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BMW X5 M will come here

People power has forced an Australian backflip on the X5 M, which will now join the ultimate go-faster version of the X6 in a twin-pronged SUV attack.

The M models of the American-made heavyweights are unveiled this week in the USA ahead of Australian sales from the end of the year. The X6 M will land in December with the family-focussed X5 M expected a month later.

Pricing will not be confirmed for some time, but the bottom line is likely to open around the $180,000 mark.

For that money the X5 and X6 with the M-power treatment come with a twin-turbo V8 engine, larger wheels, tyres and brakes, and the inevitable body tweaking including a deeper front spoiler with huge air intakes to keep the 4.4-litre V8 happy with its 408 kiloWatt output. The SUVs are the first M cars with a regulation automatic gearbox, although the six-speed self-shifter has been tweaked for maximum driver response and to deliver a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds.

The X6 M was set for Australia from the time BMW confirmed its M plans for the oddly-shaped luxury wagon-coupe, but the X5 was only added this week when management in Australia confirmed its customer order bank.

"Since we announced the X6 M was coming to Australia, dealers have taken numerous orders for the car. Not wishing to be left out of the action, BMW has also received requests from buyers interested in the

X5 M," says the managing director of BMW Group Australia, Stavros Yallouridis.

"Now that our business case for the X5 M is complete, we are in a position to meet the desires of these customers also."

But the cars will be extremely exclusive, with only 100 X5s available for Australia in 2010 and only a quarter of that figure on the X6 M front.

First drive of BMW X6 M