To coincide with the premiere of the new BMW 5-Series range, BMW M GmbH is bringing out a sporty BMW M Performance version of the world’s most successful business sedan. For the time being at least, the new BMW M550i xDrive will assume the status of range-topper in the new BMW 5-Series line-up. Boasting a mighty M Performance TwinPower Turbo engine, BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive with rear-wheel bias and a bespoke M Performance chassis set-up, the new BMW M550i xDrive can be classed as both a four-door sports car and the most dynamic business sedan around. With its abundant torque reserves and high-revving characteristics, the V8 power unit serves up a matchless blend of supreme performance, wonderfully precise driving dynamics and uncompromised everyday usability. This all helps the new BMW M550i xDrive to set the pace in its segment and turn each and every drive into an exhilarating experience.
2018 BMW M550i xDrive Review
Exterior and Interior
On its M-Sport suspension with active-roll stabilization the 550i runs 0.4 inches lower than the conventional sedan, which gives it a tough appearance. The bodywork is kept largely standard, but blue brake calipers, big lower front air intakes, black chrome exhaust snaps, and mirror cappings give it subtle aggression.
Under the Hood
This is a beefy muscle sedan that weighs 4,372 pounds. It’s powered by a 4.4-liter, short-stroke twin-turbo V8 with direct injection and variable valve lift. It produces 456 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 480 pound-feet of torque running from 1,800 to 4,750 rpm. Even at 6,500 rpm where redline is within sight, hammering the throttle is rewarding, as are sprints to 60 achieved in 3.9 seconds.
The longitudinally-mounted V8 feeds into a ZF eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. It features a special set of ratios and an electronically controlled Haldex-type clutch pack sending power to the front wheels when slip is detected or anticipated, but the system defaults to a rear-wheel bias.
Transmission control is via BMW’s tunnel-mounted lever or more conveniently, through the steering-column paddles. There are several driver settings for the transmission that modulate throttle mapping, steering weight, and suspension roll control and damping. Sport and Sport + are at the extreme, the latter relaxing the dynamic stability control to allow gentle tail-out driving.
Prices and Available
The M550i xDrive will be joining the new 5-series range in March 2017.