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BMW is about to release the new X5 into the wild in Australia.

Priced from $85,000, the new X5 will make its Australian debut at the Melbourne International Motor Show beginning on Friday, March 2. Customer deliveries of the BMW X5 diesel and V8 petrol models will commence the following month.

Following the first-generation X5 which established the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) segment on its arrival in Australia at the beginning of 2001, the new model builds on its formidable qualities with even greater abilities on and off road, more space and luxury for passengers and a host of trail-blazing innovations that add to the already lofty standards of safety, performance and efficiency.


The all-new X5’s dynamic abilities are underpinned by a new suspension system using a unique double wishbone arrangement at the front and an integral-IV rear axle.

The suspension was designed from the ground up to deliver on-road handling that combines outstanding ride quality with class-leading BMW standards of road holding.

As the world’s first SAV to offer such leading-edge technology as Active Steering, AdaptiveDrive anti-roll suspension and Head-Up Display, the new BMW X5 affirms its position as the benchmark in the luxury 4WD segment of the Australian market.

The X5’s AdaptiveDrive anti-roll suspension option also debuts the new FlexRay high-speed data transmission system, which offers the highest level of data transfer capacity and speed yet seen between the individual suspension control systems.

The BMW X5’s highly effective xDrive permanent all-wheel drive system, which operates under normal circumstances with a 40-60 front-rear drive split, has been even further refined to assist stability on the road while affording maximum traction in off-road situations.

X5 transmission

Aided by ABS anti-lock brakes, ASC Automatic Stability Control, HDC Hill Descent Control, DBC Dynamic Brake Control, CBC Cornering Brake Control and the ADB Automatic Differential Brake, the all-new X5 aims at being perfectly composed and controllable in any circumstances.

Embracing all these functions, the new X5’s Dynamic Stability Control System (DSC) also includes automatic brake-power increase to offset high-temperature brake fade, as well as the ability to increase brake pressure moderately when appropriate to keep the system on standby for emergency deceleration.

The braking system also features the BMW Dry Braking Function to maximise efficiency in wet conditions, Start-Off Assistant to prevent rolling back when starting off on an uphill gradient, as well as a push-button operated combined electromechanical/hydraulic parking brake.

The DSC system also includes push-button-operated DTC Dynamic Traction Control that alters the level at which it begins to intervene to allow a certain amount of slip when starting off on sand or snow.

X5 transmission

Increased practicality in the new X5 comes via a body that, through increases in length and width, offers more passenger and luggage space while also enabling it to be specified with a third row of seats giving a seven-passenger capacity.

And the luggage capacity measures from 620 litres in five-seat mode, to as much as 1,750 litres when just the front seats are being utilised.

With all this, the new X5’s weight-optimised body shell is virtually no heavier, yet boasts a 15 per cent increase in torsional stiffness.

The new X5 is also well-equipped for its role as the premium luxury SAV.

An enhanced iDrive control system enables fast, intuitive operation, with eight “favourite” buttons allowing direct selection of navigation destinations, telephone numbers and audio sources among others.

X5 frame

The interior’s generous space and luxurious ambience convey a distinctive, high-quality feel enhanced by innovative options such as multi-channel audio systems, DVD video and a reversing camera.

The all-new X5’s engine line-up is notable for increased power outputs, along with even better efficiency.

The 3.0si’s aluminium-magnesium inline six cylinder petrol engine ups power by 18 per cent to 200 kW, while torque is increased 5 per cent to an impressive 315 Nm. In the 4.8-litre V8, power is up by 11 per cent to 261 kW, and has 8 per cent more torque at 475 Nm.

The new X5’s 3.0-litre inline all-aluminium six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine now has 7 per cent more power at 160 kW, while the maximum torque of 500 Nm is up 4 per cent and is produced between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm.

Average fuel consumption figures show considerable gains across the board, with the 3.0si 9 per cent better at 11.7 litres/100 km, the 4.8i V8 5 per cent more economical at 12.5 litres/100 km and the 3.0d turbo-diesel returning a thrifty 8.7 litres/100 km, which is an improvement of 7 per cent.

X5 V8
The one with all the grunt

Acceleration figures have improved accordingly, with the 3.0si reaching 100 km/h from a standstill in very swift 8.1 seconds, the 4.8i scorching across the line in 6.5 seconds and the 3.0d revealing its sporting nature with a figure of just 8.6 seconds.

All BMW X5 models utilise a new six-speed automatic transmission using new torque converter technology and efficient software to reduce reaction and gearshift times by as much as 50 per cent.

The new transmission is operated by an electronic gear selector incorporating a push-button parking-brake selector. The all-new BMW Sports Activity Vehicle follows a prodigiously successful performance by the first series X5, which saw no less than 580,000 vehicles sold since production began in 1999.

Australian sales since its introduction in 2001 have so far totalled more than 15,900 and in 2006, its final year of production, the BMW X5 accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the luxury SAV market.

All models will come standard with a 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.

BMW X5 3.0si $85,000 (available from June)
BMW X5 3.0d $86,800
BMW X5 3.0si Executive $94,500 (available from June)
BMW X5 3.0d Executive $96,300
BMW x5 4.8i $118,300

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