BMW’s facelifted X5 4,8iS has been launched in South Africa and the 265 kW sports activity vehicle is raring to take on the Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG in a battle of the boulevard bruisers.

BMW’s facelifted X5 4,8iS has been launched in South Africa and the 265 kW sports activity vehicle is raring to take on the Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG in a battle of the boulevard bruisers.


Following the recent introduction of the facelifted X5 series, BMW South Africa has added a new flagship to the range. The 4,8iS’ 4,8-litre V8 is based on the 4,4-litre unit fitted with valvetronic, bi-vanos and fully variable intake system and used in the 7 Series, 6 Series and 5 Series ranges. For its application in the X5 flagship, BMW gave the engine a larger cylinder bore, new crankshaft with enlarged stroke, modified the intake and exhaust system and adapted the engine management system.


The Munich manufacturer claims the powerplant, fitted as standard with a modified six-speed automatic transmission, produces 265 kW at 6200 r/min and 500 N.m at 3 500 r/min. The 4,8iS is claimed to bolt from zero to 100 km/h in 6,1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 246 km/h. For added stopping power, BMW fitted enlarged discs of 356 mm- and 324 mm diameter front and rear.


The 4,8iS is distinguishable from its X5 siblings by its aerodynamically adapted front and rear aprons, oval dual exhaust tailpipes and 20-inch aluminium wheels with 275/40 W tyres at front and 315/35 W at rear. The model rides 15 mm lower than the other X5s and is fitted with dual axle pneumatic self-levelling suspension that enables the driver to lower the SAV by 20 mm or increase ground clearance by 40 mm when driving off-road.


The xDrive system, now offered on both the X5 and X3 ranges, enables the continuously variable and uniquely fast distribution of drive forces between the front and rear axle. The system immediately identifies when a change of power distribution is necessary and reacts extremely rapidly - in on-road mode usually even before a wheel loses grip.


The X5 flagship is available in five colours, two of which - Imola Red and Le Mans Blue - are reserved for the top model. The exterior is finished Shadowline high gloss.


Inside, the 4,8iS is equipped with sport seats with two-colour covers in Alcantara/Nappa leather available as an option. Buyers can also opt for comfort seats in Crème Beige.


Standard specification for the X5 flagship includes metallic paintwork, Nappa leather, xenon headlights, satellite navigation and TV, Professional DSP Hi-Fi loudspeaker system and a car telephone or Bluetooth capability. A large panorama glass roof, soft close function for the upper luggage compartment lid section (standard) and adaptive headlights are optional extras.


The price tag for the new X5 4,8iS is R748 000.