Saturday 8 July 2006

2007 BMW X5

It seems that all the X5 spy photos that we've seen lately have been coming out of Germany. Now, finally, we've caught a couple of X5 test utes here in the States, wearing appropriately South Carolina license plates.The second-generation BMW X5 moves up in size, performance, comfort, versatility and standing. And although the new South Carolina-built sport/utility vehicle (codenamed E70) isnt due on dealer lots until the end of 2006 as a 07 model, were able to give you a pretty good look right now.BMWs design team, headed by Dutchman Adrian van Hooydonk, combined contemporary styling with familiar themes from todays X5 to create a distinctive SUV thats instantly recognizable as a BMW. However, the new SUV is much less radical than the smaller X3 with which it shares much of its mechanical package.Longer, wider and taller than todays model, and with an extended rear overhang, the new X5 puts greater distance between itself and the X3, which should allow BMW to command higher prices.Inside, the X5 promises a 5-series-like interior. Five-passenger-seating is standard, but BMW will likely offer buyers two third-row seats as optional equipment.Conventional steel springs will be used on lower-end models, with air suspension reserved for upmarket versions, along with an automatic self-levelling feature to maintain ride height when towing. BMW will also offer active steering on the new X5Power comes from a wide range of inline six-cylinder and V8 engines, with several diesel units on tap for Europe. Among the gasoline engines is the recently upgraded 3.0-liter six. It will be joined from the outset by new 4.0- and 4.8-liter V8s.The new X5 uses a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox and BMWs xDrive four-wheel-drive system. As with the first-generation model, BMW has decided against any hardcore SUV systems such as separate transfer case, locking differentials and automatically decoupling stabilizers. BMW engineers argue that the added weight would be detrimental to efforts to once again establish the X5 the most agile SUV on the road.

1 photo showing the 2007 X5 undisguise in Germany
1 photo showing the test car in California and 1 more photo showing the interior

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