- For 2024, BMW is giving the X5 M and X6 M new powertrains, updated looks and giant fender-mounted displays.
- The 2024 X5 M and X6 M are now competition only, pairing BMW’s latest twin-turbo V-8 with a 48-volt hybrid system.
- Redesigned dashboards with curved screens running the brand’s iDrive 8 infotainment software match their new looks.
Hybrid technology continues to spread across BMW’s hallowed M range. Perhaps to facilitate the inevitable spread in the iconic M3 and M5 sedans, the 2024 X5 M SUV and its humpbacked counterpart, the X6 M, are the first of the brand’s highest-performance vehicles to feature a 48- volt electrical system, which is also part of a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh.
New kind of competition
Previously, the BMW X5 M and X6 M were offered with an individual competition package that brought an extra 17 horsepower, a rougher exhaust note, and larger-diameter rear wheels and tires—among other bits. For 2024, both models are now only available in competition guise, meaning all that performance-enhancing hardware becomes standard.
At their heart remains a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. However, it has been heavily revised. BMW says the new S68 engine features numerous changes intended to make it more responsive and efficient than its predecessor. Peak output remains the same at 617 horses and 553 pound-feet of torque, but it’s now augmented by an electric motor mated to the eight-speed automatic transmission. The motor generates 12 hp and 148 lb-ft, with the 48-volt system also acting as a starter-generator.
The gearbox itself includes better cooling components and new gear ratios. Along with a wider ratio spread than before, the first three gears are now shorter. Despite all these powertrain changes, BMW doesn’t expect the ’24 X5 M or X6 M to be any faster than the year before. Both are still claimed to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. BMW does expect that they will produce lower engine emissions thanks to new catalytic converters. Official EPA ratings have yet to be announced.
Other mechanical changes to the X5 M and X6 M include revised dampers and rear suspension tweaks intended to improve high-speed stability. BMW also says both SUV bodies are now more rigid due to additional bracing. Both M utes still have standard four-wheel drive and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, but they can now operate independently of the stability control system.
M SUVs Get a nose job
While BMW’s latest design language is arguably the most divisive it’s ever been, the brand appears to be avoiding the brunt of the backlash with its facelifts of the X5 M and X6 M. Instead, they sported the polarizing pig nostrils. to give that carried by the four-door M3 and two-door M4, or the alien arrangement seen on the X7 SUV and 7-series sedan, the M-badged mid-size SUVs have a less offensive nose job. Of course, we’re sure some people will still find ways to offend.
The front of the X5 M and X6 M now have narrower headlights with arrow-shaped accents that serve as daytime running lights and turn signals. Their black kidney grilles get horizontal slats, and the nameplate badge is larger than before. A black section now frames the grille as well as the one below it in the front bumper, creating an X-like shape. Another set of air intakes on either side add to the nose job.
At the rear, the X5 M and X6 M add taillights that echo the X motif up front. This and lower vertical reflectors make up the rear changes for 2024. BMW is also adding more metallic paint options that include Isle of Man Green as well as Brooklyn Gray and Frozen Pure Grey.
A step up in Technology
For those who don’t already know, BMW is fitting a giant curved screen into models that don’t currently have it, which until now has included the X5 M and X6 M. The setup combines a 12.3-inch gauge cluster with a 14.9-inch touchscreen under a single piece of glass. The infotainment system supports the company’s iDrive 8 software, which offers various interactive controls along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The curved screen takes up most of the real estate on top of the dashboard and brings a redesigned layout. The latter applies to the slimmer HVAC vents and a new ambient light strip with a crystal-like texture. The lighting element is customizable and can even alert the user of an incoming call.
Other changes to the interior of the X5 M and X6 M include new carbon fiber paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel. Carbon fiber is also the default interior trim, but it can be replaced with wood elements.
The 2024 BMW X5 M starts at $123,295. It’s $4100 more than a ’23 model with the Competition Package, but it also includes a host of notable updates. The 2024 X6 M starts at $128,195—a $4200 increase over before. Both models are expected to begin production in April and will likely go on sale sometime this summer.