The BMW X5M is equipped with the firm’s new twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 motor, were among the quickest SUVs ever built. First and foremost, it has been keen to point out that the revised V8 makes the M-badged model more efficient than ever – claiming a 26% improvement in range. But this being M division, it hasn’t forgotten to make it yet more powerful either, with a 10 per cent rise in peak torque making the Range Rover Sport SVR and Porsche Cayenne Turbo look positively limp-wristed.
Fabulous traction and a brilliant launch control system combine for a ferocious standing start. The BMW needs one more gearchange than the Range Rover Sport SVR to hit 60mph, yet it still beats its rival over the benchmark sprint by a clear two-tenths of a second. And yet only when third gear is selected does the X5 M feel as if it hits a blazing full stride. The X5 M’s engine and gearbox are little short of sensational. Throttle response manages to feel at once perfectly clean, wonderfully savage and progressive and linear. Torque builds quickly enough below 3000rpm to make the car fast no matter how many times you’re inclined to downshift.