BMW M has launched its much anticipated third generation of high-performance executive-class Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) models.

“The new BMW X5 M, new BMW X5 M Competition, new BMW X6 M and new BMW X6 M Competition capture the imagination with their classical M genes, which deliver handling agility, dynamism and precision unmatched in their class. Their superior performance attributes combine with the versatility, extrovert design and modern luxury for which BMW X models are renowned,” says the German auto-giant.

According to the launch notes, their V8 engine develops up to 460 kW/625 hp of ‘precisely controlled’ power transfer bolted onto an M-specific chassis – tailored to both the engine’s performance profile and the SAV / SAC vehicle concept – and design features “taken from the M playbook ensure imposing power and supremely controllable handling, even at the dynamic limits”.

The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is dispatched in just 3.9 seconds (Competition models: 3.8 seconds) – which is up to 0.4 seconds faster than the outgoing models.

“The intoxicating all-round performance package benefits from fine-tuning carried out during intensive testing at the BMW Group’s proving grounds, the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and other race tracks,” says BMW.

The new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models will celebrate their show premieres at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2019 ahead of a market launch beginning in April 2020.

The V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology is a significant jump in grunt developing up to 460 kW/625 hp. The 4.4-litre engine teams up with two turbochargers – positioned in the “V” between the cylinder banks – whose impact is further enhanced by a crossbank exhaust manifold.

The power unit’s maximum output of 441 kW/600 hp exceeds that of the predecessor models by 18 kW/25 hp; the Competition models add 37 kW/50 hp to hit a figure of 460 kW/625 hp. Torque, meanwhile, peaks at 750 Nm (553 lb-ft). A super-stiff engine mounting results in direct transmission of power to the drivetrain, and the sports exhaust system generates a soundtrack of particular emotional richness.

Precise power transfer: eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, M xDrive and Active M Differential.

The high-performance engine in the new BMW X5 M, new BMW X6 M and Competition models teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, whose gearshift characteristics can be adjusted using the Drivelogic button on the M-specific selector lever. The M xDrive all-wheeldrive system has been specially tuned to transfer drive to the road with characteristic élan and to optimise traction and directional stability on loose ground and in adverse weather conditions.

M xDrive works in tandem with the Active M Differential at the rear axle and already displays a conspicuous rear-wheel bias in the default 4WD setting. However, the driver can also dip into the Setup menu to select 4WD Sport mode, in which an even greater proportion of the engine’s torque is directed to the rear wheels.

The new high-performance additions to the SAV and SAC segments are fitted with extensive measures to optimise the stiffness of the body structure and suspension mountings. The model-specific design and tuning of the chassis technology also helps enhance handling precision. Standard specification includes M-specific adaptive suspension with dampers, the active roll stabilisation system and M Servotronic steering