The design of the X5 originated in California at BMW’s Design Works. The SAV look was further developed and refined in Munich. Traditional BMW features such as the Kidney grilles, quad headlights, reverse link rear side window trim and typical rear tail light treat- ment allow the X5 to assume a BMW identity. Yet the unique side and hood treatments as well as the large wheel house openings and high ground clearance set the X5 apart as its own distinctive vehicle.
The design criteria for the X5 was to develop a vehicle with the superb handling and sporty driving characteristics that are typically BMW, yet produce an all wheel drive vehicle that can also be used off-road. This was achieved through the use of independent front suspension and multi-link rear suspension components that are taken from the E38/E39 vehicle design and expanded by the addition of front drive components.
The entire body shell/frame assembly of the X5 is reinforced to ensure optimized body rigidity.
In addition to the cross bracing on the front suspension/engine carrier, an additional panel is installed between the bulkhead and transmission tunnel.
The floor pan of the X5 is reinforced with additional ribbing and cross braces to increase the lateral rigidity. A continuous seat cross brace is connected to the floor pan and side sill for reinforcement.