BMW X5 4.6is

The history of the X5 begins in the late 1990s, when Chris Bangle drew the first sketches at the BMW DesignworksUSA studio in California. In many ways, the current car closely resembles these initial sketches.

The takeover of Rover 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 engine's torque to the rear wheels, making it feel as close as possible to the company's rear-wheel drive sedans.

Since the start of production the entire in-car entertainment system (Radio Function, Navigation System, Television and Telecommunications systems) is based on a very flexible automotive computer system. As a result the E53 models can all be easily upgraded with the newest BMW technologies including BMW's Bluetooth System, the DVD based Navigation system, as well as BMW's CD changers that play MP3s.

A sporty model badged 4.6is was released in 2002, having both exterior and interior decorations, including 20-inch wheels.

Source: Wikipedia, 2012

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