BMW Conjures An Ultimate Driving Crossover From Its 2024 X5 M60i

Back in the waning days of the last century when the BMW X5 began production in South Carolina, the vehicle was intended to be an “ultimate driving machine” marinated with American spirit – an SUV that could go flat-out on the Autobahn…or Eisenhower’s Interstate.  Through four generations, the X5 has been a staple of the German automaker.  But what if we crossed an M5 super sedan with the X5 and threw in a hybrid system for extra kicks?  Then, you’d have the 2024 BMW X5 M60i.

It has a look that doesn’t endear itself to being peeved off!  When you see that large twin-kidney grille and flared facia nostrils, it would serve you well to move into another lane.  It’s especially menacing over 22” M-style wheels, sport exhaust outlets and black Shadowline trim, but the tall body and Hoffmeister kink in the rear windowline clearly identify it as a BMW…and X5.  Subtle, it is not.  But, it is approachable.

Designers recently brought the interior up to standards set by the 7-Series and EVs.  That means twin dash screens for gauges and infotainment, heated/ventilated front seats, Harman Kardon audio, and a panoramic moonroof.  Charge devices wirelessly and control volume and your music library through hand gestures.  You can still control the system with the iDrive joywheel, but it works even better via touchscreen.  Caress the carbon fiber trim and deep leather.  Safety is enhanced by a head-up display, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot warning systems.

Whether slipping through clogged city streets or locking onto the horizon heading cross-country, the M60i is ready.  Behind that angry grille is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive, and 48v mild hybrid system.  Throw all that together and it conjures 523 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque – good for 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds.  This kind of hybrid is more of an electric supercharger than fuel sipper, but the big and heavy X5 achieves a very respectable 17/22-MPG city/highway.

What about finesse for the firepower?  Well, with 22” wheels, not even the adaptive suspension system can provide a smooth ride.  It’s quite firm, wrenching over rough pavement, but is a mother’s dream on wide expanses of smooth asphalt where it can take a set and toss itself forward.  Of course, that could also toss your kids towards the cargo area, but it is competent for a large barge of a crossover.  The M Sport exhaust and Brembo brakes with blue calipers are ready for a sprint – even if you’re just taking the tykes to taekwondo.  Fortunately, rear steering makes short work of tight parking garages.

It takes some gumption to look at a family-friendly crossover and reimagine it as high-caliber road runner.  Pile in all of the leather and luxury one expects of a BMW and the M60i is pretty fly.  Sure, it’s no fan of rough pavement, and it’s ungodly expensive, but most will find it dreamy.  While the X5 starts at $65,700, our M60i came to a towering $105,745.  Also consider the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S, Range Rover Sport and Cadillac Escalade-V.

Storm Forward!

 Send comments to Casey at [email protected]; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.