BMW X5 (E53)
The BMW E53 is the first-generation BMW X5 mid-sized luxury crossover SUV. It was produced from 1999-2006 and was replaced by the BMW E70. The E53 was developed at a time when BMW still owned Land Rover and as such shares many components and designs with both the Land Rover Range Rover L322 model and the BMW E39 5 Series. The entire in-car entertainment system are shared with other BMWs and L322.
The history of the X5 begins in 1994, when ideas began on a BMW sports utility vehicle after the acquisition of Land Rover. Eduard Walek was named project leader and chief engineer of the E53. Chris Chapman joined BMW Groups Designworks in California later and began working with Bangle in Munich on two full-scale clay models of the E53 for two months. By the autumn of 1996, design work was approved and the design basis for the X5 E53 was defined, 35 months prior to production. After supplier and engineering involvement, the final design freeze was reached in the first half of 1997, with prototypes being tested from the second half of 1997. Design patents were filed on 10 June 1998 and 9 December 1998, being registered in the U.S. on 18 January 2000.
The takeover of Rover in 1994 proved to be very beneficial for BMW in the development of the X5. BMW engineers were able to look at and use Range Rover technology and parts in the development of the X5 - one such example would be hill-descent control. In many respects, the design of the X5 was influenced by its British counterpart; for example, the X5 got the two-piece tailgate straight from the Range Rover. Many parts and electronics were also taken directly from the E39 5 Series parts bin to save costs.
In contrast to the Range Rover models, the X5 was designed as a sporting road car: its off-road capabilities are significantly less than those of Land Rover. BMW reportedly worked hard to ensure it was referred to as an SAV Sports Activity Vehicle instead of an SUV Sports Utility Vehicle.
Even though the X5 was an all-wheel drive vehicle, BMW chose from the start to route 62% of the engines torque to the rear wheels, making it feel as close as possible to the companys rear-wheel drive sedans.
The X5, along with the BMW Z4 E85 roadster, BMW X6, and BMW X3 were manufactured in BMWs South Carolina plant in Greer and at the BMW de Mexico plant in Toluca, Mexico, alongside the BMW 3 series, BMW 5 series and BMW 7 series.
3. X5 LM
A one-off version known as the X5 LM was equipped with the S70/3 V12 engine from the 1999 Le Mans winning BMW V12 LMR. It was used by Hans-Joachim Stuck to set a lap record at the Nurburgring in 2000.
4. 4.6is and 4.8is
A sport model, badged 4.6is was released in 2001. The 4.6is, equipped with the M62TUB46 V8 engine, made 340 hp 254 kW; 345 PS. The 4.6is was available in 4 colors. It featured 20 inch wheels that were fitted over larger brakes than the stock X5. It also had additional rear fender flares along with different front and rear bumpers. In 2004, the 4.6is was replaced by a 4.8is model which had a 4.8L N62 engine producing 355 hp 265 kW; 360 PS.
5. 2003 Facelift
In 2000, development on mid-cycle updates began scheduled for 2003. By late 2001, a radical design update was chosen favoring the new brand design theme. In 2002, following discontent towards the 2001 E65 design, a more conservative appearance was instead chosen and frozen for 2003 production.
In July 2003, the facelifted X5 was presented for the 2004 model year at the IAA 2003 in September, with new headlights, a few new exterior colors, a new four-wheel drive system and upgraded engines. Production started at Spartanburg on 26 September. The grilles were enlarged, as well as their actual slats being modified in a flame surfaced style. In keeping with the E39 facelift of 2001, the 2004 X5s headlights got corona rings around all four headlamp projectors. The tail-lights also received a facelift similar to the BMW E39, and the exterior glass went from a "dotted" pattern to a cleaner "line" pattern. BMW invented a new four-wheel drive system dubbed xDrive shared both in the X5 and X3 in 2004. Instead of using the previous X5 system which consisted of power being split 62-38 rear wheels-front wheels and DSC to brake wheels losing traction, xDrive could vary power to the front or rear axles in milliseconds, transferring up to 100% of engine power to either axle, thus allowing the vehicle to regain traction quickly.
The X5 got the new 4.4i engine which debuted in the 2002 7 Series; power output rose from 290–315 hp 216–235 kW; 294–319 PS. Also from April onwards, a new X5 4.8is was offered see below, producing 355 hp 265 kW; 360 PS. Sales began in September 2003.
Several new extras were added to the 2004 X5 such as:
- Adaptive Headlights available only with xenon HID headlamps; these swivel with the direction of travel of the car. Bi-Xenon headlights for both low and high beam replaced the low beam HID headlights
- Trailer Stability Program making it an ideal tow vehicle
- Soft-boot close feature the top part of the trunk pulls itself closed
Originally announced in the end of 2003 along with the rest of the X5 facelift, the X5 4.8is first started shipping in April 2004. It had a new larger 4.8 L engine which replaced the 4.6 L engine, and was also later used in the 2005 750i/Li. It also included a slightly modified bodykit parts of the bottom bumper became painted the body color, 20" wheels, and along with the 4.6is, were the only X5s ever to have a large chrome-tipped exhaust which hid the quad pipes.
6. X5 Security
The Security edition is an X5 variant with safety glass, heavy-duty material and ballistics-resistant steel. debuted at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show.
- An intercom to speak with people outside the vehicle.
- Polycarbonate coated glass to reduce spall.
- B4/VR4 ballistic protection, capable of withstanding handguns up to a.44 Magnum, including.357 Magnum or 9mm Luger.
- An assault alarm, which when activated, locks all doors and emits both visual and audio alert signals.
- Run-flat tires allowing one to continue driving with flat tires at up to 80 km/h 50 mph for approximately 50 km 31 mi.
7. Copy of the X5
In June 2008, the Regional Court of Munich ruled that the Chinese SUV brand, "Shuang-huan SCEO" is a copy of the BMW X5, prohibited the defendant importer of these vehicles in the "trade in Germany" offer and ordered the destruction of all "vehicles with a certain look" at which the defendants possession or ownership Az.: 4HK O 16807/07.
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