The new 8-cylinder was developed especially for the 4.8iS Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and delivers 265 kW at 6 200 r/min.
According to BMW the X5 4.8iS is immediately recognisable as the new range-topper featuring sporty design elements such as dual oval exhaust tailpipes and 20-inch aluminium wheels.
The heart of the new BMW X5 4.8iS is a very powerful 8-cylinder power unit which puts a rated torque of 500 Nm on the crankshaft at 3500 r/min.
The basis for this development was the BMW V8 engine with VALVETRONIC valve control, bi-vanos and fully variable intake system as used in the 7 Series, 6 Series and 5 Series.
From this, the BMW engineers developed a high-performance engine exclusively for the X5 with a larger cylinder bore and new crankshaft with enlarged stroke.
In order to provide adequate gas exchange for the 4.8 litres capacity thus created, the intake and exhaust system have been extensively modified and the engine management system adapted.
Fitted as standard with a modified 6-speed automatic transmission, this power package gives the X5 4.8iS a 0-100km/h sprint of 6.1 seconds and it achieves a top speed of 246 km/h.
BMW also fitted the car with larger high-performance brake discs, 356 mm diameter at the front and 324 mm at the rear.
With its sporty suspension settings, the X5 4.8iS is already 15 mm lower than the other X5 variations as standard.
This can particularly be noticed when the car is driven in a sporty style due to its lower centre of gravity, the reduced tendency to tilt on bends and the diminished brake squat, resulting in excellent handling.
In addition, the top model is fitted as standard with dual axle pneumatic self-levelling suspension.
This system enables the driver to lower the X5 by an additional 20 mm or else increase ground clearance by 40 mm when driving off-road.
The X5 4.8iS also comes with BMW's new xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The BMW X5 4.8iS is available in five paint finishes, two of these - Imola Red and Le Mans Blue - are reserved exclusively for the top model.
The exterior is in Shadowline high gloss as standard.
In the interior, too, BMW X5 4.8iS provides new highlights: the standard sport seats or optional comfort seats can be chosen in exclusive Crème Beige, also only available for the high performance 8-cylinder model there are two-colour covers in Alcantara / Nappa leather for the sport seats.
A wide range of other equipment features are available, including a large panorama glass roof, soft close function for the upper luggage compartment lid section (standard) or adaptive headlights.
Other specs include metallic paintwork, Nappa leather, xenon headlights, navigation, television, Professional DSP Hi-Fi loudspeaker system and a car telephone or Bluetooth as standard equipment.
The price tag for the new X5 4.8iS is R748 000.