THE 2019 BMW X5 has been revealed in full, months ahead of its debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
The X5 is one of BMW’s key models – it’s Australia’s biggest-selling premium large SUV – and the German carmaker appears to be striking a balance between its proven formula and enhanced technology and performance.
Design changes are evolutionary, with tweaks to suit the brand’s maturing design language such as the bolder double kidney grille, hexagonal lighting signature, sculpted bonnet, kinked shoulder line and longer tail-lamps.
The interior gains its 5 Series sibling’s digital instrument display and 12.3-inch infotainment screen, which will feature BMW's latest iDrive 7.0 infotainment technology, wireless Apple CarPlay and BMW ConnectedDrive services.
Optional creature comforts include a sunroof that that uses LED lights to project a virtual starlit sky on the glass surface after dark, and an Ambient Air package with eight selectable scents. The ears benefit from a 20-speaker, 1500-watt Bowers and Wilkins Diamond audio system.
Thermo-cupholders in the centre console that can keep containers cool or warm can also be specified.
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The X5 will introduce the brand’s “Digital Key”, which uses a smartphone to lock and unlock the doors, removing the need for a conventional key. All the driver has to do is hold the phone to the door handle, and once inside place it on a wireless charging tray to allow them to start the engine.
Advanced driver assistance will also be enhanced with city-speed automatic emergency braking, with pedestrian warning that also detects cyclists, and Emergency Stop Assistant, which will automatically bring the X5 to safe stop – switching lanes if necessary – and alert emergency services should the driver become incapacitated.
The biggest changes to X5 will be underneath. It’s built on the 5 Series’ CLAR (Cluster Architecture) which allows for a sportier drive while offering genuine off-road performance, with a double wishbone front axle and multi-link rear setup with electronically controlled adaptive dampers as standard.
The new underpinnings also accommodate a bigger frame. The 2975mm wheelbase is 42mm longer than the current model, with overall length now 4922mm, up 36mm despite the shorter front overhang. Width and height are stretched by 36mm, 66mm and 19mm respectively. This results in extra second- and (optional) third-row legroom, while increasing see cargo space from 645 litres to a voluminous 1860 litres, with a two-section tailgate assisting loading.
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Despite its growth spurt the next X5 will be lighter, which will improve ride and handling, and enhance performance and fuel economy. Engines are expected to range from turbocharged 2.0-litre four- and 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines shared with the 5-Series, along with a 340kW/650Nm twin-turbo V8 for the xDrive50i that scores a 10kW performance boost over the current model.
The range will be confined to familiar xDrive and range-topping M Sport variants, with no talk of electrified powertrains or rear-drive models.
The US-built, fourth-generation X5 will be the fourth BMW SUV release this year, after the X2, X3, and the all-new fastback X4. Expect it to arrive in Australia during the first half of 2019.