The BMW E70 automobile platform is the basis for the current X5 SUV. It replaced the BMW E53 in November 2006. It features many new technological advancements including BMW's iDrive system as standard equipment and, for the first time in a BMW, an optional third row seat which has increased the seating capacity in the new X5 to 7 passengers. The new generation BMW X5 is 60 mm (2.4 in) wider, 165 mm (6.5 in) longer; with a 110 mm (4.3 in) longer wheelbase, but remains at the height of the previous generation X5 at 1766 mm (69.5 in). The SUV is manufactured alongside with the new, 2008 BMW X6 at BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina plant in the USA. The interior of the new X5 is also completely redesigned. It has a large center-mounted display screen and simplified iDrive, the system found in the 5-Series and 3-Series.

BMW X5 now features many new technological advances such as Active Steering, a panoramic roof and LED taillamps. Many were disappointed to learn that neither the BMW nightvision system nor the radar-controlled cruise-control would be offered at job-1.
The E70 has also incorporated two new engines to the X5 lineup. BMW has begun a shift of replacing engines from the 2006 7-Series. It is likely that the E70 will inherit those same powertrains later on.

Petrol models include:

* X5 3.0si 3.0 L 260 hp (194 kW) N52B30 inline-6 62mph (100 km/h) in 8sec
* X5 4.8i 4.8 L 350 hp (261 kW) N62B48 V8 62mph (100 km/h) in 6.4sec

Diesel models include:

* X5 3.0d 3.0 L 235 hp (173 kW) M57TUD30 inline-6 62mph (100 km/h) in 8.5sec

A 3.5sd model based on the award-winning M57 3.0 liter twin turbo diesel engine is available since autumn 2007.

It is speculated that another future "M-Sport" Model, due in 2009, will have a 4.4L Twin Turbo V8 (N64B44O1 engine) that will produce about 430 horsepower (320 kW). Transmission choices differ from that offered today - 6-speed Steptronic will be offered as a standard option.

Also, the xDrive AWD system updates previewed in the facelifted X3 have continued with further detail improvements into the E70. Contrary to rumors also floating around regarding the use of 7-Series electronic column-shifter, the new X5 features a new 'joy-stick'-style electronic space-saving shifter that has since been adopted in the new 2008 BMW 5 Series.

The X5 is also the first production vehicle to use FlexRay, a new electrical bus system; it is only used for the control of the chassis damping system.

On November 15, 2007, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) announced that the current X5 and X3 models were the top safety picks for all Mid-size SUV models.
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