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Feel a need for speed in your crossover ute? Check out the turbocharged 2012 BMW X5 M. This nimble 5-passenger mini-SUV can get up to 130 mph and hang with the best of them on twisty back roads. The secret is a standard direct-injection twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 and its accompanying 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, complemented by a precise sport-tuned suspension The V8 turbo pounds out 555 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, with variable valve timing (VVT) allowing 12 mpg city/17 highway. For those hauling, say, polo ponies around, the X5 M can accommodate up to 6,000 pounds of towing, and will tote up to 1,102 pounds of wine and caviar in back for the after-match gathering. Running late? A lot of peaks and valleys on the way? No problem, as this handy ute offers descent control and driver-selectable Normal, Sport and M Manual modes, not to mention steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters with the well-wrought 6-speed automatic. Finally, don’t let a bit of weather disrupt any plans, for this stud is delivered with Beemer’s xDrive full-time intelligent all-wheel-drive technology, whereby traction is constantly computer monitored, with the mechanical center differential and the center and rear limited-slip differential setup automatically transferring power from the wheels that slip to those that grip.
Naturally, the X5 M is lavishly endowed with such necessities as a standard power sunroof and rear spoiler, not to mention a power liftgate, for making that trek to the backcountry or the office not only speedy, but stylish and comfortable as well. Inside, premium leather is lavished on heated power-adjustable bucket seats with driver memory settings, while leather and alloy cabin accents ensure a feeling of luxury, with remote power door locks, power windows and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors doing their bit. Cruise control, a universal remote garage door opener and telescoping tilt-wheel steering all contribute to convenience, while dual-zone climate control, with Sun Sensor technology monitoring lighting and cabin climate, help ensure a properly relaxed atmosphere. Passengers and crew, meantime, will be entertained by the standard 600-watt, single-CD player with its 10 premium speakers. Finally, Bluetooth-interfaced iDrive audio and communications manipulation is balanced by a hard-drive-based navigation system, and real-time traffic alerts ensure a direct and hassle-free journey.
Options for this high-end crossover consist of a number of packages, including the Active Ventilated Seat Package with its multi-contour ventilated front seats and active driver’s seat, as well as the 850-watt, satellite-radio-endowed Enhanced Premium Sound Package. The Cold Weather Package, meanwhile, boasts a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, while summer months are made bearable with available four-zone climate control. But wait, that’s not all. Standalone options include keyless ignition, a 6-CD changer, rear-seat DVD entertainment and BMW Apps for limited internet and email services delivered to personal iPhones.
Safety-wise, the 2012 X5 M boasts standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, active front headrests and side-mounted front airbags, just for starters. Then there are such standard items as lane-departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, daytime running lights, self-leveling high-intensity-discharge headlights, brake drying and a remote antitheft alarm. Standard BMW Assist emergency telecommunication services, meanwhile, ensure instant emergency response in the event of an accident. Finally, the available Driver Assist Package provides a head-up display and rear-view camera with Top View capability, as well as auto hi-lo-beam headlights, while an available side-view camera provides a bit of help on blind corners.