BMW has bolstered its X5 range locally with the introduction of twin-turbo 3-litre diesel power, as well as enhanced safety and infotainment options.
Although the entire range, including the petrol engines, will benefit from BMW's efficient dynamics engineering philosophy this year - ensuring an increase in efficiency of between four and seven percent.
Key aspects of the efficient dynamic engineering principles include on-demand management of the engine's ancillary units, tyres with reduced roll resistance, a coolant pump operating according to current requirements and friction-optimised final drive.
Key point though, is the new turbodiesel engine. Displacing 3-litres, and arranged in BMW's signature smooth inline configuration, it features variable-twin turbo forced induction fuelled by third generation common-rail direct injection. The net result is 210kW and 580Nm from only 1750r/min.
Despite the X5 weighing in at over two tones, the new engine manages to propel it from 0-100 km/h in just seven seconds, whilst retaining 8.2l/100 km economy in mixed cycle driving.
The economy coefficient should ensure the X5 3.0sd squeezes out a range of more than 1 000 km on an 85-litre tank of diesel.
In keeping with a trend started in the recently launched 1 Series Coupe, BMW is now deredistricting its South African turbodiesel engines in line with improved local fuel content and extensive localised testing.
The X5 range should benefit here with regards to the X5 3.0d, now boasting 173 kW and 520 Nm from its derestricted straight-six diesel, compared to 160kW and 500Nm for the 2007 model. It now consumes just 8.1l/100 km too, a reduction by seven percent.
Better safety, more entertainment
Safety features have been enhanced for 2008 too, with the X5 range now featuring crash-activated headrests.
In the event of a collision the front part of the headrest moves forward instantaneously by up to 60 millimetres and upwards by up to 40 millimetres. This reduces the gap between headrest and occupant's head before the forces acting on the vehicle force the occupant's head back.
Infotainment options have been broadened for 2008 too, by the introduction of an optional TV function for on-board entertainment of the rear-seat passengers. As an alternative to the DVD video programme, this system allows the transmission of TV signals to the 8-inch folding flat screen monitor on the centre console.
Echoing the inherent tar-biased character of the X5, BMW has an optional M Sports Package for those who wish to visually differentiate their X5.
Apart from usual tarting up fare such as special bumpers, side-sills and door running strips; flared wheel arches come in characteristic M design, housing 19-inch M light alloy wheels. Those who wish to really compromise ride-quality can opt for 20-inchers.
All the wheel and tyre options are differentiated in size on the front and rear axle to suit the specific gearing of the particular X5 model they are fitted too.
Augmenting the performance rubber is a dynamic suspension set-up which should improve high-speed tracking stability and cornering behaviour, especially body-control.
The interior of the M Sports Package models benefit from sport seats featuring greater electrically assisted adjustments parameters, an M leather steering wheel, interior trim in aluminium stretch polish design, and the BMW Individual roof lining in Anthracite.
BMW X5 3.0sd R652 500.00
M Sport Package R47 000 to R53 000 (model dependent)