World Premier: BMW M Performance Automobiles

First came the rumor. Then came the official admission. Now comes the debut. Today BMW M takes the wraps off of its first products with diesel engines. No they aren ‘t M cars in the classic sense but they are a new breed of cars created by M to bridge the gap between full M products and “Series ” cars.

However being that these first products are diesel, they will not be coming to the US. With diesel certification an extraordinarily pricey affair for the US market, projected sales don ‘t justify the investment. Forbidden fruit or not, the numbers look extraordinary; 381 hp and 546 lb-ft from a triple turbocharged inline six. Power is driven through an eight speed automatic gearbox and put down to the pavement via a revised xDrive system. The results as impressive as expected – 0-60 should fall somewhere in the mid four second range.

Numbers aside it ‘s the engine that has us most interested. This is BMW ‘s first application of a triple turbo set-up and one of the first in the automotive industry. The size, arrangement and interplay of the turbos are designed to guarantee maximum power across the power range. The system comprises two smaller and one larger turbo. According to the driving situation, the low moment of inertia of the small turbochargers is exploited to the full to deliver razor-sharp responses, while the link-up with the large turbo is maximised to generate as much charge pressure as possible.

You can read more via the official press release below and the full gallery after the break. And if you still can ‘t get enough you can download the entire full (and lengthy) press release after the break.

Official Release: The new BMW M GmbH product range offers customers more ways to experience Sheer Driving Pleasure with an even sharper sporting edge. The BMW M Performance Automobiles stand out with their exceptionally powerful engines, enhanced agility and precision handling, their emotion- laden design and unrestricted everyday practicality, and their impressive efficiency given the performance on offer. All are based on current BMW models, BMW M GmbH using its vast pool of expertise to carry out carefully targeted technical and design modifications.

The premiere of the BMW M Performance Automobiles heralds the creation of a new category of car, one which marks out the sporting potential of the latest BMW models in particularly vivid style. Getting the ball rolling for the new breed are a quartet of inspirational models linked most significantly by a newly developed six-cylinder in-line diesel engine. Three turbochargers, maximum output reaching 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 Newton metros (546 lb-ft) provide a punchy introduction.

Without parallel worldwide, the new engine gives the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d performance figures head and shoulders above those of the diesel models currently topping their respective model series. The new M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology lays on a significant increase in output and torque across an extremely wide rev range. And yet despite this enhanced power delivery, fuel consumption and emissions figures in the EU test cycle are almost unchanged.

Unique engine, customary M set-up.

The further optimised combination of driving pleasure and efficiency provides fresh evidence of the outstanding development expertise on hand at BMW M GmbH in terms of powertrain technology. However, it is the typically harmonious interplay of powertrain, chassis technology and design that gives BMW M Performance Automobiles their innovative and distinctive character. An eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox and the intelligent all-wheel-drive system BMW xDrive – tuned to suit each individual model – team up with detailed modifications to chassis components and light-alloy wheels developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles to deliver driving characteristics imbued with agility and precision. Precisely controllable handling properties reflect the expertise and experience of BMW M GmbH in the development of high-performance sports cars.

The familiar M style is also expressed through the cars’ bespoke body design, which takes its cues from the aerodynamic demands of driving at the dynamic limit. And the BMW M Performance Automobiles also boast an interior very much in keeping with the purposefully sporty driving experience.

Premiere: six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with three turbochargers.

The market launch of the first BMW M Performance Automobiles also sees the premiere of the most powerful diesel engine ever fitted in one of the brand’s models. The new unit shows BMW demonstrating its commitment to the development of ultra-sporty yet impressively efficient diesel powerplants. Globally unique technological highlights open the door to a new dimension in power development. The six-cylinder in-line engine developed for the BMW M Performance Automobiles uses its 2,993 cc displacement to generate maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp, giving the new diesel unit a specific output of 93.6 kW/127.3 hp per litre of displacement. No less imposing is the engine’s maximum torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft), all of which the driver will find on tap as low down as 2,000 rpm.

Playing a central role in this increase in power is M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology. For the first time, a BMW engine will feature three turbochargers. The size, arrangement and interplay strategy of the turbos are designed to guarantee maximum power delivery across a wide rev band. The system comprises two relatively small turbochargers and one large turbo, which join forces precisely to deliver the amount of power required. According to the driving situation, the low moment of inertia of the small turbochargers is exploited to the full to deliver razor-sharp responses, while the link-up with the large turbo is maximised to generate as much charge pressure as possible.

This innovative and globally unique multi-stage turbocharging concept represents a particularly efficient method of boosting output. In addition, the efficiency of the new diesel engine is further optimised by innovations including a new development stage in common-rail direct injection technology, featuring piezo injectors working with maximum pressure of 2,200 bar. The impressive quantity and quality of the technical innovations on hand complement the unrivalled development expertise of BMW in the development of diesel engines. The new powerplant strikes the most effective balance between output and fuel consumption of any series- produced unit of its kind.

The BMW M550d xDrive: a new benchmark in sporty driving pleasure and efficiency in the BMW 5 Series segment.

The unique properties of the new six-cylinder diesel engine play a key role in enabling the BMW M Performance Automobiles to redefine the relationship between driving pleasure and economy – and therefore ensure the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring act as extremely effective advertisements for BMW EfficientDynamics technology in the BMW 5 Series segment. These models embody a particularly high-level application of the principle of increased performance coupled with ultra-low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The typically M interpretation of the BMW 5 Series’ characteristics also allows drivers to experience the harmony of sporting capability and ride comfort, fascination and everyday usability in extraordinary depth.

Both the Sedan and Touring models prove more impressively than ever that the hallmark pulling power of a diesel engine can be converted into inspirational driving dynamics. The BMW M550d xDrive Sedan accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds, while the BMW M550d xDrive Touring covers the same sprint in 4.9 seconds.

The two models showcase the efficiency benefits of diesel technology equally convincingly. In the EU test cycle the Sedan records fuel consumption of just 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres (44.8 mpg imp), the Touring 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 for the BMW M550d xDrive Touring. Both models also meet the requirements specified by the EU6 exhaust standard.

Model-specific modifications governing power transfer, chassis and design enable a textbook M conversion of engine output into sporty driving pleasure. The standard-fitted eight-speed Sports automatic transmission comes with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel and is given model-specific settings, enabling even more rapid gear changes and helping the engine’s performance characteristics to be exploited to the greatest possible degree. Meanwhile, BMW xDrive improves the cars’ cornering dynamics, as well as enhancing traction and directional stability. The electronic all-wheel-drive system follows a control strategy tailored to each model. This 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. Meanwhile, the air channelling properties, handling and appearance of both BMW M550d xDrive variants benefit from aerodynamically optimised body elements at the front and rear, Ferric Grey exterior mirrors and air intake bars, and exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels (available as an option).

The BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d: an imposing presence in both the acceleration and efficiency rankings.

Outstanding powertrain and chassis technology in combination with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive allow the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe to display extraordinary poise and assurance. The BMW M Performance Automobiles based on the two BMW X models take these character traits to a whole new level. Thanks to the most powerful diesel engine in the BMW engine range, allied to the optimised power transfer, handling properties and aerodynamic balance for which M cars are renowned, the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d set new standards in their respective classes in terms of sportiness, conceptual harmony and efficiency.

With its maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft) the engine developed for the BMW M Performance Automobiles also brings a level of performance to the two BMW X models which no other diesel-powered car in their segments can match. The BMW X5 M50d accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds, the BMW X6 M50d in just 5.3 seconds, while average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle stands at 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres (37.7 mpg imp) for the Sports Activity Vehicle and 7.7 l/100 km (36.7 mpg imp) for the Sports Activity Coupé – only slightly above the figures for the existing diesel variants of the two models. CO2 emissions are 199 grams per kilometre for the BMW X5 M50d and 204 g/km for the BMW X6 M50d.

The eight-speed Sports automatic transmission with enhanced gearshift dynamics and the xDrive all-wheel-drive system – tuned to suit the individual model and emphasise the traditional rear-wheel set-up of BMW cars – transfer drive to the road with characteristic élan. Chassis technology which has likewise been modified using BMW M GmbH expertise ensures that the hallmark agility of BMW X models is geared even more intently to enhancing sporting capability. The BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d also underline their dynamic tendencies in the form of model-specific body features, which optimise both the supply of cooling air for the engine and the cars’ aerodynamic properties. 19-inch (BMW X6 M50d: 20-inch) M light-alloy wheels are also fitted as standard on these models. 20-inch light-alloy wheels in Ferric Grey developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles can be specified as an option. Plus, Ferric Grey metallic exterior mirror caps and air intake bars – another distinguishing feature of BMW M Performance Automobiles – give the cars an even more individual visual appearance. BMW M Performance Automobiles: using outstanding expertise to increase driving pleasure – a tried-and-tested concept.

The development of high-performance sports cars with bespoke powertrain and chassis technology, stand-out design and interior features and model- specific cockpit controls and displays represents the core area of business of BMW M GmbH. The expertise required to fulfil this brief is rooted in decades of experience in the conception of racing cars, which initially constituted the sole focus of BMW Motorsport GmbH following the company’s founding in 1972. However, it was not long before this expertise was also being used to satisfy the demands of drivers with sporting pretensions for more power in their road cars. The first BMW 5 Series models were duly equipped with suitably modified powertrain and chassis technology in the mid-1970s.

In 1980 an additional BMW 5 Series model was unveiled for the first time; the BMW M535i boasted a significant increase in output (to 160 kW/218 hp) and modifications to the chassis, brakes, gearbox and rear differential. Also developed on the basis of the second-generation BMW 5 Series was the BMW M535i, which was on sale from 1984 to 1987 – alongside the BMW M5 following its 1985 launch. With its extra power moulded flawlessly into dynamic excellence and stand-alone stylistic identity headlined by aerodynamically optimised body components, the BMW M535i provided full-blooded driving pleasure yet also unhindered day-to-day usability. It marked the realisation of a concept whose success was rooted primarily in the harmony between powertrain, chassis and design achieved by BMW M GmbH, and which has now been revived in a fresh new form with the BMW M Performance Automobiles.

Full Gallery

BMW M Automobiles Official Release

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  • Dylan Bland

    Can someone explain to me how this isn’t diluting the M brand? Brands can only stretch so far. I get that BMW needs to sell cars to stay profitable and this will be a good business decision, but it’s my opinion this is a sad day for the M brand and sad for existing owners of old-school M cars. Sad. 

  • Shaman

    I sooo want that wagon!

  • Adam

    I am going to ram my head into my marble desktop if I have to explain this again.  They are not M cars! they are “massaged” by M.  They said they are doing this so they can avoid things like diesel and X-drive in the true M cars.  What else would you have called them? oh and may I point out, Audi’s S cars are far less developed than these and Merc’s AMG pack is purly cosmetic so if you are angry at BMW, which brand would you say did it better? AMG? Audi?   Maybe Ferrari should scrape its logo’s off of the V8 Engines that Maserati use to keep the brand pure, oh wait Porsche should just go back to making nothing but the 911 range.  Oh hold on Lamborghini too, they should only make the big V12 cars.  While we’re at it lets get VW’s to all be air cooled and lets get GM to make Fiero’s that catch fire again!    Jesus! forum trolls crawl out of the woodwork these days, listen I suggest you write BMW AG in Munich and tell them how you disapprove of there buisness practices and that you could make better ones, we’ll see if they do anything but laugh at you!

    Tu sei un testa di cappa!!!

    • Adam

      In reply to Dylan Bland

  • Dylan Bland

    Thanks for the pro tip Adam. 

    When people point to the M on the back of their car and tell me they’ve bought an M…I’ll be sure to borrow your line…what was it again…oh… “They are not M cars! They are MASSAGED by M.” 

    I’m sure people will get it.

    • Adam

      I’m sorry, here I have a gift card to Home Depot, $25, go buy yourself some sand and pound on it!

  • Dylan Bland

    It’s clear you don’t understand my point Adam (that the use of the letter “M” on non-M cars is a branding issue that I consider negative).

    But thanks anyway for the pro tip. When people point to the M on the back of their new diesel and tell me they’ve bought an M the same as my 1M…I’ll be sure to borrow your line…what was it again…oh… “They are not M cars! They are MASSAGED by M.” I’m sure people will get it.

    • Adam

      From 1979 till ’81 BMW offered the M535i (not M5), from ’85 till ’88 the E28 M535i and M5 coexisted, and lets not forget the E24 M635CSi.  Lets go further, the 850CSi had little M badges all over the damn thing but wasn’t sold as or labled as an M, the X5 4.6 and 4.8is… same deal tons of M badges and even M gauges and yet was never an M, and the Z8 too. 

      Were you being a little chooch back then too? or were you busy complaining that the E30 M3 also was offered in convertable form and “wa wa it isnt pure”

      In Italy they buy Dolce and Gabbana and you’d never know it, they dont care what the tag says, yet here in the good ‘ol USofA you buy an Abercrombie shirt and it says A&F in huge letters so everyone knows what your wearing, and somehow it matters. 

      BTW how do you even know what effect this has? have you ever even owned an M model in your life? Michael and Gabe are M owners ask them how emotionally damaged they are by this.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Adam. I own an E30 m325i and a 1M. Actually just today I took my E30 m325i to a paint shop for a touch up and they wrote on the quote book E30 M3. I thought that was kinda funny. Anyway. 

        I don’t believe BMW always get it right. I think using the M on a wider and wider set of vehicles only serves to water down the M brand. They’re all great cars, certainly, but it adds confusion in the marketplace. 

        Just like BMW got it wrong (in my opinion) with “Joy Is” as do I believe they are getting it wrong by widening the vehicles they choose to put the M badge on.

  • Jason Parry

    So a twin turbo 3.0L engine is a 50 on the badge!?

    • Babak

      tri-turbo. And yes, BMW’s badges now go by the ‘virtual displace’ rather than actual displacement in the car. So if the car performs like a 50, then it’s gonna get a 50 badge.

  • m8o

    That Xdrive 5-er wagon is to die for.  Got it all … Fast, Grippie and Miserly, and Roomy.  Too bad I’ll be moving into NYC and no longer have a reason to have a vehicle like that; what timing.  But that there, is my perfect car.  Period. 

  • Looks like these are the first AWD Sedan/Wagon models available with either a sports or ///M suspension.  That is a bit different from the high rider AWD models BMW has always given us in the past.  I was wondering if BMW would ever take AWD seriously in a perfomance model.

    • Anonymous

      I am going to dig into this deeper about the suspension.

      Chas- BTW, remember when I said they could do an inline six with three turbos and got my head ripped off (elsewhere) that it was impossible guess some people just like to think they know stuff.