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Milestone: BMW X SUV Models Celebrate 15 Years

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/18/2014 Jason Udy

BMW is celebrating 15 years of its X lineup of SUV and crossover vehicles. In the mid-1980s, the automaker first used X to designate its all-wheel-drive cars, and in 1999 the letter became associated with its first SUV model, the BMX X5. With 3.3 million X models sold worldwide, the automaker claims its SUVs account for about one third of its sales.

Billed as a “Sports Activity Vehicle,” the BMW X5 was the first of the automaker’s SUV and crossover lineup that now includes the compact X1 and X3 as well as the new X4 and second-generation X6 “Sport Activity Coupes.” The upcoming BMW X7 will fill out the automaker’s SUV lineup as a full-size model. BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Front Three Quarter View Of Model Set© Provided by MotorTrend BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Front Three Quarter View Of Model Set

Now in its third generation, the BMW X5 featured unit-body construction and four-wheel independent suspension when it first debuted. Torque was distributed 38 percent fore and 62 percent aft. The first-generation X5 featured Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X), and downhill control Hill Descent Control (HDC). BMW sold its 500,000th X5 vehicle just six years later by mid-2005.

The BMW X3, the automaker’s second Sports Activity Vehicle, arrived in 2004. Along with the second-generation X5, the smaller model featured intelligent BMW xDrive, which had a transfer case with an electronically controlled multiple-disc clutch to route power fore and aft. More than 600,000 units of the first-generation X3 were sold between the 2004 and 2009 model years. BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Front Three Quarter View Of Models 6© Provided by MotorTrend BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Front Three Quarter View Of Models 6

BMW moved production of the second-generation X5 to its Spartanburg, S.C. plant in 2006. The second-generation X5 was the first X model available with a third-row seat for up to seven-passenger seating. The X5’s new gas and diesel engines featured the automaker’s BMW EfficientDynamics technology that reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

The BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe was introduced in early 2008 and featured permanent four-wheel xDrive technology combined with Dynamic Performance Control (DPC), which can distribute power between the left and right rear wheels. The 2009 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 combined a V-8 gas engine with two electric motors that work in conjunction with the xDrive system. Total output was rated at 485 hp. In 2009, BMW introduced the X5 M and X6 M. Both models are powered by a twin-turbo V-8 making 555 hp coupled with an M-specific xDrive system with DPC. BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Rear Three Quarter View Of Model Set© Provided by MotorTrend BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Rear Three Quarter View Of Model Set

The compact BMW X1 also arrived in 2009, though it didn't arrive stateside until the 2013 model year. More than 640,000 X1 models have been sold worldwide since its introduction. The second-generation BMW X3 arrived in 2010 and got refresh for 2015, while the BMW X4 arrived in 2014. For 2014 and 2015, BMW introduced the third-generation X5 and second-generation X6 models, respectively.

Source: BMW

BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Front Three Quarter View Of Models 5© Provided by MotorTrend BMW X Suvs After 15 Years Front Three Quarter View Of Models 5
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