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New X5, X6 in SA: M-powering the people

2015-03-25 15:55

NEXT-GEN BMW X-FAMILY: The X5 M (right) and X6 M have arrive in South Africa. Image: BMW


To: Head of VIP Protection and Security Services

From: Office of the Chief Procurement Officer

Date: 25 March 2015

My dear comrade,

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that we have found what we consider the ultimate solution to your VIP road transportation requirements.

This follows a thorough investigation of all available vehicular options, including those much loved by our fellow VIPs in entertainment and business.


I am talking here of favourites such as the Hummer (which we consider too old and uncomfortable), Lincoln Navigator (you have to agree it is too big and clumsy), Cadillac Seville (too long and too slow for our liking) and Range Rover (shall we call it too imperialistic?).

That leaves the veterans, the stalwarts – the S-Class from Mercedes-Benz and BMW’s 7 Series – but in our humble view they are not ‘visible’ enough; they don’t make enough of a statement to do justice to our esteemed clients’ status.

You may be aware that the new M versions of the BMW X5 and X6 will be imminently unleashed in our beloved country (on April 11).


Now, we believe these two magnificent beasts (the one is termed a Sport Activity Vehicle, the other a Sport Activity Coupe) are ideally suited to your requirements.

Not only do they look the part with exclusive additional exterior design modifications (I also refer you to our recent report on the latest X6 xDrive50i and M50d) but they also boast the most powerful engine yet developed by BMW for an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

This 4.4-litre V8 with M TwinPower Turbo technology now produces 423kW (four percent more than predecessors) between 6000 and 6500rpm, while peak torque has been boosted to 750Nm (a rise of 10%) between 2 200 and 5 000rpm.


However, while very powerful it also contributes towards our energy conservation targets with some load-shedding achieved by fitting some lighter structure components.

Even more heartening is fuel consumption that has been cut by 20 percent – from 13.9 litres/100km to 11.1 litres/100 km (in the EU cycle; the African cycle may be more).

This means that the range on a single tank of fuel has increased by 26% to 765km, similarly CO2 emissions are down by more than 20% to 258 g/km.

Our undercover tester The Stick, uhm, no, my apologies, The Spear, reports that both these powerful X-models accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds – very good to ensure escape in threatening situations – through the standard eight-speed M-Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

Luckily top speed is limited to 250km/h.

In terms of safety systems these new M-models are well-appointed. Besides its quite aggressive distance and lane warning system it also has Dynamic Stability Control with three modes: DSC on, MDM (M Dynamic Mode), and DSC off.

While our tester reports that the M-models display magnificent handling characteristics (even more exemplary if their bulk and weight is taken into account) he advises against informing our VIP drivers of the DSC off function… not to mention Launch Control.


We also support the fitment of the optional Head-Up Display (with M-specific readout) as its warning images in the driver’s line of sight will assist with keeping reasonable following distances, especially in fast-moving convoys.

Interior appointments are of the highest quality and will make our revered occupants feel like Number One, even if they are only number 37…

Your drivers will also enjoy the sporty features, including the M instrument cluster, M leather steering wheel with aluminium gearshift paddles and electrically operated M sports seats for the driver and front passenger.

The M gearshift lever works in the same way as the familiar M Double Clutch Transmission and three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – are available.

This alters the M suspension setup, the engine management system and the feel of the electrically assisted steering system. We advise using the Comfort setting as the hard Sport settings may upset some occupants.

The exclusive materials and flawless workmanship is impressive, and various exclusive options are available.

This includes Merino full-leather trim (sounds proudly South African…), 21" M light-alloy rims and an exclusive range of bright paint finishes. However, for your purposes we suggest the more official looking Black Sapphire.

While supposedly all-wheel drive we strongly advise against using these vehicles off-road, as the suitability of the 20" tyres (not to mention the 21" rubber) on our badly potholed roads is a worry.

This makes them quite pointless, seen in context of their original purpose, but that’s not our concern. He, he…


In terms of the ministerial handbook guidelines they are also quite affordable. The X5 M at R1 643 000 and the X6 M for R1 676 500 is a bargain, but be advised these prices do not include extras, so please add at least another R100 000 for M Individual items to the budget.

If cost-cutting measures are needed we suggest the normal X5 and X6, perhaps with M Performance kit, as they actually makes more sense.  However, in your case this needs only be considered as a last, very drastic measure. I await your orders with anticipation.

Your faithful and humble servant


PS: We have several blue lights in stock as well.

Prices: BMW X5 M and X6 M*

X5 M    -      R1 643 000 (standard model)

X6 M    -      R1 676 500 (standard model)

Includes one-day high-performance driver training course, five-year/100 000km Motorplan, non-contributing service and maintenance contract and BMW On Call.

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