It all started with an X. This letter was first used as a model designation for a BMW automobile as early as in the mid-1980s to indicate that it featured four-wheel drive technology.
The car’s dual symmetry was the ideal allegory for the transmission of drive torque to all four wheels. 16 years ago, the letter X became the symbol of an entirely new vehicle category and, at the same time, of a very special form of driving pleasure. The BMW X5 made its debut as the world’s first Sports Activity Vehicle, soon going on to conquer not only the road but also off-road terrain, whilst attracting additional target groups to the BMW brand.
Once again the German premium automobile manufacturer had demonstrated its extraordinary sense for innovative and future-oriented vehicle concepts. The introduction of the BMW X5 in 1999 laid the foundation stone for the unique success story of BMW X models on automotive markets all over the world, which currently accounts for more than 50% of BMW sales in the Middle East.
16 years further on, a complete BMW X family has developed from the pioneer of a new vehicle category. The brand’s range now comprises five BMW X models: X6, X5, X4, X3 and the newly launched X1. These are complemented by the two four-wheel drive high-performance sports cars of the BMW M GmbH, the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M. Each of these models was the first premium vehicle of its kind within its competitive environment. And the range will continue to expand also in the years ahead. The popularity of BMW X models, which contributed decisively towards BMW becoming one of the world’s most successful producer of premium four-wheel drive automobiles, continues to increase consistently. To this day, more than 3.9 million BMW X models have been sold worldwide. Almost every third newly registered vehicle of the brand is now a BMW X model.
Uncompromising driving pleasure – also in four-wheel drive models.
The BMW X5 made an impressive start with a driving experience that was unique with its high seating position and excellent handling both on the road and on off-road terrain. This was supplemented by the exceptionally spacious, variably utilisable and luxuriously equipped interior.
From the beginning, power transmission to all four wheels was deployed by BMW not merely to optimise traction on unpaved roads and in adverse weather conditions, but also to enhance driving dynamics when taking bends. Therefore, in the case of the current models equipped with the intelligent four-wheel drive feature xDrive, and in contrast to other manufacturers who use four-wheel drive predominantly to compensate for traction losses experienced on front-wheel drive vehicles, BMW consistently adheres to the typical characteristics of the rear-wheel drive concept. In this way, even in normal driving situations most of the torque is transferred to where it is optimally transformed into vehicle dynamics – the rear wheels. As a result, the steering precision that is characteristic of a BMW also remains virtually free from drivetrain influences on four-wheel drive models.
With the transfer of the SAV concept to a further vehicle segment in 2004, BMW became a pioneer yet again. With its more compact dimensions versus the BMW X5 and its even more agile handling characteristics, the BMW X3 proved to be an absolute exception and remained the only premium vehicle in its class for many years.
In 2006, production of the second-generation BMW X5 began at the BMW Spartanburg plant. With enhanced spatial comfort, a luxurious ambience, even more superior drive technology as well as innovative suspension and driver assistant systems, the successor to the pioneer of the Sports Activity Vehicle again set new benchmarks within the broadened competitive environment of BMW X models.
In the spring of 2008, BMW presented the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe. The BMW X6, which from that time on was produced together with the BMW X5 at the BMW Spartanburg plant, underscored the handling dynamics that are typical of BMW X models in a particularly intensive way. Its design combined sporting elegance with a powerful presence. For an even sportier driving experience, the permanent four-wheel xDrive technology featured on this model was complemented for the first time by Dynamic Performance Control, additionally facilitating variable power distribution between the right and left rear wheels.
Moreover, in the same year of 2009, two remarkable models were added to the range of high performance sports cars from BMW M GmbH. Inspired by the dynamic potential of BMW X models, developers showcased for the first time on four-wheel drive models the high-performance character associated with the letter M. A V8 power unit specially developed for the two exceptional athletes and featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology and an output of 408 kW/555 hp as well as an M-specific xDrive system including Dynamic Performance Control, formed the basis for an unmatched driving experience in BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M models.
Since 2009, the driving pleasure typical of BMW X models can also be experienced in the compact segment. Thanks to the versatility, sportiness, high degree of agility and cutting-edge functionality of the BMW X1, it was possible to venture yet again into a whole new vehicle class.
In 2014, BMW set new impulses in the premium mid-range class with the first Sports Activity Coupe in this vehicle segment: the BMW X4. Encompassing the typical characteristics of a BMW X model with the sportingly elegant contours of a coupe of the brand, this model combined driving pleasure, sophistication and modern functionality in an inimitable way.
15 years after the premiere of the first edition, the BMW X5 continued the success story of the Sports Activity Vehicle in its third generation. The new model once again set the the benchmark of driving pleasure, efficiency, powerful design, versatility and luxury within the segment. Following suite, the second generation of the Sports Activity Coupe BMW X6 presented itself with increased design presence and enhanced sportiness as well as with a luxurious interior ambience and innovative equipment features. Optionally available adaptive suspension packages ensure – as with the BMW X5 – sportiness and made-to-measure comfort.
Earlier this year the all-new BMW X5M and BMW X6M – the ultimate in BMW M performance –arrived in the Middle East. Combining hallmark high performance engineering with everyday practicality, these models are set to further strengthen BMW’s X models.
And fans of the BMW X model range across the Middle East have more exciting news to look forward to as the all-new BMW X1 will be launched this month. The second generation of this model takes to the stage with new design features straight out of the BMW X model mould. The interior of the new BMW X1, meanwhile, offers significantly more space for passengers and luggage, a cutting-edge premium ambience and functionality grounded in solid engineering.
Alongside its market-leading dynamics and efficiency, a host of innovative equipment features also help to secure the new BMW X1 its stand-out position in the segment. Among the items on the options list are full-LED headlights, Dynamic Damper Control, the BMW Head-Up Display and the Driving Assistant Plus system.