New Model News

BMW adds 600-horsepower X5 and X6 M Sport variants to 2020 lineup

If you're in the market for a family-friendly SUV with 600 horsepower, BMW has two new models you should look at.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The BMW X5 and X6 are getting spunkier. The German automaker is adding M Sport models of each to its 2020 lineup, giving buyers more performance-focused SUVs to test drive. There are four new flavors: X5 M, X6 M, X5 M Competition, and X6 M Competition.

Performance

With the robust twin-turbocharged S63 V8 engine under their hood, the BMW X5 M and X6 M achieve 600 horsepower. Bump up to the BMW X5 M Competition and BMW X6 M Competition models and get access to 617 horsepower. Both SUVs get 553 pound-feet of torque and are equipped with the M xDrive all-wheel drive system with Active M differential.

2020 BMW X5 M 2020 BMW X6 M engine This engine generates over 600 horsepower in the 2020 BMW X5 M and 2020 BMW X6 M SUVs.Photo courtesy of BMW

It gets from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds (Competition models are one-tenth of a second faster). Top speed is limited to 155 mph but can be increased to 177 mph with the optional M Driver's Package. The M Driver's Package also includes an invitation to partake in driver training at one of BMW's Performance Center driving schools in the U.S.

The Adaptive M suspension Professional with Active Roll Stabilization is standard on all models. Drivers can choose from Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus drive modes. Two different speed-sensitive M Servotronic steering settings are available, one tuned for comfort and one for sport.

BMW X6 M shifter red drive modes BMW has added red accents to the interior of the M Sport models.Photo courtesy of BMW

All models get BMW's new compact module braking system that allows for two different pedal feel options: comfort and sport. The compound brakes are drilled and vented 395 mm front disks with fixed six-piston calipers and 380 mm rear disks with single-piston floating calipers.

2020 BMW X6 M exterior front face The BMW X6 M has its own unique styling, and its performance can be upped when buyers opt for the X6 M Competition model.Photo courtesy of BMW

X5 M and X6 M models come standard with 21-inch M light-alloy double-spoke bi-color wheels. They run on 295/35ZR21 front and 315/35ZR21 rear non run-flat performance tires. Those models are available with staggered 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheel/tire combination that features M star-spoke bi-color wheels.

Competition models get that staggered wheel set-up standard, but with different wheel designs. Staggered wheel set-ups come with non run-flat performance tires sized 295/35ZR21 front and 315/30ZR22 rear.

A space-saver spare tire is located at the rear of the vehicle but it can be replaced by a mobility kit upon buyer request.

Exterior

The new X5 M, X6 M and Competition models feature large front bumper intake openings that help move additional air into the SUVs' coolers, which is needed with the larger engine. They all have M specific BMW kidney grilles with black double-bars, M gills on the front fenders, side mirrors, flared body-color wheel arches, and a rear diffuser with integrated quad exhaust. Competition models add their own unique kidney grille surrounds, exterior mirrors caps, model badging, rear diffuser, and black-finished tailpipes.

2020 BMW X5 M exterior rear back The BMW X5 M has unique wheels and many traditional M Sport design accents.Photo courtesy of BMW

X5 M and X5 M Competition models have a rear roof spoiler. X6 M and X6 Competition have a roof and lower tailgate spoiler.

The SUVs are available in the buyer's choice of 10 paint jobs: Alpine White, Carbon Black Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Marina Bay Blue Metallic, Donnington Grey Metallic, Manhattan Green Metallic, Tornado Red Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, and Ametrin Metallic.

Interior

The M control buttons, M leather steering wheel, and M leather gearshift level all get splashes of red. Red, blue, and white BMW M color stitching is on the steering wheel and gearshift lever. The center console of both Competition models has extra padding.

The passenger cabin of the X5 M, X6 M and Competition models have been enhanced with unique features to set them apart in both comfort and exclusivity. Splashes of red color adorn the M control buttons on the center console, on the M Leather steering wheel and on the M Leather gearshift lever. Additionally, Red, Blue and White BMW M color stitching is visible on the steering wheel and gearshift lever. The center console on the X6 M Competition and X5 M Competition features additional knee padding on the sides.

2020 BMW X5 M interior brown cabin inside The interior of the models is the height in BMW opulence.Photo courtesy of BMW

Specialized M multifunction seats have electric adjustments for fore/aft position, head restraint height, thigh support, backrest width and angle plus pneumatic lumbar support.

A Black Extended Merino Leather interior is standard in X5 M and X6 M models Competition models come with the buyer's choice of full Merino leather color options: Silverstone, Sakhir Orange/Black, Adelaide Grey, Taruma Brown, Black, or Ivory White/Night Blue. A color-matched Alcantara headliner is standard. Competition models can also include the no-cost choice of a Black Full Merino leather interior with Midrand Beige Alcantara cloth.

2020 BMW X6 M interior black cabin inside A black interior is standard, but buyers have more options when they move up to the M Competition models.Photo courtesy of BMW

The driver's information and head up display is customizable for either road, sport, or track. The track setting is only for Competition models, and designed only to be used on closed circuits. M View features a rev counter in the center of the head up display with shift lights and the ability to house two widgets. These widget areas can display G-Meter, Tire Pressure and Temperature or Engine Coolant Temperature and Boost Pressure.

Both models will go on sale soon. Pricing will be announced closer to their on-sale date. Expect the X5 M to go for near $90,000 and the X6 to top $100,000.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Venza is back for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Is it a Toyota or a Lexus? At first glance it may be hard to tell if you're not looking right at the badge on the front of the 2021 Toyota Venza. The car is luxe enough inside to be a Lexus too.

The Venza gets its name from a model that was popular for a few short years in the early 2010s. It disappeared, as models a little ahead of their time do (ahem, Pacifica), and the name has been brought back for this new, hybrid SUV. With the popularity of the RAV4 and Highlander, it's easy to wonder why Toyota would need another SUV that sits singly between the two. The answer is easy. It's for a different buyer and it's a hybrid.

2021 Toyota Venza The Venza looks more like a Lexus than a Toyota, and that's not a bad thing.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Venza competes directly with the Nissan Murano, Honda Passport, Ford Edge, and Chevrolet Blazer. They're all two-row SUVs that give budget-conscious buyers (often empty nesters) a bit of luxe for a lower-than-premium price. It also comes only with a hybrid powertrain, which is something the competition does not have. All-wheel drive is also standard.

Toyota has built the Venza for fuel economy (it gets 39 mpg combined) rather than zippy performance. In this way, it's unlike the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which utilizes the available electric power to elicit a more thrilling drive experience. Acceleration and deceleration via the 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine are all about steady fuel savings rather than harsh or thrilling action.

No one would mistake the 219-horsepower combined drive experience as being invigorating. However, the payoff is that the Venza is nearly twice as fuel-efficient as its competition when similarly sized engines are compared.

The Venza doesn't come loaded with frills or too many unique features (it's a Toyota after all) but there's still plenty to like about it. Not the least of which is the fact that its interior design is wholly different than the RAV4 and Highlander. Despite being more streamlined and sophisticated, Toyota still manages to pack a lot of features and equipment into the package.

2021 Toyota Venza The sleek and stylish design of the Venza is unlike the RAV4 in many ways.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The RAV4's seats are uncomfortable after just a short time behind the wheel, but the Venza's are much better. Where the RAV4 does win is on cargo space, but the Venza's rear storage area has plenty of room for daily driver duty.

As tested in the top-tier trim, the Venza had a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen (an 8.0-inch is standard on the lower two trim levels). All the screens run the Entune infotainment system, which has gotten easier to navigate thanks to updates over the years, but it is not the best in the industry, by far.

The coolest feature on the Venza is its Star Gaze fixed panoramic roof that uses electrochromic glass to block out the direct rays of the sun and instead allow in diffused sunlight. At the touch of a button, the frosted glass can turn to clear traditional panoramic roof glass. It's a proper replacement for a sunroof in areas where people frequently utilize them for their sunshine rather than the open windows feel.

Toyota has given the Venza the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety and driver assist technologies in every trim level. Unlike what you'll find in some luxury cars, the Toyota system serves as a backup to human direction rather than a constant reminder of a perceived needed correction.

2021 Toyota Venza The Star Gaze roof allows diffused sunlight to permeate the cabin.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Toyota Venza starts at $32,470. Remember, that's with all-wheel drive, a hybrid powertrain, and a host of standard safety technologies. So, despite being a little pricier than the completion, it's an appropriate figure. Upgrading to the Venza XLE will cost you at least $36,000 and the top-of-the-line Venza Limited comes in at $39,800. There aren't many options boxes to check for the SUV so it ends up sitting between the pricing of the RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid in the Toyota lineup.

Like most vehicles that Toyota makes, the Venza seems to be a well-designed and reasonable addition to a household. It should elicit plenty of interest from buyers. However, if you want more power you'll want to check out either the RAV4 Prime or the Passport, which are both winners as well.

Trending News

 
 

Bowler Motors will create a road-going Defender-like vehicle next year.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover
Land Rover has granted permission to Bowler Motors to use its classic Defender shape to make new, high-performance vehicles. Bowler Motors is part of the Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations division. It was acquired by Jaguar Land Rover in late 2019.

With the permission in hand, Bowler intends to develop a new family of high-performance models, beginning with a project codenamed CSP 575. The road-going vehicle will ride on a proven chassis made of high-strength steel. It will feature aluminum alloy Defender 110 Station Wagon body panels, a roll cage, air conditioning, and Land Rover's 567-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine. Like the classic Defender, the new model will accommodate four passengers.

Bowler Motors CSP 575 Land Rover Defender The model features the body of the vintage Defender.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"The Bowler name has stood for innovation for 35 years. The licence agreement to produce vehicles with the classic Defender shape gives us a unique opportunity," said Calum McKechnie, General Manager, Bowler Motors. "We're excited to combine our motorsport experience with the expertise available from Special Vehicle Operations to produce a thrilling competition-inspired Defender 110 Station Wagon for the road."

Bowler is promising it will be a "competition-inspired off-roader" that combines "potent performance and motorsport-honed durability".

Land Rover sees the decision to issue a license to Bowler to build the vehicles as a "natural progression" of their relationship. "We're excited to announce the first major project since our acquisition of Bowler," said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. "The 'CSP 575' will combine Supercharged V8 performance and four-seat practicality with Bowler's rally raid-proven CSP platform, broadening the appeal of the brand. This high-performance road-going model will sit alongside Bowler's evolving range of rally raid models, which continue to enjoy success in the world's toughest motorsport events."

Bowler Motors CSP 575 Land Rover Defender The Bowler vehicle will be a limited edition model.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The vehicle will be the first new Bowler since 2016. It will be produced in small quantities at Bowler's headquarters in Derbyshire, UK, by the same engineers and technicians producing its competition 4x4s. Pricing for the limited edition model is set to be around £200,000 in the UK.

Trending News