Following three years of sales success, including sales up by 32 per cent this year alone, BMW Great Britain has announced enhancements to the BMW X5 that improve performance both on and off-road. The new model debuts in September 2003 at the Frankfurt Motorshow, with the first UK customers taking delivery from January 2004.
New engines - More power, more refinement
The X5 receives three new engines. Eight-cylinder power comes from a 4.4i V8, with a new high performance X5 4.8iS arriving in spring 2004. BMW’s latest six-cylinder 3.0 diesel engine is added to the line up, and is complemented by the 3.0i petrol engine carried over from the existing car.
The new BMW 4.4i V8 engine features VALVETRONIC inlet control and Bi-Vanos valve timing and is mated to a new six-speed automatic gearbox with gear ratios tailored for the new X5. This combination has already set new standards of performance and refinement in the new BMW 7 Series. Developing 320 bhp (an increase of 34 bhp over the outgoing model), the X5 4.4i accelerates from 0 – 62 mph in only 7.0 seconds (previously 7.5 seconds) before reaching a top speed of 149 mph (up from 143 mph) in its Sport guise.
With its combination of performance and economy, diesel power has proved a popular option: in fact it is the best-selling model in the UK. The BMW X5 3.0d features the second-generation common rail diesel engine, producing 218 bhp (previously 184 bhp) and a huge 500 Nm of torque (up from 410 Nm). From standstill, 62 mph is reached in 8.3 seconds (1.8 seconds faster than its predecessor) whilst still delivering 32.8 mpg on the combined cycle. Top speed is 130 mph (up from 124 mph), helped by the new six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard.