BMW X5 E70 Compilation
The BMW E70 automobile platform is the project name for the second
generation X5 SUV. It replaced the BMW E53. It is considerably bigger than
the current E53 model, since it is be able to accommodate two extra
passengers. The increase in size increases the differentiation possible
between the X3 and X5, partly to address criticism in the marketplace of
the close sizes of the first-generation X5 and smaller X3 model.
BMW has taken a conservative approach to the styling of its
second-generation X5 by maintaining the basic appearance of its
well-received seven-year-old predecessor in a larger bodyshell supported by
an all-new platform with some of the most advanced underpinnings the four
wheel drive class has to offer. Underneath the familiar-looking sheet
metal, however, the SUV boasts several changes the German carmaker is
convinced will help cement its reputation as the benchmark for roadholding,
while providing greater levels of versatility through a new optional
seven-seat interior layout.
Inside Line sources who have driven early prototypes said the new X5 steers
and handles with all the precision of the critically acclaimed
first-generation X5 and despite now being fitted with run-flat tires as
standard manages to improve on ride quality, too. "It's not the most
comfortable in the class, but we're confident the handling is as good as,
or better than, the outgoing model," says one BMW executive. The front
suspension is BMW's first use of a double wishbone suspension combined with
a multi-link rear suspension, with upmarket models getting rear air springs
to smooth out the ride.
The advantage to switching to the double wishbone front suspension allows
for a stiffer suspension with the use of run-flat tires (RFT, RSC, or EMT),
without adversely affecting ride comfort as well as dampening road-feel.
However, BMW hasn't held back on equipping its new SUV with the kind of
chassis technology used on its 5 and 7 Series cars. Among the options are
the company's Adaptive Drive and Active Steering systems, the former using
hydraulic stabilizer bars to suppress body roll and the latter employing an
electric motor to alter the steering ratio depending upon speed, getting
progressively direct at low speeds.
The majority of the X5's electronics are based on E65, with a few new
innovations. Additionally, a new electronics network-system has been
developed, named "Flex-Ray," which is currently only used for the
Electronic Dampening Control (EDC) system. Among the engine choices at
launch is a pair of 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder units developing 260 horsepower (190 kW)
in gasoline guise and 231 hp (172 kW) in common-rail diesel form. Topping
the range is a 355-hp 4.8-liter V8 that is claimed to propel the new BMW to
62 mph (100 km/h) from standstill in an impressive 6.5 seconds and up to a
top speed of 150 mph.
Other power plants will be added to the new X5 lineup in time. Also under
consideration as a rival to the newly launched Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and
Porsche Cayenne turbo is a
high-performance version of the new X5 running a secret new turbocharged V8 set to make its debut on the new 7
Series due out in 2008. Power is channeled permanently to all four wheels
via a six-speed automatic gearbox, which is claimed to reduce shift speed
by up to 50 percent through the incorporation of a new torque converter and
revised software. It is operated via a new joystick-like shift lever that,
like the new electronic parking brake mechanism, has been designed to take
up less room on the center console than the current setup. Also significant
is the addition of the iDrive controller interface.
Hoping to build on the 580,000 first-generation X5 sales to date, BMW has
made only conservative changes to the SAV's appearance. The exterior
styling, in particular, draws heavily on the first-generation model,
retaining the same basic proportions with subtly altered detailing more in
keeping with modern BMW styling. The rear continues with a split tailgate
and separately opening rear window. Its appearance may be familiar but the
new X5 has grown considerably, putting on 7.5 inches (190 mm) in length and
2.4 inches (61 mm) in width. BMW sources contend that the use of
lightweight materials, including a greater percentage of aluminum within
the suspension, has helped keep weight down. The new base model weighs no
more than the outgoing model when its increased equipment count is taken
into consideration. The added length liberates space for an optional third
row of seats, extending the X5's seat count to seven in a move that will
see it more closely challenge the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 for outright
versatility. Luggage capacity is reduced from 21.9 cu ft (620 L) to just
7.1 cu ft (200 L) when the third seat row is in use.
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