Skip to main content

BMW just made a critical (and expensive!) change to its M series X5 and X6

BMW's X5 M and X6 M: Hope you’re ready for the electrified future, because it’s arrived

After seeing the changes that BMW made for the 2024 X5 and X6 midsize SUVs, we were expecting to see similar changes for the high-performance M variants. As we expected, the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition arrive with similar changes that include updated exterior designs and new tech features. More importantly, the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition mark a new era for BMW’s M-badged vehicles, as they’re the first to come with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that supplements the V8.

Let’s start with the SUVs’ engines. Both come with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that’s heavily revised compared to the outgoing models. The S68 is rated at 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The mild-hybrid system consists of an electric motor that’s integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission’s housing. It adds 12 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. The 48-volt system also acts as a starter generator for the SUVs.

BMW has also upgraded the 8-speed transmission in the X5 BMW and X6 BMW. The gearbox has been fitted with upgraded components to help keep it cool and new gear ratios. With shorter gear ratios for the first three gears, standard all-wheel drive, and a tremendous amount of power, BMW claims the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition will be able to get to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.7 seconds. That’s 0.1 seconds quicker than last year’s models and incredibly quick for a midsize SUV.

There’s no denying that the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition SUVs are quick; they always have been. But what’s really surprising about the two high-performance SUVs is the way they handle. BMW has made sure that they’ll still scare people around corners with upgrades for the chassis and suspension.

The most impressive upgrade comes in the form of new dampers with electromagnetic valves that can adjust how stiff the suspension is in a “few milliseconds.” Additionally, the SUVs get additional bracing, new thrust arms, a rear tunnel bridge, and new toe-in values for improved stability.

Both SUVs continue to come with standard all-wheel drive and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential. This time around, the two can work independently of the stability-control system, which should make the SUVs more reactive to driver inputs.

The exterior designs of the SUVs have been updated for a far more aggressive design. They match the look of the 2024 X5 and X6, but the dial has been turned up a bit to ensure that no one confuses the regular models with the M-badged options. Compared to the non-M models, the SUVs receive larger grilles with horizontal slats, larger air intakes, and more angular elements on the front fascia. A larger rear spoiler, quad exhaust outlets, a prominent rear spoiler, and a more chiseled rear bumper round out the changes at the back.

Just like the regular X5 and X6, the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition get a major tech upgrade. The SUVs now come with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen that are both integrated in a single piece of curved glass. BMW’s Operating System 8 infotainment system is included, bringing wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

While the larger screens are the most noticeable changes on the inside, the two SUVs also get new carbon-fiber paddle shifters that are mounted to the back of the steering wheel. Carbon fiber is also the standard trim of choice for the two SUVs. Drivers can replace the carbon fiber with wood.

As you can probably guess by now, BMW will only offer the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition. Last year, the X5 M and X6 M were available with the Competition package that included a bump of 17 horsepower and brought some extra upgrades. For the upcoming 2024 model year, the high-performance SUVs are only available as Competition models.

All of the changes result in SUVs that are far more expensive than before. The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition costs $123,295 (including destination). Compared to last year’s model with the Competition package, that represents a hefty increase of $4,100. Pricing for the 2024 X6 M Competition starts at $128,195 or $4,200 more than before. The two high-performance SUVs certainly come with more features and extra performance, but there’s no denying that these are steep increases. Production of the SUVs is set to begin this April.

Editors' Recommendations

Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
BMW has started work on bringing full VR to its vehicles
BMW’s Quest to Bring Full VR Experience to Its Vehicles Has Finally Paid Off
Metaverse avatar on a VR headset

BMW doesn’t just want to design the best performance and luxury cars — it also wants to be at the forefront of the latest technology. From introducing V2X technology to an EV yacht dubbed THE ICON with cutting-edge technology, BMW has what it takes to stay ahead of the competition.

BMW is not about to slow its momentum and it has now teamed up with Meta to bring full virtual reality and mixed reality headsets to its vehicles. That's a big deal since it's the first time developers have made it possible to use your virtual or mixed-reality headset to work or play video games in a fast-moving vehicle. It's even more impressive that you can engage your Meta Quest Pro headset when the car hits a bump or makes a turn.

Read more
BMW is updating and electrifying its lineup for the summer, OS 8.5 available in July
BMW expands its electric lineup with three new models
2024 BMW i4 driving on the road

BMW expects 50% of its total sales in 2030 to be electric vehicles, and it’s rolling the ball by introducing EV models for all of its series. Since it launched its first EV model in 2013, the BMW i3, the German automaker also introduced the BMW i4, BMW i7, and BMW iX in the U.S. market.

The Mini Cooper SE is also one of the most affordable electric cars on the market, and BMW is teasing new Mini Cooper EV models that will be available next year. Even Rolls Royce, which BMW owns, is road testing its upcoming electric car.

Read more
BMW begins testing new V2X tech for EVs in California
BMW is developing bidirectional charging capabilities in its upcoming EVs
2023 BMW i7 driving on the road.

Over the past few years, BMW has made significant research and development to prepare for an electric future. As part of its electric vehicle lineup, the German automaker has produced the BMW i3, BMW iX, BMW i4, BMW iX3, and Mini Cooper SE. It also recently introduced the BMW i7 M70 xDrive, and we know the BMW i5 is coming later this year.

But to catch up to the competition, BMW needs more than just luxury electric vehicles to convince its customers. Its trick up its sleeve is a technology that most EV manufacturers have not implemented yet — bidirectional charging.
BMW is working on a technology to use your EV for power backup
In a press release, BMW announced it has partnered with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to develop vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology until 2026. If you're unfamiliar with V2X, it's a technology that makes it possible for your EV to revert electricity to your home during a power blackout.

Read more