X5 M Competition — Tires: P295/35ZR21 front, 315/30ZR22 rear; wheelbase: 117 inches; length: 194.8 inches; width: 79.3 inches; height: 69.4 inches; fuel capacity: 21.9 gallons; mileage: 13 city, 18 highway; base price: $122,300; website: www.bmw.com.

So what if it is a midsize luxury SUV or, to use the BMW term, a Sports Activity Vehicle? You can still take it to the track if you purchase the insanely quick X5 M Competition. Or just cruise the highway. That’s right, this high-performance SUV is road and track worthy. And with a massive power train to boot, the Bimmer is super-fast: 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds with top speed of 155 or 177 mph with the M Driver’s Package.

A new 4.4-liter twin-power turbocharged V8-cylinder engine blasts off 617 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 553 pounds-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. It is aided by a 48-volt battery placed in the transmission casing. Essentially, the electric motor with 12 horsepower and 147 pounds-feet of torque acts as a starter-generator. The X5 is mated to a standard and flawless eight-speed auto gearbox, which is even more fun with transfers via the steering paddle shifters. The standard adaptive M suspension is specially tuned to enhance nimbleness and poise when pushing pedal to the metal. The Active M Differential distributes drive torque evenly to the rear axle for more control and stability. You can personalize settings for engine, transmission, steering, suspension, brake and M xDrive as per your taste, style and liking. And the M Servotronic electric power steering with variable sport has a solid and communicative feel, keeping the SUV straight and watchful at sharp turns and curves.

Slim LED headlights flank the familiar twin-kidney grille with BMW M emblem and matte-black surround. Twin exhaust tips in black chrome, 4 inches in diameter, are a standout along with red brake caliper wheels. As soon as we stepped into the airy and well-appointed cabin, our eyes fell on the massive BMW curved display (12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 14.9-inch infotainment touch screen). Further adding to the rich ambiance were touches of carbon fiber trim. Red accents for the M buttons on the solid leather steering wheel and gear selector are eye-catching, as is the ambient light bar across the dashboard. Other niceties include multizone auto AC, power front heated/cooled Merino leather seats with the M logo on the backrests, a panoramic moonroof, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, front knee and side curtain airbags, dynamic stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic brake distribution, a rearview camera, front/rear park distance control, active braking assist (lane departure warning, blind-spot monitor/detect, rear-cross traffic alert, city collision mitigation), forward collision warning, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitor.

Weighing almost 5,500 pounds, the BMW X M Competition is German engineering at its finest. And fastest. And every once in a while, if you can, switch on the track mode (road and sport also offered) and take the speedy machine for a gutsy drive.

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