6 cylinders, 4 turbos, and 400 horsepower from the strongest six-cylinder diesel engine in the car world.
Diesels might be a dying breed in some regions of the world, but not in Bavaria. After coming out with the petrol-powered M550i xDrive towards the end of last year, BMW is now showing off its diesel counterpart, the new M550d xDrive. We won’t bore you with details about the design since the high-performance midsize saloon running on Devil’s fuel is all about the numbers.
Billed as being the world’s most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine, the 3.0-litre has no fewer than four turbochargers to churn a mighty 400 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and a massive peak torque of 560 pound-feet available from 2,000 rpm. From a low 1,000 rpm, the driver has 332 lb-ft of torque already available. All that power is channelled to an AWD setup through an eight-speed automatic sports transmission.
In terms of performance, go for the saloon and the sprint to 62 mph will take a mere 4.4 seconds whereas the slightly heavier Touring estate needs an extra two tenths of a second to accomplish the same task. Both body styles come with an electronic top speed limiter that will kick in at 155 mph.
Basically, all numbers have been improved over the previous tri-turbo M550d xDrive. Horsepower is up by 19 hp while torque has increased by 15 lb-ft. Corroborated with the weight loss brought by the new-generation 5 Series, the saloons sprint takes 0.3 seconds less than before. Not like it matters a great deal, but fuel economy is improved to 47.8 mpg in the case of the saloon.
Like its petrol twin, the diesel monster gets an M sports suspension as standard and that drops the ride height by 10 millimetres. Exclusive 19-inch M alloy wheels are part of the deal as well, as are the M brakes, a subtle aerodynamic kit, and Integral Active Steering, which is BMW’s fancy way of saying rear-wheel steering.
The saloon will be the first to go on sale in Europe this July, with the Touring to follow towards the end of the year.
Gallery: 2018 BMW M550d xDrive
The new BMW M550d xDrive
BMW is now expanding the new generation of the world's most successful business sedan, the BMW 5 Series, with the addition of another M Performance model. The new BMW M550d xDrive is fitted with the most powerful diesel engine ever offered in a BMW 5 Series model. (combined fuel consumption: 5.9 l/100 km*, ** (Touring: 6.2 l/100 km*, **), combined CO2 emissions: 154 g/km*, ** (Touring: 163 g/km*, **), exhaust emission standard: EU6.)
- New BMW M550d xDrive expands the extensive portfolio of the M Performance automobiles with a Sedan and a Touring model.
- The world’s most powerful 6-cylinder diesel engine in the automotive area.
- Multi-stage turbocharging with four turbochargers for high output and powerful torque combined with impressive efficiency.
- BMW xDrive – intelligent all-wheel drive system with rear-wheel orientation for characteristic M Performance driving dynamics and supreme driving performance in all conditions.
- As standard with M sports suspension, Integral Active Steering, M aerodynamics package, exhaust system with M Performance specific twin tailpipe trims in dark chrome and M sports brake featuring brake calipers finished in blue metallic with M inscription.
- Exterior mirror housings, radiator grille frame, bumper design elements and side air breathers in Cerium Grey.
- 19-inch light alloy wheels Double Spoke 664 M in Cerium Grey (front 8J × 19, rear 9J × 19) and mixed tyres in the format 245/40 R19 at front and 275/35 R19 at rear as standard.
- 6-cylinder diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology including four turbochargers, engine output 294 kW/400 hp, maximum torque 760 Nm,combined fuel consumption: 5.9 l/100 km*, ** (Touring: 6.2 l/100 km*,**), combined CO2 emissions: 154 g/km*, ** (Touring: 163 g/km*, **), exhaust emission standard: EU6.
* Provisional specifications.
** The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on the ECE test cycle, dependent on tyre format