What made the F 15 so effective?


After a lot of information about the BMW X5 F15 has landed on the Internet earlier than planned in the last few weeks and months, the official presentation can only come as a surprise. The large SUV from Munich remains essentially true to itself, but has been fundamentally improved in many ways.

Neither the technicians nor the designers entered into experiments, instead the third X5 generation emphasizes the strengths that have been valued by many customers since 1999 and at the same time tries to tackle the few weaknesses effectively. One of the most important issues was clearly the fuel consumption, the reduction of which was tackled in several ways.

The most important contribution to the reduction of the standard consumption is made by the revision of the engines and eight-speed automatic, the latter will in future come with an auto-start-stop function and sailing mode as standard, which ensures relevant savings, especially in the dubious EU cycle. In contrast, the aerodynamic measures, which are responsible for a large part of the visual changes, have little effect on laboratory consumption.

Particularly noticeable are the air inlets for the air curtains and the air outlets behind the front wheel arches, which are located in the front apron. Together, the two elements ensure a significant reduction in air resistance in the area of ​​the front wheels, which should be particularly noticeable at high speeds on the motorway. The reward for the effort is a drag coefficient reduced to 0.31, which is a top value in the competitive environment. The frontal area of ​​the SUV is also a bit smaller, because the new BMW X5 is only a few millimeters wider and, above all, 1.4 centimeters flatter than the E70 generation.

Regardless of whether it is aerodynamically or mechanically conditioned, the consumption figures of the new BMW X5 F15 are impressive: At the market launch in November 2013, the BMW X5 xDrive30d will have 258 hp and a combined consumption of 6.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers 13 PS undercut its weaker predecessor by 1.2 liters.

The advantage of the F15 in the provisional top model X5 xDrive50i is even greater, because the new V8 biturbo with Valvetronic is used here - despite an increase in output to 450 hp, the standard consumption drops by 2.1 to 10.4 liters. The third engine for the market launch is the triturbo diesel in the BMW X5 M50d, which is 0.7 liters more economical.

However, SUV fans don't have to wait long if they would like to purchase the new BMW X5 with a different engine: the basic gasoline engine X5 xDrive35i with 306 hp, the biturbo diesel X5 xDrive40d with 313 hp - and two F15 variants with four-cylinder diesel.

The new BMW X5 xDrive25d comes with the biturbo variant of the N47, which is known from the BMW 125d and produces 218 hp. Right from the start, this engine is also available with rear-wheel drive instead of the xDrive all-wheel drive standard for all other engines, which enables the BMW X5 sDrive25d to achieve a standard consumption of 5.6 liters per 100 kilometers and CO2 emissions of 149 grams per kilometer - which is so economical no other SUV with comparable dimensions.

The savings in weight are considerably smaller than with standard consumption: Despite minor improvements here and there, the weight is essentially the same as that of the predecessor, and depending on the engine, the new X5 can even be heavier than its predecessor. The V8 petrol engine remains 15 kilograms below its predecessor, while the BMW X5 M50d F15 is 40 kilograms heavier than before - given the overall weights of over 2.2 tons, these differences are virtually irrelevant. The bottom line is that the new X5 is on par with the Mercedes ML in this discipline and well below the Audi Q7, which is about to be replaced.

The interior of the luxury SUV is likely to play the more important role for most customers than the one or the other liter of consumption, which is why BMW has pulled out practically all the stops here. With even more space than in the predecessor, particularly fine materials and all the assistance systems currently known from the Munich portfolio, the X5 is almost a raised 7-series, which can also be seen in the optional comfort seats in the rear.

The free-standing infotainment display with a screen diagonal of 10.25 inches can not only be used to display the usual information from BMW Online, websites or the navigation system, but also comes for the first time with an xDrive status display with a three-dimensional representation of the current transverse and pitch of the vehicle.

The further increased trunk volume, which is now between 650 and 1,870 liters and can be comfortably used thanks to the double-divisible rear seat (40:20:40), offers very practical advantages. On request, the BMW X5 F15 is also available with a third row of seats and a total of seven seats.

The equipment variants Design Pure Experience and Design Pure Excellence are available for individual adaptation of the interior and exterior, with which the focus can be changed from a robust off-road character to a luxurious, exclusive high-class athlete. Among other things, the Experience package comes with a matt stainless steel underride guard and accents in matt silver, while the Excellence package relies on black contrasting accents and an underride guard painted inconspicuously in the vehicle color.

Those who value dynamics more than off-road mobility can, in combination with the adaptive suspension packages Dynamic and Professional, enjoy the qualities of mechanical Dynamic Performance Control (DPC), which ensures a stepless distribution of the drive force between the rear wheels and also ensures more driving dynamics when the driver is not accelerating. Fans of particularly comfortable rolling behavior, on the other hand, should opt for the Comfort chassis package with rear axle air suspension and Dynamic Damper Control. The Professional package combines the advantages of both systems.

Apart from fuel consumption and chassis technology, the BMW X5 F15 is also state-of-the-art: numerous assistance systems and options from BMW Night Vision with Dynamic Light Spot via the Head-Up Display, adaptive full-LED headlights and the new iDrive Touch controllers through to cruise control with stop & go function and automatic traffic jam for the motorway make everyday life much easier for the driver. For some drivers of the large SUV, the more powerful parking assistant, which, in addition to steering, now also takes over the accelerator and brake, is not entirely unimportant.