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      07-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
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Exclamation Next Gen 2015 BMW X5 M (F15) Begins Testing! [Updated with Video]

Next Gen 2015 BMW X5 M (F15) Begins Testing! [Updated with Video]
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UPDATED: New pics of the F15 X5 M hitting the Nurburgring for the first time - 10/9/12

We've just spied the next generation BMW X5 M prototype beginning its testing! Although still clad in full camouflage, signature M features leave no doubt that we are looking at the next X5 M.

The most conspicuous items are the quad M exhausts, active differential and blue brake calipers, which have become the signature color for M model brakes (i.e. F10 M5 and F12/F13 M6). Seen behind the blue M brakes are drilled rotors, the first for any X5 model. Hiding behind the front end camouflage are huge air intakes and we get a very clear look at how the headlights will connect to the kidney grilles, in the same fashion as on the F30 3 Series.

This prototype comes just 6 months after the regular F15 X5 was first spotted out testing, which supports what we've previously stated - that going forward, BMW will bring M models to market sooner after the regular series model's introduction than it has traditionally. This also means that the next X5 M may actually get its own chassis designation, set apart from the regular X5 model's "F15," just as the next gen M3/M4 will be designated F80/F82 (and not F30/F32).

Expect the F15 X5 and X5 M to feature some new technology not available in any current BMW model, including a pedestrian airbag and iDrive touchpad [Demo Video]. Check out the iDrive Touch demo below.

The F15 X5 is expected to weigh less than the current E70 X5 and ride on a modified version of the F10 5 series chassis. For the regular F15 X5, expect both diesel and gasoline 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engine options. As for the next X5 M, expect it to be powered by the S63Tu from the new M5/M6 (current X5 M uses the S63 engine), but potentially with a power bump up to the 580HP ballpark. Read about the differences between the current X5 M's S63 engine and the S63Tu engine.

The F15 X5 should be introduced in late 2013 - early 2014 as a 2014 model year and the X5 M model within a year of the regular X5's release.

First Video of F15 X5 M:


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Bonus pic of X5 M next to F80 M3 sedan prototype:

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And a shot from a recent F15 prototype, showing the kidney grille design:


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To here's a recap of what we know about the 2014 X5 so far (with a reposting of the associated spy photos from our earlier coverage).


Judging by what has been previously spied, the X5 retains its muscular shape and will not be much larger than the current E70 X5 (based on comparison photos compared to the current X5 seen below. The overall shape, silhouette, and roofline also don't appear to be a radical departure in the comparison photos.

We previously posted that the F15's grilles will be larger, wider, and bolder than the current X5's and you can certainly tell that it will be wider/larger based on the kidney grille cutout's size and outline at the edge of the hood. The grilles now take up a larger proportion of the front fascia than the current X5 and like all late model BMWs, the hoodline has been moved to above the kidney grilles.

Taking up recent design cues a la F30 3 series, the X5 headlights now connect with the kidney grilles. They don't connect smoothly/perfectly here, but remember, the front panels and the hood on this prototype have been shifted by the crash test.

F15 X5 Prototype Crash Test Prototype

2014 X5 (F15) versus X5 (E70) and X3


To better meet the European pedestrian safety standards, Volvo recently introduced their pedestrian airbag technology. We spot what we think may be an indication of this technology implemented on the F15 X5. In the crash test prototype spy pics above, you'll notice a white/gray material at the windshield base which resembles a deployed airbag. How would an airbag at that position help provide pedestrians safety? Triggered by a frontal impact, the airbag deploys from below the hood at the base of the windshield and covers the roof pillars and most of the glass, while leaving a small opening for the driver to see through. The raised hood further protects the struck person by increasing the distance from the relatively flexible surface to the hard engine underneath (see Volvo's illustration and animation below). This mechanism looks very much like what has has occurred on this X5.

Following on the design of the new 6 series (F12/13), 1 series hatchback (F20/21) and new 3 series (F30), the next X5 will feature a large free-standing navigation/infotainment LCD screen. This screen looks to the 8.8 inch panel used in the 6 series and the all new 3 series.

Compared to the current X5 (E70), the new dashboard design has become more driver-centric (angled towards the driver), which has been another design element consistent throughout all the recent new BMW models. It will also be more upright, compared to the current X5's dashboard which angles and curves away sharply from the driver and passenger.

The F15 X5 may also feature the new iDrive Touch button [demo below].


Current X5 (E70) Interior:

Catch all our BMW X5 coverage at: