Coming to complement the gasoline-powered M550i xDrive, the new M550d xDrive shows diesels still have The Force, particularly 6 cylinders, 4 turbos, and 400 horsepower.
The Bavarian company labels the new iteration as the world’s most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine “in the automotive area,” the 3.0-liter has a total of four turbochargers for the 400 horsepower (294 kilowatts) at 4,400 rpm and a locomotive maximum torque of 560 pound-feet (760 Newton-meters) available from 2,000 rpm. Even from 1,000 rpm, the driver still has 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque – while the power is directed to all four wheels via the ubiquitous xDrive AWD routed through the well-known eight-speed automatic sports transmission.
Speaking of performance, take out the sedan and you’ll sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) in 4.4 seconds whereas the heavier – but better looking and more versatile wagon – will need an extra two tenths of a second. Both feature the classic electronic cap at 155 mph (250 kph). These numbers feature an improvement over the predecessor – the tri-turbo M550d xDrive – with hp up by 19 ponies, torque has surged 15 lb-ft (20 Nm) and because the model rides on a much more lightweight platform there are 0.3 seconds shaved from the sprint. Even fuel economy is down by 0.4 liters in the combined cycle to 5.9 liters when discussing the sedan.
Tweaks include an M sports suspension as standard with a lowered ride height by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches). Specific 19-inch M alloy wheels are also here, next to M brakes, a restrained aerodynamic kit, and Integral Active Steering, meaning rear-wheel steering. The sedan is the first to go up for grabs in Europe from July, with the practical station wagon coming before the end of the year.