Heavy Hitter 713whp BMW F85 X5 M. With over 700whp, this insanely intimidating BMW X5 M is a 2.4-tonne Tarmac terror. Words and photos: Matt Petrie.
Fast haulers are not a new concept. For decades, manufacturers have been working to eliminate the compromises when looking for practicality, performance and comfort. Strides in perfecting that combination have reached new levels through technological advancements, placing this current generation of cars in its best iteration yet. In its stock form, the new F85 X5 M puts down impressive numbers in general, let alone for a truck its size. Fitted with a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-litre V8, the X5 M makes more than 550hp and 550lb ft of torque right out of the box. While those numbers may be adequate for the average person, they weren’t quite good enough for the guys at Eurofed Automotive, and so they set about making some changes and the results are spectacular.
Purchased as a shop vehicle, their goal with this X5 M was to demonstrate both the truck’s and shop’s capabilities alike and the first nuts and bolts were loosened the morning after leaving the dealership lot, less than 12 hours after the purchase and while their operations may appear impetuous, they had no reason to delay the process. A long list was made in preparation for the truck’s arrival and, bit-by-bit, they chiselled away at it, starting first with the suspension and exhaust. When it comes to lowering the X5 there are multiple options and the two most popular routes are full coilover suspension or lowering springs. Coilovers allow the opportunity for adjustment in height and damping, but they replace the factory-fitted adjustable dampers so you lose the in-cabin, on-the-fly ride comfort adjustment. The lowering spring alternative, however, delivers a good drop but retains the electronic damper control, so that’s what Eurofed opted for. The H&R Sport lowering kit they have fitted to the X5 includes replacement springs for the front and lowering links in the back.
While the front springs physically lower the ride height with shorter, stiffer springs around the stock shocks, as the rear of the car is fitted with air suspension from the factory adjustable-length lowering links are installed in order to trick the X5’s air suspension into dropping the back end. Although it looked great sitting low on the stock wheels, the it still needed more appeal, so a quick call was made to HRE and a set of 22” S104s was ordered.
A Dinan rear exhaust section was installed to give the S63 engine more growl, but it really opened up when they installed the Active Autowerke catless downpipes. The primary cats really restrict the exhaust flow and removing this restriction not only creates more sound, but also creates the opportunity to tune for more power. Bolting the AA downpipes to the stock turbos was still not about to provide Eurofed with the power gains they were looking for. To attain the numbers they were after, the factory turbos needed to be replaced and upgrading the factory system is no longer a daunting task thanks to the folks at Pure Turbos. The Pure Stage 2 hybrid turbochargers use the stock turbo housings and bore out the internal diameter using a different impeller and bearing to increase air flow, and that means more power. Best of all, since the housings are OEM, there are no fitment issues in the engine bay, alleviating the primary concern of aftermarket turbos. At about this time the S104 wheels, chosen in the classic style of satin graphite centres with polished lips and hardware were on their way out of Southern California.
Following the installation of the Pure Stage 2 turbos, precautionary measures had to be taken to ensure that optimal power was made safely and effectively. The X5 travelled from Eurofed’s home base of Snellville, Georgia up to the DME Tuning and AutoCouture Motoring facility in Fair Lawn, New Jersey for an ECU tune and transmission upgrade. The DME Backend Flash with JB4 and BCM (boost control module) provides on-the-fly tuning flexibility depending on climate or fuelling preference. On 100 octane fuel and only 26psi, the X5 M made 713whp and 689lb ft of torque at the wheels, a monumental amount whichever way you look at it.
In the metal, the Eurofed X5 M is an imposing machine. The Mineral white paint, spread across the 2.4-tonne canvas, is bold and bright and offers the perfect contrast to the numerous carbon styling additions that have been fitted here. There’s a front lip, side skirt extensions, mirror caps and rear diffuser, all of which serve to make the already aggressive 4x4 beast even more intimidating. The three-piece HRE wheels, meanwhile, maintain a classic look thanks to the graphite faces and polished lips, while proper offsets push the wide rims out to a functional, yet aggressive flushness to the arches, and the effect is dramatic. The exterior is complemented perfectly by the Amaro brown interior, where you’ll find the rear seat entertainment package, with carbon trim that echoes the exterior additions, while contrasting Amaro brown stitching weaves across the black leather on the centre console, dash, and door cards.
“The only thing we like better than the interior is the power that this X5 makes, and that’s still a tough call…” agree the guys at Eurofed.
This X5 M definitely doesn’t disappoint out on the road. Gripping your hands around the Alcantara BMW M Performance steering wheel with the blue 12 o’clock stripe, your brain does not register that you’re in an all-wheel drive SAV. The ridiculous torque numbers stuffing your torso into the seat also help and the effortless performance quickly causes the onset of amnesia regarding its sheer size.
When the curves in the road approach, Eurofed’s X5 M happily demands more; although sporting remarkable handling abilities from the factory, the combination of reduced body roll from the H&R lowering kit and a collective 1260mm of rubber down below bestows confidence when tossing this beast into any corner.
This attractive X5 M boasts impressive power numbers that are ready for the track, looks that command attention at car shows, and practicality that can make runs to the hardware store a comfortable breeze. The question is no longer ‘What to get that can do everything?’, but rather, what colour is your X5 M going to be?
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS DATA FILE BMW F85 X5 M
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 S63B44, Pure Performance Stage 2 turbos, Active Autowerke downpipes, DME Tuning Backend Flash, JB4 with Boost Control Module, Dinan rear exhaust. Fully-built eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox
CHASSIS 10x22” (front) and 12x22” (rear) HRE S104 threepiece wheels with graphite faces, polished lips and hardware, 295/30 (front) and 335/25 (rear) Pirelli Scorpion tyres, H&R Sport lowering spring kit
EXTERIOR Mineral white, RW carbon fibre front lip, side skirt extensions, mirror caps and rear diffuser
INTERIOR Amaro brown leather, rear seat entertainment package, BMW M Performance Alcanatara steering wheel, carbon fibre trim
THANKS DME Tuning, Kevin Baldi at Precision Tuning
“The Pure Stage 2 hybrid turbochargers use the stock turbo housings and bore out the internal diameter using a different impeller and bearing to increase air flow, and that means more power”
Alcantara-trimmed BMW M Performance steering wheel. Gorgeous Amaro brown leather Rear seat entertainment package. Twin-turbo V8 S63 now makes 713whp. RW carbon diffuser and Dinan exhaust.