the only vehicle in its segment available with both Active Steering, developed by BMW, and AdaptiveDrive (a combination of Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control).  It is also the first SAV fitted with runflat tires as standard equipment.The powerful elegance of the exterior design, just like the flexible and elegant interior, clearly underlines the dynamic character of the new BMW X5.

The new X5 will be available in the U.S. with either a 4.8-liter V8 capable of 350 horsepower  or a 3.0-liter inline-six  with 260 horsepower.

The all-new X5 has all the attributes that made the original Sports Activity Vehicle such an innovative concept, and elevates them to new standards.

The interior of the original X5 was one of its hallmarks.  The interior in the new BMW X5 combines the most sophisticated materials with numerous innovative options, thus a first-class ambience.

With sales of approximately 580,000 units worldwide since its launch in 1999, the BMW X5 has become an outstanding global success and still enjoys great popularity to this day.  Of course the U.S. is the market where the X5 has had the greatest impact.  Over 240,000 BMW X5s have been sold in the U.S. alone.

As it was with the original, the goal was to offer the customer a generously dimensioned, luxuriously appointed and, at the same time, highly robust premium vehicle.   With BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive and greater ground clearance the X5 possesses all the requirements for venturing out on rough terrain.  By combining these attributes with outstanding on-road driving dynamics,  BMW has initiated a completely new trend in the global vehicle market.

Characteristic seating position, flexible interior.

The new BMW X5 is 7.4 inches  longer than its predecessor. However, the body designers have maintained the typical proportions of BMW’s outstanding SAV, as well as the overall sporting character of the vehicle.  The extra size only becomes apparent at first glance within the interior of the new BMW X5.

Significant ground clearance and the high, command seating position continue to characterize the unique driving experience. At the same time the interior is even more flexible than before and, for the first time, allows the integration of an optional, third row of seats. Just as with the original, the interior of the new X5 is characterized by premium flair and a wide range of features which set new standards for vehicles in this segment.

Driving dynamics typical of BMW SAV.

The new BMW X5 further enhances its leadership in driving dynamics.  While the previous model was successful in setting and remaining the benchmark in this respect throughout its entire product cycle, BMW’s drivetrain and chassis development specialists have now set the standard even higher in terms of power and performance, agility, dynamics, and ride comfort.  They have achieved this while retaining the basic principles of unit-body design, independent suspension, and full-time, electronically controlled variable all-wheel drive.

Both engines for the BMW X5 have been substantially upgraded in power, performance and refinement. The chassis and suspension – which enable this new-found power and performance to be used to best effect on road, track or no road at all – is brand-new from the ground up.

Innovative and exclusive suspension technology.

The new BMW X5 boasts a double wishbone front suspension, which is noteworthy for this type of vehicle. This optimizes tire contact on the road and makes the new X5 capable of reaching impressively high cornering forces.

The integral IV rear suspension, patented by BMW, also helps to give the new BMW X5 truly outstanding potential on the road. Through its configuration, the rear suspension is better able to separate the driving and shock-absorbing functions.  The wheel mounts and suspension subframe, as well as no less than four control arms, takes up drive and dynamic forces fed into the suspension. Lastly, soft front swing mounts on the rear suspension subframe, optimize the longitudinal suspension of the wheel guidance elements and enhance ride comfort substantially.

The new rack-and-pinion steering with a variable transmission ratio geared to the steering angle meets the requirements of different driving situations at all times. The steering helps keep the driver safely in control of his vehicle even at higher speeds, offering outstanding directional stability. In bends, on the other hand, the driver will feel more direct steering response with the steering ratio geared to the steering angle which provides a dynamic style of driving.

Unique in the segment: Active Steering and AdaptiveDrive.

The new BMW X5 is the first vehicle in its class to offer Active Steering as an option.  This advanced system developed by BMW offers the right steering ratio at all speeds.  Up to a speed of approximately 55 mph (90 km/h), steering behavior is more direct, meeting the requirements of sporting and active driving. Another advantage is that the driver only has to turn the steering wheel twice from lock to lock. At higher speeds, on the other hand, the Active Steering transmission is more indirect, enhancing the directional stability of the vehicle and, accordingly, driving comfort.

Active Steering, when ordered, is combined in the new BMW X5 with Servotronic for optimal power steering boost at all speeds.  Active Steering can also help to stabilize the X5 should the driver experience the onset of oversteering or understeering in a bend or in particularly demanding brake maneuvers. When applying the brakes on surfaces with varying frictional coefficients (split-friction braking), for example, Active Steering precisely but discreetly countersteers to help the X5 stop in a sure straight line.

Carefully coordinated interaction of the anti-roll bars and shock absorbers by way of AdaptiveDrive, part of the Sport Package in the U.S., is equally unique in this SAV’s segment. The combination of Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control gives the new BMW X5 a standard of handling capability and ride quality never seen before in a vehicle of this kind. Using sensors, AdaptiveDrive constantly monitors and calculates data on the road speed of the vehicle, its steering angle, straight-line and lateral acceleration, body and wheel acceleration, as well as height levels. Then, based on this information, the system controls both the swivel motors on the anti-roll bars and the electromagnetic shock-absorber valves, controlling body roll and damping as required at all times.

Simply by pressing a button, the driver can choose either a sporting or a more comfortable basic setting of AdaptiveDrive.

World debut: data transfer via FlexRay.

The FlexRay high-speed data transmission system is used for the first time in the industry for fast and reliable coordination of all AdaptiveDrive functions. FlexRay has been enhanced to production standard by a consortium of development companies under the leadership of BMW.  This system offers a level of data transfer capacity never seen before. The new BMW X5 is the first vehicle in the world to feature FlexRay technology.

Even more precise: intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive technology standard in every BMW SAV.

The new BMW X5 remains sure-footed and agile in every situation and on every surface thanks largely to BMW’s intelligent, full-time xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Under normal driving conditions, drive forces are spread out front-to-rear in a 40 : 60 split. Reacting extremely quickly and precisely, xDrive ensures variable power distribution front-to-rear as soon as a specific driving situation or surface conditions require.

To perform this function, BMW xDrive features a center differential with an electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch which feeds the power of the engine to where it can be used to best effect. Hence, this all-wheel-drive system, which was introduced by BMW, offers a level of security in spirited driving.  It works to counteract any over- or understeer in bends immediately by moving power to the front or the rear as required to help stabilize the vehicle.
BMW xDrive supports yet another feature typical of the BMW X5 by ensuring maximum traction on difficult surfaces. Here again, variable control instantaneously shifts drive power to the axle with better grip thereby ensuring maximum stability and traction under all circumstances.

These many qualities of BMW’s electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system give not only the BMW X5 and X3 SAVs, but rather all BMWs equipped with xDrive truly outstanding driving qualities at all times.  The system is recognized as so beneficial that BMW has now become the world’s most successful manufacturer of all-wheel-drive vehicles in the premium segment.

Integrated Chassis Management for optimum control quality.

To distribute drive power quickly and with maximum precision, xDrive all-wheel drive, DSC, engine management and Active Steering are all networked with one another via Integrated Chassis Management, which ensures an optimum balance of drive power distribution, individual application of the brakes on each wheel, and engine management.
This symbiosis of fully harmonized suspension and chassis management sets the foundation for driving dynamics and active safety of the highest all-round standard.

DSC with new functions, faster and even more precise hydraulic control.

Boasting an even higher standard of performance for optimum comfort, convenience and function, Dynamic Stability Control on the new BMW X5 makes a particularly important contribution to safe and active driving. The basic functions of the overall DSC system include ABS brakes, Automatic Stability Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Brake Control which maximizes brake pressure whenever required for particularly powerful deceleration, Cornering Brake Control which helps to prevent the vehicle from “turning into” a bend when applying the brakes lightly and – as the name implies – Trailer Stability Control.
Automatic Differential Brake, another highly sophisticated electronic system, helps keep the driver in control by automatically applying the brakes on a wheel about to lose traction.
BMW’s new DSC system further enhances safety through various additional functions. First, Brake Fade Compensation works to counteract any decrease in brake power at extremely high temperatures by increasing brake forces accordingly (anti-fading support).  Brake Standby provides a moderate build-up of brake forces in emergency situations which may require sudden deceleration. Brake Drying, as yet another example, optimizes the performance of the brakes in the wet, while the start-off assistant makes it easier to start off on an uphill grade. The parking brake of the new X5 uses both an electro-mechanical and hydraulic function activated or released at the touch of a button.

Dynamic Traction Control for greater spin and more dynamic performance.

Reflecting its high standard of driving dynamics, the new BMW X5 also comes with Dynamic Traction Control. All the driver has to do to activate the DTC mode is press a button on the center console. This raises the threshold for intervention of the engine and brakes by DSC, allowing the BMW X5 to set off smoothly on loose snow or sand with the drive wheels intentionally spinning slightly.  Last but certainly not least, DTC promotes an even more sporting and active style of driving by allowing more wheel-spin before intervening.

The high-performance brake system in the new BMW X5, supported by the wide range of new DSC functions, ensures excellent stopping power in every situation.  Vented discs on all four wheels ensure maximum braking efficiency.

Brake disc diameters on the BMW X5 3.0si are 13.1 inches in front and 12.6  in the rear. On the X5 4.8i, in turn, the corresponding measurements are 13.7 and 13.6 inches respectively.

First SAV featuring runflat tires standard.

The new BMW X5 is the first vehicle in its class with runflat tires standard.  These tires, which are mounted on extended hump rims, are the fourth generation of runflat tires.  Runflat tires allow the driver to go on driving even after a complete loss of tire pressure.  The driver can continue up to 90 miles at a speed up to 50 mph even with the vehicle fully loaded.

Both models of the new BMW X5 come standard with 18-inch light-alloy wheels with 255/55 all-season tires. Larger 19-inch light-alloy wheels with all-season tires are included with the optional sports package.  On the X5 4.8i with Sport Package, 20 inch wheels with 275/40 front and 315/35 rear performance tires may be ordered. Here again, the tires are runflats.

The standard Tire Pressure Monitor warns the driver of a gradual loss of air pressure. Consistently monitoring actual tire pressure, this system registers any deviation from normal pressure. A graphic symbol in the instrument cluster display informs the driver whenever the system detects a loss of pressure.

Dynamic and efficient V8 performance

It goes without saying that a premium segment SAV requires and deserves a choice of powerplants which provide impressive torque and power combined with outstanding running refinement.  For the U.S. there will be two models, one six cylinder and one V8.

The V8 in the BMW X5 4.8i offers a high level of performance at all times.  Upgraded and renewed in virtually every respect, this top-of-the-line engine develops a maximum output of 350 hp from an engine capacity of 4,799 cubic centimeters. In addition to double-VANOS variable camshaft adjustment and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve drive, the V8 now comes with even more sophisticated and efficient engine management.

The V8 in the new BMW X5 4.8i develops maximum torque of 350 lb-ft from 3,400 to 3,800 rpm, offering efficient dynamics of the highest standard. Accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, this top-end model will not disappoint the true driving enthusiast.

Last but not least, the new V8 in the BMW X5 4.8i fulfils the exhaust emission regulations of both the Euro 4 standard and the ULEV II classification in the US.

Responsive and light: the magnesium/aluminum inline six.

The inline-six in the new BMW X5 3.0si likewise reflects the latest state of the art in engine design. This 3.0-liter engine combines smooth, linear response with superior refinement and harmony. Maximum output is 260 hp, peak torque of 225 lb-ft comes at 2,750 rpm. The BMW X5 3.0si accelerates to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds.
Double-VANOS and VALVETRONIC also help to give this engine optimum output and efficiency. Engine weight has been reduced at the same time thanks to the magnesium/ aluminum crankcase.  It reduces the overall weight of the new six-cylinder by 22 lbs to just 355 lbs – an advantage which helps to achieve near-perfect weight balance and reduce vehicle weight.

The water pump in the cooling system now operates electrically only on demand which also makes an additional contribution to all-round economy.

New six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with even faster shifting and enhanced shift comfort.

The new BMW X5 comes standard with a six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission enhanced to an even higher level than before. The new six-speed automatic shifts with unparalleled speed, for outstanding precision and efficiency.  It provides not only driving comfort but, above all, the dynamic performance expected of a BMW X5. And the transmission helps the engine to achieve a high standard of all-round fuel economy.

The new automatic transmission comes in two versions tailored specifically to the torque of the six-cylinder engine, on the one hand and the V8, on the other.  Both versions feature new converter technology and particularly efficient, high-performance software which reduces reaction and shift times versus a conventional automatic transmission by up to 50 per cent. And direct detection of the target gear required allows the driver to skip one or even several gears when shifting down, without taking any additional time.

With its unusually dynamic gearshift and extremely direct connection to the engine, the new six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission is a rewarding partner for either engine. And at the same time it helps to ensure smooth, relaxed and fuel-efficient cruising at low engine speeds.

New electronic gear selector.

The automatic transmission is controlled by a new electronic gear selector featured for the first time on the new BMW X5.  The new electronic gearshift selector lever moves back to its starting position after each use.

Transmission management is now no longer mechanical, but is effected through electrical signals. The parking position, for example, is activated by pressing the P button on the upper side of the selector lever. Then, to select a drive gear manually, all the driver has to do is press the selector lever to the left and is now able to shift gears sequentially by hand.  To shift up, pull the selector lever back and to shift down, push the selector lever forwards. A display in the selector lever itself and in the instrument cluster shows which gear is currently engaged.

Apart from short and ergonomically convenient gearshift travel ensuring a high standard of comfortable use, the new gearshift lever offers the further advantage of providing enough space on the center console for additional storage areas and two generous cupholders.

Presence and elegance in one: outstanding design.

The BMW X5 has always been known for its style.  The new model captures and enhances the original’s look of powerful elegance and presence. The proportions of the former model have been carefully developed and enhanced.   The overall look of the vehicle conveys a powerful touch of agility despite even larger dimensions – length up 7.4 inches, width by 2.4.

This special style is ensured by the short body overhangs front and rear, as well as the larger wheels.  The small distance between the front axle and instrument panel guides the eyes of the beholder even more directly to the front end of the new X5. The result is a perfect optical balance of the front and rear section.

With its longer wheelbase, the new BMW X5 achieves a significantly higher standard of stability and presence. The stretched side section borders at the rear on the powerful
D-pillar. The lines of all pillars come together to form an appropriately shortened roofline supporting the overall impression of elegance and athleticism.
A classical BMW design feature from the side is the contour line at the same level as the door handles, rising slightly to the rear. This is where the vehicle’s convex and concave surfaces come together.  The contour line starting behind the front wheel arches and encircles the entire rear section completely interrupted by the rear light clusters.

Powerful-looking front end, dynamic rear section.

The powerfully domed contour of the engine compartment lid, the three-dimensional bars on the BMW kidney grille, and the headlight units integrated in the side panels all act together to give the front end of the new BMW X5 particularly powerful expression.   The lines project a sense of urgency and motion.  The contours reflect the muscular character of the X5.  The dual round headlights appear to be slightly cut off at the top, giving the entire front end a clear and dynamic focus.

Powerful elegance is also the name of the game at the rear end of the new BMW X5. The high upper edge of the rear bumper accentuates the sheer width of the vehicle and, as a result, its strong and stable stance on the road. This impression is then further enhanced by the horizontal structure of the rear light clusters.  Shaped in BMW’s typical L-design, they wrap far around into the rear tailgate. Four LED light rods give the new BMW X5 a powerful and striking appearance from behind, night or day.
The combination of convex and concave surfaces combines the powerful flair so typical of BMW’s SAV models with the elegant presence of a genuine premium vehicle. This entire configuration creates a dynamic flow of light and shade symbolizing lightness and giving the surfaces a clear structure.  The muscular wheel arches enhance the X5’s strong presence. And last but not least, the clear accentuation of the horizontal wheel line expressed by the wide track again helps to give the new BMW X5 a truly individual look.

Aerodynamic, safe and spacious: the body.

One of the outstanding qualities of the body design of the new BMW X5 is unusually good streamlining with a low drag coefficient. Lift forces kept to a minimum enhance both driving dynamics and safety. And the drag coefficient of 0.34 (X5 3.0si) represents an outstanding achievement in this segment.

The new BMW X5 is the first production vehicle in the world to feature a roof spoiler with aerodynamic edges integrated into the side for a precisely defined cut-off of air flow.  In addition to the roof spoiler, the rear lights come with cut-off edges to improve the flow of air.

Measuring 191.1 inches in length and 76.1 inches in width, the new BMW X5 is larger than its predecessor.  But it remains an elegant and sporting vehicle to behold from every angle.

This makes the space and flexibility of the interior even more impressive.  The new BMW X5 offers space enough for five to travel in style and comfort.

Maximum flexibility: two additional seats in the third row.

A further sign of the high standard of flexibility offered by the new X5 is the option of third row seats.  This provides adequate space for two more passengers comfortably accommodating occupants up to approximately 5´ 6´´ in height.

These two seats come complete with three-point inertia-reel seat belts and headrests adjustable for height. To ensure convenient access to this third row of seats, the second row may be moved forward with their backrests upright, while grab recesses in the inner lining on the C-pillars help to ensure easy access.

The backrest incline on the second row of seats is adjustable to four different positions and variable in length, helping above all to accommodate large and bulky items in the cargo area.

Enhanced comfort in the third row seats is ensured by separate heating and ventilation nozzles. When the seats aren’t needed, they may be stowed individually into the floor of the luggage compartment, completely out of sight.  This provides a large cargo area from front to rear together with the second row seats folded down.  Passengers in the second row of seats enjoy about 1.5 inches more kneeroom than in the former model.

Regardless of the number of seats being used, generous space is always offered behind the two-piece tailgate.  The cargo floor is now almost 4 inches longer than before.

An additional storage compartment beneath the floor of the luggage compartment on models without a third row of seats offers an extra 3.15 cubic feet of storage space. Overall storage capacity for the new X5 is 75.2 cu. ft., an eight percent improvement over the previous model.

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