Going fast is fun, but what if you also want a vehicle that offers some practicality -- and you only have room for one vehicle?
If you were nodding your head as you read that, you might be the target audience for the BMW X5 M, the high-performance version of the German brand's well-known mid-size crossover, which moves into 2018 unchanged.
That means it retains its twin-turbo, 4.4L V8 engine, which pumps 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There's a lot more demand for a vehicle like this than the X6 M, which shares this car's running gear but sports a more rakish body that puts form ahead of function. This hot X5 competes with cars from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Jeep and Land Rover, while only Mercedes makes an analog to the X6.
BMW is keen to create a vehicle for any buyer that comes into one of its showrooms -- especially if that buyer wants an SUV, as the X5 M tops a range of vehicles that includes those powered by diesel and electricity. With the industry's focus swinging more toward electricity every day, we can't be far from the day when even BMW's high-po M cars use electricity to go fast, as Volvo is planning with its future Polestar range of sporty cars.
The X5 M's six-figure price tag covers more than just that big engine. It also brings a load of luxury kit that includes LED fog lights, panoramic sunroof, multi-adjustable heated front seats with thigh bolster, heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed dash, adaptive suspension, head-up display, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors with backup camera, four-zone automatic climate control, power tailgate, navigation and a Harmon-Kardon surround sound stereo.
Rubber meets road with 20-inch wheels and tires; two styles of 21-inch wheels are available as options. Other extra-cost features include a couple of paint colours that add $1,000 to the bottom line; you can kit out the interior with up to $7,500 worth of Merino leather; and there's a Bang & Olufsen stereo that costs $4,900.
X5 M's fuel consumption estimates are surprising respectable, at 16.6/12.1 (city/highway), but the real-world experience will depend greatly on how much you enjoy the engine's prodigious torque.
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