The badging of the new BMW M550d sedan and touring
Patrick Rall's picture

Introducing the diesel powered BMW M550d xDrive sedan and wagon

There have long been rumors that BMW would be introducing a new lineup of high performance M variants packing a diesel technology and today, those rumors became fact as the German automaker introduced the new BMW M550d xDrive sedan and touring.
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The key feature of the new BMW M550d xDrive sedan and M550d xDrive touring (wagon) is the new 3.0L inline six cylinder diesel engine that uses a tri-turbo setup designed specifically for the new high performance M applications. This new triple turbo diesel churns out 381 horsepower at 4,000rpm and a whopping 546lb-ft of torque at just 3,000rpm– with that power channeled to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission and BMW’s xDrive advanced all wheel drive system. The result of this advanced oil-burning triple turbo inline six engine, the specially tuned 8-speed transmission and BMW’s all wheel drive system is an M550d xDrive sedan that will hustle from 0-60 in just 4.7 seconds while the roomier M550d xDrive touring will hit 60 from a stop in just 4.9 seconds. For those unsure, a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds makes the new BMW M550d xDrive sedan just 4 tenths of a second slower than the 2012 BMW M5 that reaches the same mark in just 4.3 seconds with help from a 560 horsepower turbocharged V8.

In addition to the specially designed tri-turbo 3.0L diesel engine, the 8-speed automatic transmission and the M-tuned xDrive system, the BMW M550d xDrive sedan and M550d xDrive touring benefit from a plethora of other M-tuned goodies. This includes a unique exterior design, interior appointments that sport the BMW M logo, high performance M-tuned suspension, an improving braking system and a specially tuned hydraulic steering system borrowed from the current BMW M5. This all means that not only will the BMW M550d xDrive sedan and M550d xDrive touring get off of the line in a hurry but these new high performance oil burning sedan and wagons will handle their own on a road course while also standing out in a crowd with their unique design features.

Now for the bad news.

The German automaker currently has no plans to offer the new BMW M550d xDrive sedan and M550d xDrive touring in the United States. The key reason is that the new tri-turbo 3.0L inline six would have trouble conforming to US emission laws but at the same time, American buyers (especially those looking to go very fast) typical shy away from diesel engines. The American consumer is slowly beginning to understand that the modern diesel engine is nothing like the soot-spewing oil burners in the road-hogging tractor trailers that congest and destroy our highways but for the time being, most European automakers are hesitant to offer the wide variety of diesel engine options in the US that they do in their homelands. BMW, Audi and others are slowly beginning to offer peppy diesel models in the US but right now, we shouldn’t expect to see the new BMW M550d xDrive sedan and M550d xDrive touring in North American showrooms any time soon.

Click any of the thumbnails on the right for a closer look at the engine, interior and exterior of the new BMW M550d xDrive sedan and M550d xDrive touring.


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