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by Adam Lynton
High-performance version of upcoming third-generation BMW X5 gets ready for production with some laps at the Nurburgring where our intrepid shutterbugs have caught it on film...or mexapixles, anyway.
BMW's next-gen X5 has been spied ad nauseum, but this is the first time we've caught a glimpse of the high-performance M variant as it was being put through its paces by engineers on the Nordschliefe. Codenamed F15, the M version of the third-gen X5 is getting a newly designed body and interior with power coming from the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engines found in the M5 and M6. Output is expected to around the 560 horsepower mark. Although clad in full camouflage, signature M features are clearly evident.
Tell-tale signs that we're looking at the M variant include the quad exhaust tips, signature blue brake calipers gripping (for the first time on an X5) drilled rotors, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, larger wheels and huge air intakes. We can also clearly see how the headlights will connect to the kidney grilles, a style that apes the latest 3 Series. The high-performance SUV will benefit from the same weight-saving technologies set to feature in the 5 Series platform loosely underpinning the new X5, which only stands to benefit performance when the X5 M hits showrooms towards the end of 2014.