A month ahead of their public debut at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, BMW has offered up a first look at the 2024 versions of its X5 and X6 Sport-Activity Vehicles.
The new models make their appearance nearly six years after we were introduced to the fourth and current generation of the X5, the outgoing X6 making its debut a year later. Considering how long that’s been in automotive terms, BMW is offering up more than just a midcycle “refresh.”
Sharing their basic underpinnings, the 2024 BMW X5 and X6 models will get a number of significant updates, including the new hands-free Highway Assistant system.
The X5 will get upgrades to the plug-in hybrid system in the xDrive 50e model. And both X5 and X6 will be powered by new inline-6 and V-8 engines, both adopting mild hybrid technology to boost performance, as well as fuel efficiency. There will be modest tweaks to their interior and exterior designs, and both models will feature upgraded technologies that include the new BMW Curved Display.
BMW’s goes hands-free
With the coming of the 2024 model year, BMW becomes the latest automaker to introduce a semi-autonomous driving system. Dubbed Highway Assistant, it will be part of the broader line-up of advanced driver assistance systems collectively dubbed Driving Assistant Professional.
Much like General Motors’ Super Cruise, BMW’s Highway Assistant “allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel when driving on limited access highways at speeds up to 85 mph.” But the automaker cautions, “Drivers must … always maintain focus on the road ahead and be prepared to assume responsibility for steering.”
Mild hybrids and a longer range PHEV
The new powertrains are the other big news for 2024.
“The V-8 engines in the M60i models now benefit from 48V mild-hybrid technology, while the new X5 xDrive50e plug-in hybrid gains an extensively upgraded combustion engine and BMW eDrive technology that endows it with nearly 100 more horsepower while increasing the range of purely electric driving by 10 miles,” BMW explained in a release describing the 2024 updates.
The plug-in system in the X5 xDrive 50e pairs a single electric motor integrated into an 8-speed transmission with a TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter I-6 to produce a peak 483 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Drawing power from a 25.7 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, it now can deliver up to 40 miles of all-electric range before the gas engine takes over. The electric motor alone now produces up to 331 lb-ft of near-instant torque to enhance acceleration.
New I-6 and V-8 boost performance and mileage
All versions of the X5 and X6 will be electrified starting with the 2024 model year. An electric motor integrated into BMW’s 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission delivers a relatively modest 12 hp boost.
But it’s the 147 lb-ft of instant torque that should really enhance performance. The system draws power from a 48-volt battery crammed into an already packed engine compartment.
The new V-8 in the X5 and X6 M60i xDrive models displaces 4.4 liters and, the automaker says, “can trace its genes back to engines used in motorsport, and utilizes the thermodynamic benefits of a cross-bank exhaust manifold, bank-symmetrical turbochargers, and external engine oil cooling.”
Other performance-enhancing features include a reinforced crankshaft and a new oil pump. Dubbed the S68, the new engine delivers a combined 523 hp and 553 hp, enough to launch both Sport-Activity Vehicles from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.
The new inline-6, meanwhile, is part of an entirely new generation of engines and displaces 3.0 liters. Power rises 40% over the outgoing I-6, to 375 hp, while torque jumps 51 lb-ft to 383. And using Sprint Mode in the M models, it can be brought up to a brief peak of 398 lb-ft with the new mild-hybrid system kicking in. The new BMW X5 xDrive40i and new BMW X6 xDrive40i are factory-rated at 5.2 seconds 0-60.
Shifting the 2024 BMW X5 and X6 models into Sport Mode revises throttle response, transmission shifts, and various chassis settings.
BMW has updated various chassis and suspension systems, including the Adaptive M Suspension, for 2024.
Subtle design changes
From a design standpoint, there are only modest — but noticeable — updates to the two utility vehicles for 2024.
The X5 gets a revised double-kidney grille, with an illuminated version now available as an option. There are new air breathers up front to improve aerodynamics, and the taillights now adopt an “X motif.”
With the X6, the same changes to the grille are introduced for 2024, along with slimmer new headlamps.
M models get distinctive details, including unique side skirts.
Interior design changes include the use of the new “Sensafin” leather. But the big updates are tech focused, starting with the introduction of the BMW Curved Display, a larger screen system that arcs across the instrument panel.
The 2024 models also adopt the Bavarian automaker’s latest infotainment system, iDrive 8.
Pricing and availability
Pricing will start at $65,200 for the “base” X5 sDrive40i, with the X5 M60i xDrive listed at $89,300. The plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive 50e starts at $72,500. The entry version of the coupe-like model, the X6 xDrive40i, will start at $73,900, while the X6 M60i xDrive will carry an MSRP of $93,600. Add $995 in delivery fees to these figures.
Set to debut at the Amelia Island Concours, the 2024 BMW X5 and X6 lines will both be assembled not far away at the automaker’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Production is set to begin in April, with deliveries to follow mid-year.