I’ve been driving the ’13 E70 X5 M the last few weeks and been getting used to how it drives. As I drive the truck more and more, I start to appreciate what BMW M has done. Coming from an E53 X5 4.8is, the unofficial “M” vehicle, I notice a number of differences. Handling is incredible, so flat on turns, it’s sort of rediculous. The exhaust burble / overun is fun, though could use a bit more of it. The DINAN exhaust on the E53 is wonderful, the stock exhaust on the E70 is weak-sauce. I know a lot of it comes down to the fancy cross-bank turbo manifold muffling a lot of the intake sound, but it detracts a good amount from the overall experience.
Now, I realize, some of the big differences between the two may just be the 8 less years on the E70 or the 110,000 less miles, but the E70 feels more solid,and more well built than the E53. I do miss the heaviness of the doors on the E53, but this is just the picking of nits. Back to HP and my observations. I’ve noticed that from standing stop, the acceleration is super impressive, tons of torque, “down low” as they say, and lots of grip – great stuff. However, I’ve noticed at speed, say 40-55 MPH, I’ll downshift and while the truck will accelerate, the urgency from the motor, is not quite there. Maybe I got used to the responsiveness of the S62 in the DINAN S2 M5 (God that thing pulls), but the X5 feels a little flat. “Maybe it’s time for a tune?” I ask myself.
I found Velos Designwerks on XBimmers forums. They’ve been around for a few years, there a number of very positive reviews for the service and their product and they’re fairly reasonably priced. Though, I feel like $900 is the right spot for a tune, but that’s me. They claim their tune adds 90HP and 120ft-lbs – good stuff, especially considering it is just software. I had to do cams, an airbox, headers and cats to get 80HP on the E46 M3 – sheesh! I’ve got their personal tuner platform on order and I am thinking about finding a local dyno shop to do a baseline of the X5 before I add some more power.
Keep an eye out for a follow up post as I have some additional upgrade plans for the 555HP family truckster. Including but not limited to: