BMW X5 and X6 get sporty

* X5 and X6 to get 'M' models * 'M' range updated * No prices announced yet...

BMW X5 and X6 get sporty

BMW has confirmed it will produce sporty variants of the X5 and X6, as well as giving its current 'M' range a mild makeover in 2009.

The cars will be called the X5M and X6M and will be powered by BMW's twin turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, launched in the standard X6 earlier this year.

Sales in the UK are not expected to start until next year.

Meanwhile, the M3 will get a slightly revised interior with active front head restraints to reduce whiplash in an impact, plus new air vents and a fresh front armrest.

New options will include a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox.

M5 and M6 models gain a new version of the iDrive central control system, and a new sat-nav set-up that integrates with the phone system and an 80MB music player.

The M6 Coupe will come with the option of a Competition Package that features even lower suspension, double-spoke aluminium wheels and a different bonnet with more pronounced curves.

UK prices for the revised M ranges and new options have not yet been announced.

UK sales of the X5 M and X6 M aren't expected to start until spring 2009.