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2023 BMW X5 M spy shots: Mid-cycle update in the works

BMW has been spotted testing a prototype for an updated X5 M at the Nürburgring.

The update constitutes a mid-cycle refresh that should be introduced alongside a similar update to the regular X5 range late this year or early next. The related X6 and X6 M models are also in line to receive the update.

The tweaks to the exterior will be mild, judging by the prototype. Look for new internals for the lights, along with a revised grille and new fascias front and rear. The interior is also likely to feature some updates, including possibly a more advanced infotainment system with a larger screen similar to what we see in the iX electric crossover.

It isn’t clear what’s planned for the powertrain. The current X5 M is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that delivers 600 hp in the standard model and 617 hp in the spicier X5 M Competition.

2023 BMW X5 M facelift spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

BMW has developed a new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and this engine may make its way into the updated X5 M. Code-named S68, the engine debuted in an updated 2023 X7, where it delivers up to 630 hp in the Alpina XB7 grade. The engine will also power the upcoming XM SUV, where it will be paired with an electric motor in plug-in hybrid configuration. The Concept XM was fitted with just this configuration and was claimed to be good for 750 hp.

The rest of the mechanical package in the updated X5 M should remain largely unchanged, meaning it should have an 8-speed automatic and rear-biased all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system sends power to the rear wheels until extra traction is needed, then a multi-plate clutch engages to send power to the front axle. However, there isn’t a driver-selectable rear-wheel-drive mode like in the M5.

Production of the X5, including the X5 M, is handled at BMW Group’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for worldwide sale.

Stay tuned for updates as development continues.

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