Munich - BMW has unleashed its new-generation X5 M and X6 M beastly crossovers in both standard and Competition forms. As you might have expected, they follow the same performance script as the latest M5 equivalents, just in a high-riding format for those to whom towering above traffic is more important than corner-gobbling dynamics.

All four versions inherit the BMW M Division’s latest 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol, paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering-mounted paddles. If you choose the standard flavour then 441kW is at your disposal at 6000rpm, while the Competition versions give you 460kW, with a maximum torque figure of 750Nm quoted for both. 

Against the clock, the former will get you from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds, BMW says, while the Comp models take 3.8 secs to do their thing. Top speeds are limited to 250km/h in all cases, unless you order the optional M Driver’s Package, which then allows 290km/h.

It appears as though only the Competition models will be offered in South Africa, with first deliveries expected in May 2020.

An M-tuned xDrive all-wheel-drive system gets the torque to all four wheels, while an Active M Differential splits it between the back wheels as needed. Although it is a fully variable, rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, there is no mention of a rear-wheel-drive Drift Mode as there is in the M5, which is probably a good thing in this case, but BMW says the 4WD Sport mode does allow “controlled drifts”.

Also on your team when pushing through twisty sections is a specifically tuned M suspension system, which combines stiff mountings, enhanced camber values, active roll stabilisation and continuous electronic damper adjustment at each wheel. 

Competition models are fitted with 21-inch alloys up front and 22-inch rims at the back, as well as a unique black exterior styling package for the grille, M gills, mirror caps, diffuser trim and rear apron. 

Inside the X5 M and X6 M models get a Head-Up Display with M-specific readouts as standard, along with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional and Parking Assistant. You’ll also find set-up buttons for easy access to the vehicle’s performance and dynamic settings.

IOL Motoring