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Old 11-15-2006, 03:43 PM
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BMW X5 #6

Exterior design & function

The first X5 was a master stroke, creating a whole new vehicle category. As the logical evolution, the new X5 looks – and is – even more dynamic, more muscular, more elegant. As the larger and more prestigious of the two Series in this family, the new X5 combines the muscularity of a fullsize SAV with the elegance of a luxury sedan, showing that it is truly top-of-the-line.

In its exterior dimensions, the new X5 has grown, and its proportions have evolved. The distance from front wheel center to instrument panel is relatively short, moving its optical centerpoint somewhat forward and thus accenting its all-wheel drive. Large wheels and short overhangs emphasize a look (and a reality) of agility. Along with the interior, the wheelbase has grown; both add visual stability and heighten the vehicle’s presence.

The X5’s front view is dominated by BMW’s trademark twin-kidney grille, as well as by its headlights, which are now standard dynamic self-leveling Xenon Adaptive. Adaptive headlights “steer” the headlights themselves and operate at all speeds in response to steering angle, vehicle speed and yaw rate. Luminous rings in all four headlights function as parking lights, but can also serve as daytime running lights. As a new feature in addition to Adaptive headlights, cornering lights employ a special reflector in each foglight to project an angled beam at low speeds and large steering angles.

The rear of the X5 shows the unique “separation edges” in the new design. Seen in the rear roofline and taillights, these serve as more than mere aesthetic fillips. By smoothing the airflow as it exits, they improve the X5’s aerodynamics, lowering its CD and thereby lowering the X5’s fuel consumption ever so slightly. It was BMW’s goal to make the X5 outstanding in its class, and preliminary testing indicates that BMW has achieved this goal, with aerodynamic drag coefficients of 0.34 for the 3.0si, 0.35 for the 4.8i.

The exterior includes other features designed to improve fuel efficiency. These range from the lightweight plastic fenders and aluminum hood to the slightly flared lower corners of the front air dam, which direct air around the front wheels, lowering the drag produced by the X5’s massive tires.

Comfort and convenience: the definition of luxury
As an all-new vehicle, the 2007 X5 provided its designers the ideal setting for expanding interior and cargo volume, introducing an array of new amenities and upgrading the general level of technology enjoyed by the driver and passengers. Here, iDrive makes its first appearance in a BMW SAV and incorporates new user-friendly features; shoulder and leg room increases and the standard audio system newly includes two subwoofers.

Thanks largely to a 4.5-in. increase in the X5’s wheelbase, 7.4-in. greater overall length, 2.3 in. more width and 2.0 in. greater height, the new X5 offers significantly more space for people and cargo. The new measurements translate into –
• More shoulder room, +2.0 in. front/+0.3 in. 2nd row
• More leg room, +0.7 in. front/+1.2 in. 2nd row
• Greater overall passenger volume, +4.8 cu ft.
• Increased basic cargo volume, + 2.8 cu ft. [1]
• Greater maximum cargo volume, + 4.6 cu ft. 4

The gain in enclosed volume also makes it possible to offer 3rd-row seating in addition to a wide array of new and existing options. In sum, the new X5 interior represents a major step forward in combining comfort, convenience and versatility with the traditional BMW virtues of driving refinement and agility.

Typical for BMW SAVs is the X5’s “semi-command” driving position, which affords an optimum view of the instrument panel and a feeling of control and driving pleasure. The instrument cluster and center-dash controls and displays are oriented slightly toward the driver, as is the completely new electric transmission selector. At the same level is the iDrive monitor, making its SAV debut and standard in the X5. As always in a BMW, controls are grouped logically and conveniently, and are optimally accessible to the driver. Those likely to be operated by the front passenger are just as accessible from that seat as well.

In addition to the general layout of the new interior, individual features provide a new level of convenience in the ’07 X5.

[1] – Including underfloor space. U.S. models come standard with a space-saver spare wheel/tire in this space, but the spare can be removed as run-flat tires are also standard.
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