E70 X5 M
Production Data
Special Versions
Colors and Upholstery
Production Versions
GY01: European-spec (LHD), 06/2009 through 06/2013
GY02: European-spec (RHD), 06/2009 through 06/2013
GY03: North American-spec (LHD), 06/2009 through 06/2013
What makes the E70 X5 M unique?
The E70 X5 M is a high-performance version of the E70 X5 sport utility vehicle that was engineered by BMW M GmbH (an independent subsidiary of BMW AG). It is powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine developed by BMW M, and is equipped with many other enhancements to its chassis and cosmetics that distinguish it from other X5 models. However, it shares the majority of its mechanical components with the smaller E71 X6 M.
Where was the E70 X5 M first introduced?
The E70 X5 M was first introduced at the 2009 New York Auto Show, alongside its E71 X6 M sibling.
Where was the E70 X5 M produced?
Like nearly all E70 X5 models sold worldwide, final assembly of the X5 M took place at BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina factory. However, its entire drivetrain was produced in Germany and mated to the car at Spartanburg.
Why was the introduction of the E70 X5 M considered by some to be controversial?
The E70 X5 M was the first sport utility vehicle (along with the E71 X6 M) to be engineered by BMW M GmbH. Because of BMW M's formidable history in motorsport and its long tradition of building high-performance street cars, its decision to produce a very large and heavy sport utility vehicle was seen by some as a dilution of the company's core values. This was bolstered by the fact that the X5 M was the first BMW M product (along with the X6 M) to feature all-wheel drive, as well as the first to be offered exclusively with a conventional automatic transmission.
Was the E70 X5 M the very first X5 engineered by BMW M GmbH?
Though the E70 X5 M was the very first production X5 to be included in the M Series, two earlier prototypes were built by BMW M on the original E53 X5 platform: The X5 Le Mans was conceived to test the outer limits of the E53 platform, borrowing the 6-liter V12 engine from the V12 LMR race car. With an astonishing 700 hp, it lapped the Nürburgring in well under eight minutes. A second E53 X5 prototype was powered by the 400-hp S62 V8 from the E39 M5, driving only the rear wheels via the SMG II transmission from the E46 M3. This X5 also featured E39 M5 brakes, as well as a carbon fiber roof. Ultimately, however, development of the top-performing E53 X5 was handed off to Alpina, resulting in both the X5 4.6is and later X5 4.8is.
Production Data
How many official versions of the E70 X5 M were offered?
BMW M produced three different versions of the E70 X5 M: European-specificaiton models in both left-hand drive (GY01) and right-hand drive (GY02), which were sold in all worldwide markets outside of North America, plus a North American-market version (GY03) in left-hand drive only.
How many examples of the E70 X5 M were produced?
GY01 (ECE-spec, LHD): 3,955 examples produced from 06/2009 through 06/2013
GY02 (ECE-spec, RHD): 890 examples produced from 06/2009 through 06/2013
GY03 (NA-spec, LHD): 4,129 examples produced from 06/2009 through 06/2013
What significant changes were made to the E70 X5 M during its production?
—Brake Energy Regeneration introduced (4/2010 production)
—LED taillights with "glowing bars" introduced (4/2010 production)
—Updated iPod/USB interface (9/2010 production)
—Enhanced Bluetooth functionality including audio streaming (9/2010 production)
—BMW Apps introduced (4/2011 production)
—Available LED headlights (4/2012 production)
—Blue brake calipers introduced (4/2012 production)
—Mugello Red Merino leather introduced in place of Sakhir Orange Merino leather (4/2012 production)
How is the E70 X5 M's S63 powerplant different from the standard N63?
The E70 X5 M is powered by a twin-turbochared V8 engine known internally as the S63 B44O0. The S63 shares its engine block and basic mechanical configuration with the standard production N63 V8 engine. In addition, both engines share an overall displacement of 4,395cc (via a bore of 89mm and a stoke of 88.3mm) and a number of internal components, including the crankshaft, intake cams, double VANOS variable valve control, high-pressure direct injection system, and Motronic MSD85.1 engine management system. However, BMW M performed significant modifications to many aspects of the S63 motor. These include:
—Upgraded pistons
—Revised cylinder heads made from high-grade alloy
—New exhaust cams
—"Twin-Sroll" turbocharging (two paths or "scrolls" to each turbine) with 1.2 bar of maximum boost pressure (N63: 0.8 bar)
—"Cross-over" exhaust manifold (both cylinder banks connected in sequence)
—HIgh-flow air intake system mounted to the body (N63: mounted to the engine)
—High-flow exhaust system with enlarged front pipes, intermediate pipes and rear silencer
—Revised cooling system with larger oil cooler, longer intercooler, additional intercooler heat exchanger
—Maximum engine speed increased to 6,800 rpm (N63: 6,500 rpm)

The S63 B44O0 is rated at 555 hp (DIN/SAE) @ 6,000 rpm and 500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,650 rpm. This represents an increase of 155 hp & 50 lb-ft of torque over the standard N63 B44O0 (or an increase of 115 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque over the N63 B44O0 with the M Performance upgrade option).
What transmission is offered in the E70 X5 M?
The E70 X5 M is equipped exclusively with a ZF 6HP26S six-speed automatic transmission. This heavy-duty adaptation of the ZF 6HP26TU features a double-damper torque converter with revised spring characteristics, an aluminum oil pan and enhanced air flow characteristics. In addition, the M-specific transmission software enables quicker shift times and prevents automatic upshifts at redline in manual mode. There is also a launch control feature. Gear ratios are identical to those of the 6HP26TU: 4.17 (1), 2.34 (2), 1.52 (3), 1.14 (4), 0.87 (5), 0.69 (6). The final drive ratio is 3.91:1.
What are the specifics of the all-wheel drive (xDrive) system used in the E70 X5 M?
The E70 X5 M uses a variation of BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system that has been calibrated to deliver rear-wheel drive characteristics by sending more torque to the rear wheels under most driving conditions. In addition to transferring power between the front and rear axles depending on the amount of traction available to each of the four tires, the xDrive system in the X5 M is paired with Dynamic Performance Control (DPC) to adjust the distribution of torque between the two rear wheels based upon a multitude of parameters: vehicle speed, throttle position, wheel rotational speed, steering angle and yaw rate. The DPC functions via a pair of multi-disc clutches and planetary gearsets, one on each side of the rear differential, which are controlled by an electric servo that receives information from the Dynamic Stability Control system.
How does the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) function in the E70 X5 M?
The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system in the E70 X5 M generally functions in the same manner as the DSC in other X5s. However, the system also has an additional M Dynamic Mode (MDM) that the driver can activate via the iDrive menu. This mode simultaneously raises the the threshold at which the DSC will intervene and also allocates more engine power to the rear drive wheels, thereby reducing understeer and enhancing rear-wheel drive handling characteristics.
What is MDrive and how does it function in the X70 X5 M?
MDrive allows the driver to customize specific aspects of the E70 X5 M's driving dynamics to his or her specific preferences in the following areas: throttle response + transmission response + exhaust note (two modes), EDC suspension damping (two modes), Servotronic steering response (two modes) and DSC activation (three modes). These preferences can then be set via the iDrive to activate at the single press of an "M" button located on the steering wheel.
How does the suspension of the E70 X5 M differ from that of other E70 X5 models?
Like all E70 X5s, the X5 M utilizes a MacPherson strut/multi-link suspension design. Electronic Damping Control (EDC), Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) and self-leveling rear air springs, optional features on other X5 models, are included as standard equipment. In addition, the suspension has been substantially modified by BMW M GmbH with the following changes:
—Front suspension with reinforced upper control arms, more rigid transverse lower trailing links and firmer hydraulic cushions
—Revised rear air springs and rear strut mounts
—Specific EDC shock calibration
—More rigid rubber mounts between the suspension and body
What type of braking system is used by the E70 X5 M?
The E70 X5 M is equipped with four-wheel vented disc brakes with cast iron rotors that measure 15.6-inches in the front and 15.2-inches in the rear. The front brake calipers are a fixed, four-piston design manufactured by Brembo, while the rear brake calipers are a single-piston design comprised of an aluminum inner hat and a cast iron outer portion that are connected with steel pins.
What type of steering system is used in the E70 X5 M?
Like all E70 X5 models, the X5 M utilizes a rack-and-pinion steering system with an overall ratio of 19.5:1 and Servotronic variable power assistance, which constantly varies the amount of assist based on vehicle speed. However, the Servotronic system has been specifically tuned by BMW M. In addition, two different parameters for the overall level of assist are offered and these are linked to the Electronic Damping Control (EDC) modes: Greater steering assistance is given in EDC Normal mode and less steering assistance is provided in EDC Sport mode. (These settings can also be programmed as an MDrive preference.)
What types of wheels and tires are fitted to the E70 X5 M?
The E70 X5 M (along with the E71 X6 M) is the first BMW M vehicle equipped with run-flat tires. These measure 275/40R20 in the front and 315/35R20 in the rear. The tires are mounted to one of two available cast alloy wheel designs, both unique to the E70 X5 M & E71 X6 M and both measuring 10 x 20-inches in front and 11 x 20-inches in the rear: M V-Spoke (Style 299M) and M Double Spoke (Style 300M). NOTE: Only the Style 299M was offered on the X5 M in the U.S. market until 4/2012 production.
How does the exterior of the E70 X5 M differ from that of other E70 X5 models?
The exterior of the E70 X5 M is distinguished by a number of specific bodywork features that are not found on other E70 X5 models (though many are shared with the E71 X6 M). Items shared with the X6 M include the hood, headlights and front bumper/fascia. The latter is much deeper than the version found on the standard X5 and incorporates a series of large ducts that feed air to the front brakes, auxiliary radiator and oil cooler. The front fenders, however, are specific to the X5 M and feature horizontal side marker turn signals enclosed by a chrome trim piece bearing the "M" logo. The fender trim and side rocker panels are painted in the body color and are similar to the ones included with the E70 M Sport package. The rear-view mirror housings (also shared with the X6 M) have a more aerodynamic shape and a prominent black lower section. The unique rear bumper design incorporates the signature quad exhaust tips found on all M Series products since the late 1990s. Finally, all X5 Ms are equipped with high-gloss Shadowline window trim and there is a single "X5 M" badge on the rear hatch.
How does the interior of the E70 X5 M differ from that of a standard E70 X5?
The interior of the E70 X5 M shares its overall design and construction with that of other E70 X5 models. It also shares a number of items with the X5 M Sport package: Anthracite headliner, door sill plates with the "M" logo and aluminum M dead pedal. The X5 M steering wheel, though similar in shape and form to the M wheel found in X5 M Sport models, features tri-color M stitching on the rim, larger M shift paddles and the MDrive button. The instrument cluster, with its red needles, oil temperature gauge and "M" logo on the tachometer face, is identical in style to the one used in the E60/E61 M5 and E63/E64 M6, though the calibrations are specific to the X5 M (and X6 M). The standard front sport seats are a variation of the normal X5 sport seat but are covered in Merino leather and include the "M" logo on the headrests. They are heated and have adjustable lumbar support, as well as a two-position memory function on the driver-side, but the side bolsters are fixed. As an extra-cost option, the X5 M could be equipped with the same multi-contour front seats offered in other X5 models, though covered in Merino leather (but without the "M" logo on the headrests). These multi-contour seats were also offered with active ventilation (in combination with perforated Merino leather) and active support for the driver's seat (packaged together in some markets). Four types of BMW M interior trims were offered in the X5 M (as well as the X6 M): brushed Aluminum Shadow, Carbon Leather Structure, Piano Black and Red Brown Figured Eucalyptus wood. Finally, the X5 M is the only E70 X5 model equipped with knee pads on the center console, a feature originally introduced on all E71 X6 models.
Special Versions
Color and Upholstery Selections

The following chart lists all regularly available paint colors for the E70 X5 M. (NOTE: BMW Individual paints not offered in some markets.)

Alpine White III 300 BMW AG06/2009 through 06/2013
Carbon Black metallic 416 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Black Sapphire metallic 475 BMW AG06/2009 through 06/2013
Silverstone II metallic A29 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Space Grey metallic A52 BMW AG06/2009 through 06/2013
Melbourne Red metallic A75 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Monte Carlo Blue metallic B05 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Pearl Silver metallic X01 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2011 through 06/2013
Citrine Black metallic X02 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2011 through 06/2013
Ruby Black metallic X03 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2011 through 06/2013
Azurite Black metallic X34 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2011 through 06/2013

The following chart lists all regularly available upholstery colors for the E70 X5 M. (NOTE: BMW Individual upholsteries not offered in some markets. Also, perforated Merino leather only in combination with active seat ventilation option.)

Black extended Merino leather LKSW BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Black complete Merino leather X3SW BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Black complete Merino leather (perforated) X2SW BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Silverstone extended Merino leather LKA9 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Silverstone complete Merino leather X3A9 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Silverstone complete Merino leather (perforated) X2A9 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Bamboo Beige extended Merino leather LKH3 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Bamboo Beige complete Merino leather X3H3 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Bamboo Beige complete Merino leather (perforated) X2H3 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Cinnamon complete Merino leather X3ZM BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Sakhir Orange complete Merino leather X3DA BMW M06/2009 through 03/2012
Mugello Red complete Merino leather X3MR BMW M04/2012 through 06/2013
Amaro Brown extended Merino leather ZAP5 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Champagne extended Merino leather ZACM BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Champagne complete Merino leather ZBCM BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Criolo Brown extended Merino leather ZAP3 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Criolo Brown complete Merino leather ZBP3 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Platinum complete Merino leather ZBC8 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Syrah Blue extended Merino leather ZAF3 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Slate extended Merino leather ZAP1 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013

The following chart lists all regularly available interior trims for the E70 X5 M. (NOTE: BMW Individual interior trims not offered in some markets.)

Brushed Aluminum Shadow 737 BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Piano Black 4ML BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Carbon Leather 4MY BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Red Brown Figured Eucalyptus wood 4MU BMW M06/2009 through 06/2013
Amarone Walnut wood XE1 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2009 through 06/2013
Black leather with braided pattern XE9 BMW INDIVIDUAL09/2012 through 06/2013