I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with G-Power and its cars. On the one hand, I love the fact that they take something like a BMW M5, strap a couple of superchargers onto it and bestow it with a 375kph top speed capability.
I’ve been lucky enough – though maybe lucky isn’t exactly the right word – to be a passenger in an M5 ‘Hurricane’ as it went for a maximum speed run. However, on the flip side, I fall into the hate camp when G-Power tries its hand at cars that really shouldn’t go that fast – take this X5 as a case in point.
Using the popular 4.8-litre X5 as its base, G-Power have come along and supercharged the beast to raise the power from a factory 350bhp to 450, 475, 525 or 625bhp depending on your wallet size and insanity level.
This particular G-Powered X5 has 450bhp – so nothing too outrageous, but still more power than BMW originally designed the X5 to have.
The supercharger is a monster ASA unit which is shoehorned under the bonnet alongside the G-Power trademark orange air intake. Whilst there’s no questions about the quality of the installation, indeed G-Power offers a three-year unlimited mileage warranty on all of its kits, the net result is a car that’s still pretty rough around the edges.
There’s no doubt the power on offer – the G-Power X5 feels pretty darn swift on the road, though no official performance figures are given. However, the gearbox – which is remains stock unless you go for the unhinged 625bhp version – struggles to keep up.
On gentle throttle application, the six-speed ZF box attempts to change up through the gears early, leaving you floundering with the engine attempting to dump all its power down, but the gearbox working against it. Therefore, a change of driving style is required – ie, pedal to the metal and hold on tight!
With that mindset in place, it’s best to knock the gearbox into Sport mode so that it holds onto gears for longer. However, on busy roads around town, there’s still a fight going on between the driver and the surge of power under the bonnet. If you don’t keep your wits about you, and a foot hovering over the brake pedal, it’s all to easy to find that the car tries to run away with itself as the supercharger winds itself up and goes about its business.
On one occasion, I’d accelerated from some traffic lights to around 80kph – naturally, this all happened rather quickly – only to find that when I lifted off the throttle, the car was still accelerating. Not exactly ideal.
The visual additions to this car are a mix of G-Power and AC Schnitzer add-ons, which don’t exactly do the car any favours in the looks department.
However, that’s probably more down to my Western tastes – for a local who adheres to the ‘all show and go’ mentality, they’d likely go down a storm.
At the end of the day, if you want a crazy fast X5, I’d recommend looking at the X5 M with its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that’s rated to 547bhp.
At least that way, you’ve got a car that’s been designed with the sole purpose of going fast, though remains smooth and cultured at low speeds. And if that’s not enough, then go down the G-Power route with that car as the base.
Engine: V8, 4799cc, supercharged
Power: 450bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque: 442lb ft @ 1500rpm
0-100kph: 6.0sec (estimated) Top speed: 260kph (claimed)
On sale: Now