See what I did there? SAV stands for Sports Activity Vehicle, and—oh, right, explaining the joke ruins it. Well, there’s no turning back now, so let’s charge forward. Get it?! (Oops, I did it again.)
BMW has just announced the updates for the 2024 X5 SAV and X6 Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). The Cliffs Notes are: new six and eight-cylinder engines with 48V mild-hybrid technology, more power and increased electric range for the plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive50e, a tech-infused interior featuring the new BMW Curved Display, and improvements in driving assistance systems.
Let’s take a look at the engine and drivetrain options first. BMW states that they have “comprehensively reengineered” the powertrains in all X5 and X6 models, bringing 48V mild-hybrid technology to both six and eight-cylinder engines alike. This works similar to other models equipped with the mild-hybrid system, where the combustion engines are coupled to an 8-speed transmission with an integrated electric motor. The electric motor adds up to 12 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque, which BMW claims helps “the engine to deliver a smooth, dynamic drive along with high efficiency.” To further efficiency, the battery used for the hybrid system is charged during overrun and braking in addition to making power available to the other systems in the vehicle.
The X5 lineup consists of an sDrive40i, xDrive40i, xDrive50e, and M60i xDrive. The X6 only comes in two flavors for the U.S.—the xDrive40i and M60i xDrive. The 40i’s power plant in both X models comprises a 3.0-liter inline-6 with 375 hp (up by 40 hp) and 383 lb-ft of torque (up 51 lb-ft). Witchcraft (or an electric boost from the mild-hybrid system) can raise this number to 398 lb-ft. A dash to 60 is estimated to take 5.2 seconds for both the X5 And X6 40i units.
While the X5 xDrive50e shares the same engine as the 40i models, there’s special sauce that adds ten to the model number. BMW states, “the new powertrain produces a maximum system output of up to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque while permitting a preliminary estimated electric-only range of up to 40 miles.” This is good for a 4.6-second sprint to 60.
The M60i comes out on top for both the X5 and X6. The newly developed 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 engine is designated as the S58. That’s right, an S-code engine. We’re talking about M Power. BMW says, “The 4.4-liter power unit can trace its genes back to engines used in motorsport, and utilizes the thermodynamic benefits of a cross-bank exhaust manifold, bank symmetrical turbochargers, and external engine oil cooling. In addition, a reinforced crankshaft drive, further developed turbocharging with a blow-off valve, a new oil pump, and a weight minimized oil sump all play a role in increasing the engine’s efficiency.” All this results in 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, which blasts past the other modes in an estimated 4.2-second jaunt to 60.
New tech doesn’t stop with the improvements to the engine’s power and efficiency. There’s a long list of other new items making their way into the X5. First, the BMW Curved Display. You’ve probably seen this in other recent BMW model updates like the 7 Series and M2. BMW says the display “is made up of a 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel and a control display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches. The touch control functionality of the BMW control display has brought about a significant reduction in the number of buttons and controls in favor of digital control for various functions.” So, if you like your knobs and switches, you’re out of luck as they have been reduced in favor of the new touch-screen tech.
Integral Active Steering is now standard on M60i. With this feature, BMW says “the rear wheels are turned in either the same direction as or the opposite direction to the front wheels, depending on road speed” in an effort to improve handling.
Automated driving systems have begun to make their way into the X5 and X6. The Driving Assistant Professional Package now includes Highway Assistant. This allows a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel when traveling on limited-access highways, for speeds up to 85 mph.
Reversing Assistant and Maneuver Assistant are now included in the Parking Assistant Professional package. BMW explains, “Reversing Assistant is able to store steering movements for distances of up to 200 meters and then reproduce them in reverse and have the ability to control maneuvers into and out of especially tight parking spaces from outside the vehicle using the My BMW App on their smartphone.” BMW continues, “Maneuver Assistant is able to store far more complex maneuvers using GPS data and the trajectory data from steering movements, and perform them as an automated routine.” Sound familiar? Does anyone else remember programming the Logo turtle to move and turn, one instruction at a time? We’re finally living it. The Logo turtle would be proud of how far we’ve come.
In addition to these hand-free vehicle driving capabilities, BMW Digital Key Plus allows owners to use a compatible smartphone to lock and unlock their car, simply by walking towards or away from their vehicle.
Voice commands are also improved, with driver’s being able to open windows, adjust the air conditioning, and enable or disable driver assistance systems. Here’s the scary part. BMW says, “The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is also capable of recognizing user behavior and proactively making suggestions to the driver on how the vehicle can best be used.” I’ve been wary of any digital personal assistant since Microsoft’s Clippy, but I suppose I can try new things with an open mind.
Along with plenty of other interior and tech updates, the exterior receives a refresh as well. The X5 has new headlights and a new kidney grille design. The grille has an illumination option which activates when a door is opened. The headlights are 35-mm narrower and contain “arrow-shaped” daytime running lights, which double as turn signals. The front also sports new air intakes, with old-school Gillette-style tri-blades on the trailing edges.
The X5’s rear doesn’t go unnoticed as BMW says it features, “striking contours of fiber-optic light elements. The traditional L-shape is reflected horizontally, creating an ‘X’ motif within the rear lights.” Depending on model and option level, trim will be finished in black or chrome.
While the M Sport package is optional on the X5, it’s now standard on the X6, which also receives similar updates to the X5, like narrower headlights and reworked tail lights.
Production of the 2024 X5 and X6 will begin in April 2023 right in our backyard (relatively speaking) at Plant Spartanburg. Base MSRPs are as follows (+ $995 destination and handling):
- X5 sDrive40i $65,200
- X5 xDrive40i $67,500
- X5 xDrive50e $72,500
- X5 M60i xDrive $89,300
- X6 xDrive40i $73,900
- X6 M60i xDrive $93,600
Visual updates are subjective, so don’t let the comments section decide your opinion for you. What do you think of the changes, from the perspectives of increased performance, new tech, and updated appearance? Do these 2024 xDrive vehicles xCite you? —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]