By January 28, 2012 Read More →

BMW M550d xDrive

The new and globally unique M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology gives the six-cylinder in-line diesel engine powering the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft). The engine’s instantaneous and sustained wave of torque allows it to lay down benchmark performance values for diesel-powered executive cars. The BMW M550d xDrive Sedan goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds, while the BMW M550d xDrive Touring records 4.9 seconds for the same sprint. The duo also display addictive elasticity at higher speeds thanks to their engine’s vast reserves of power. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) in both cases. The diesel technology developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles also gives the new arrivals a convincing head start in terms of efficiency. The Sedan offers fuel economy figures of 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres (44.8 mpg imp) in the EU test cycle, while the Touring achieves 6.4 l/100 km (44.1 mpg imp). CO2 emissions are 165 grams per kilometre for the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan and 169 g/km in the case of the BMW M550d xDrive Touring.

Another feature of the typically M overall set-up are the aerodynamic characteristics of the body, which help to give the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring their precisely controllable dynamics. The sporty yet elegant appearance of the two cars is complemented by a bespoke, airflow-optimising design for the front and rear aprons. The front view of both models is dominated by large air intakes. For example, the spaces around the outer air intakes normally reserved for foglamps on regular BMW 5 Series models are used to enhance the inflow of cooling air. The three-dimensional shaping of the front apron incorporates air-channelling flaps at the lower edge of the outer intakes, which are split horizontally by bars painted Ferric Grey metallic. The same shade is used for the exterior mirror caps and optional 20-inch M light-alloy wheels. BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim for the B-pillars, exterior mirror base and window surrounds also comes as standard.

Its extremely powerful form and an integrated diffuser element allow the bespoke rear apron of the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring to optimise both the cars’ sporting appearance and airflow around the underbody. A horizontal trim strip on the top edge of the Black insert accentuates the width of the body. The exhaust tailpipes, positioned far to the outer edges of the rear end, come with trapezoidal embellishers in Chrome Dark. Another distinguishing feature is the “M550d” lettering on the boot lid and front door sills. Lending the interior a familiar M ambience are features such as the gearshift lever with M logo, M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, M driver’s footrest, BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite and Aluminium Hexagon interior trim strips. The sports seats in the exclusive M variant Alcantara/Cloth in Grey Shadow are adorned with contrast stitching and an embossed M logo. Dakota leather is available as an alternative, at no extra cost.

The BMW M Performance Automobiles come as standard with BMW xDrive to channel the engine’s power variably and as the situation demands between the front and rear wheels. The electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system works using a bespoke control strategy, which allows the threat of understeer in extremely dynamic driving situations to be counteracted by adjustments to the power split, without the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system linked up to xDrive having to intervene. The system’s M-specific tuning accentuates the traditional rear-wheel bias of BMW cars when it comes to power distribution. The all-wheel-drive system of the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring sends more drive to the rear axle on the entry into a corner, delivering exceptionally precise cornering and impressive directional stability. In addition, the likewise standard Performance Control divides power between the rear wheels to maximise the cars’ sports performance. Carefully judged braking of the rear wheel nearest the inside of the bend coupled with a simultaneous increase in drive power ensure the car responds to the driver’s steering commands instantaneously and with high precision. The driver can even use the self-steering response typical of M cars to execute controlled drifts through dynamically taken corners.

The powerful braking system on the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring features inner-vented discs. Like the discs charged with stopping the V8 petrol-engined BMW 550i, they have a diameter of 374 millimetres at the front axle and 345 millimetres at the rear. The standard 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design are fitted with 245/40 R 19 format tyres. 20-inch M light-alloy wheels – developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles – with mixed tyres can be ordered as an option.

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