BMW unveiled the all new X5 SUV, which introduced the Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) segment for the industry. Now in its fourth generation, the BMW X5 has seen a sale of almost 2.2 million units world-wide across the first three model generations, while it has ranked in the top three best-selling BMW models every year since 2001.
Now, the company has started the production of the new generation X5 at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, USA ahead of its official launch later this year.
The all-new BMW X5 will be the tenth X model to be produced at the Spartanburg plant since it began operations in 1994. As the BMW global center of competence for X models, the Spartanburg plant has already been busy in 2018 with the all-new BMW X5 and the all-new BMW X4.
The Spartanburg facility also builds the BMW X3 and X6, while the company says that the production in Spartanburg will further grow in the next years and is planned to ramp-up to fully utilize the yearly capacity of 450,000 units.
The size of the workforce has also grown substantially at the Spartanburg plant, from an initial 500 people in 1994 to more than 10,000 people today, with another 1000 expected to join by 2021. The BMW Group has invested more than $220 million in vocational and continued training at its Spartanburg facility, with another $200 million planned over the next five years.
The new generation BMW X5 is built on the company's CLAR platform that also underpins the new 5 Series, 7 Series and the X3. Visually, the new X5 gets a large BMW kidney grille with single-piece surround, LED headlights with blue x-shaped elements which split up the hexagonal light sources inside the BMW twin headlights.
From side, the precise character line defines the X5's shoulders and feeds into the rear lights, which extends into the flanks. At the back, all the lights feature LED technology, while the three-dimensional design of their glass covers lends them a sculpted, technical edge.
The X5 also comes standard with 18-inch light-alloy wheels, while the xLine trim gets 19-inch light-alloy wheels and M Sport gets the 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design.
Under the hood, the new BMW X5 will come with two petrol and two diesel options. The new X5 gets a 3.0-litre, turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine that churns out 335 bhp and 447 Nm.
The X5 also gets the new 4.4-litre, V8 engine that is capable to produce 456bhp of max power and 650 Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to an 8-Speed Steptronic transmission with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system.