The ultimate 5 Series is here. BMW has repositioned its highest level (non M car) 5 Series as a M Performance model. And that car is hitting dealerships as we speak. Equipped with a twin turbo V8 producing 456 HP, the M550 sprints to 60 in 3.9 seconds and features a revised suspension by BMWM. Shockingly it’s not pricey as one would expect. Given that we just tested a $73k four cylinder 530, this new M550i starts out at $72,100 pretty well equipped.
Read on for the full press release and plenty of gorgeous photos of BMW’s executive rocketship.
Official Release: To coincide with the premiere of the new BMW 5 Series range, BMW M Division 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.
State-of-the-art high-performance engine melds power with efficiency. The new BMW M550i xDrive is the first BMW 5 Series M Performance model to be powered by a petrol engine, namely a specifically modified M Performance TwinPower Turbo eight-cylinder unit with a displacement of 4.4 litres. (fuel consumption combined: 8.9 l/100 km [31.7 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 204 g/km)* The V8 is equipped with two twin-scroll turbochargers and features the High Precision Injection direct injection system, Valvetronic fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control. This all adds up to an output of 340 kW/462 hp at 5,500 rpm and peak torque of 650 Nm (479 lb‑ft) that can be summoned from just 1,800 rpm.
The state-of-the-art, high-performance engine comes with all the dynamic credentials expected of a BMW M Performance Automobile, propelling the BMW M550i xDrive from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds, then on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). At the same time, the new V8 engine also demonstrates the exceptional efficiency of the M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology. The new BMW M550i xDrive already complies with the exacting EU6 emissions standard.
Steptronic Sport transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. Drive transfer in the most powerful BMW 5 Series Sedan is, at present, handled by the standard-fit Steptronic Sport eight-speed transmission, which plays a significant role in the superb dynamics of the BMW M550i xDrive. The M Performance configuration of the shift modes has been tailored to the characteristics of the V8 engine, with distinctly sporty gear changes and more instantaneous downshifts across the entire rev range, and serves to enrich the thrilling driving experience. For an even sharper sporting edge, the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission can also be operated using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission itself helps to cut fuel consumption and emissions thanks to its compact design, low weight and optimised efficiency.
The BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system in the BMW M550i xDrive splits drive power between all four wheels as the situation demands – intelligently and with a rear-wheel bias. BMW xDrive is thereby key to delivering two intrinsic elements of the trademark M Performance driving experience under all conditions: superlative driving performance and extremely precise handling. And when the adaptive M Sport suspension (lowered by 10 millimetres) is added to the equation, along with either the standard 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in Cerium Grey metallic matt or the optional** 20-inch light-alloy wheels (in an exclusive design, also painted in the Cerium Grey metallic matt finish), the result is tremendous handling stability and optimum traction, come what may.
In addition, the power steering with M-specific responses in the SPORT and SPORT+ settings serves to highlight the crisp handling and precise driving properties of the sportiest representative yet of the new-generation BMW 5 Series. Steering commands are executed with pinpoint accuracy and the driver receives the sort of feedback that guarantees immense driving pleasure when powering along twisty sections of road. The performance-enhancing specification of the BMW M550i xDrive is completed to perfection by the M Sport brakes with brake callipers in Blue metallic and M badging, which combine outstanding stopping power with excellent feel.
** Available from 07/ 2017.
Sporty looks with exclusive M Performance equipment features. The exterior of the new BMW M550i xDrive boldly expresses the sedan’s dynamic performance capabilities, while also underlining its status as the flagship model in the new BMW 5 Series range. The M aerodynamic package, including an M rear spoiler with Gurney flap on the boot lid, accentuates the sporty, dynamic lines of the new BMW 5 Series, at the same time as optimising the airflow around and over the car. The exterior mirror caps, the kidney grille surround, the special M Performance bars on the front air intake and the two Air Breathers at the sides all sport the exclusive Cerium Grey metallic finish, while the high-gloss Shadow Line trim around the windows gives added impact to the dynamic business sedan’s undeniably sporty appearance. An M sports exhaust system – with exclusive tailpipe embellishers in Black chrome on the left and right – is responsible for producing the unmistakable and rousing BMW M soundtrack.
Illuminated door sills bearing the inscription “M550i xDrive” beckon passengers into the interior, where M sports seats upholstered in Black Dakota leather with blue contrast stitching, the latest version of the M sports steering wheel, M design floor mats and special interior trim strips and pedals made from aluminium combine to create the aura of sporting exclusivity that is a hallmark of all BMW M Performance Automobiles.
Driver assistance systems take the hard work out of routine tasks. Just like the other models in the latest-generation BMW 5 Series line-up, the BMW M550i xDrive also offers an even wider choice of assistance systems to help the driver, if desired. These include an evasion aid, crossing traffic warning system and active Lane Change Warning, which uses steering inputs to avert an impending collision. The optionally available Active Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assistant now feature extended functionality. And Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, which allows speed limits to be automatically imported into the cruise control system, likewise represents another step along the road to automated driving for the BMW M550i xDrive.
Forging an even closer link between man, machine and the outside world. The latest generation of the BMW 5 Series enables close-knit connectivity between the driver, vehicle and outside world thanks to BMW Connected. This new system links up devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, computers and tablets, as well as the vehicle’s navigation system, via the BMW servers. This, then, is highly intelligent technology. Indeed, it is capable of identifying movement patterns as well as personal preferences, turning it into a de facto personal mobility manager that helps users to overcome with ease the increasingly complex challenges of day-to-day mobility. Before the journey has even started, BMW Connected automatically factors in Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) for route-planning purposes, and recommends departing earlier if a detour has to be made due to traffic hold-ups. And although BMW Connected uses the vehicle’s location as the basis for calculating the route in the usual way, it takes the BMW driver’s whereabouts into account too. The new system also merges the functions and services of the familiar BMW Remote app and BMW Connected app. Plus, users are able to access products such as ParkNow for digitised reservation and payment of parking spaces, not to mention the intelligent On-Street Parking Information feature, which identifies the areas of a town where drivers are most likely to find a free parking spot. And if the optional Remote Parking system is specified, the BMW 5 Series Sedan can be manoeuvred into even the tightest spaces from outside the vehicle with the help of the car key. Last but not least, once the car has been parked, BMW Connected helps to guide users to their final destination on foot.
Sportiness and everyday usability in perfect harmony. The BMW M Performance Automobiles are exclusive products from BMW M Division and slot in between the top-of-the-range standard BMW models and the core M models built for maximum performance. “We develop the BMW M Performance Automobiles for customers who are seeking very sporty driving characteristics yet do not wish to sacrifice any of their BMW’s everyday practicality,” explains Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M Division. “The experience and expertise garnered by BMW M in the world of motor sport and the development of high-performance sports cars are also channelled into the development of our BMW M Performance Automobiles. The sales success clearly demonstrates that we are on the right track. When you take a look at the BMW AG model portfolio, you will notice that not every model series includes a BMW M Performance Automobile. We will expand our product range wisely and close any gaps in the line-up strategically.”
The model portfolio currently comprises the 3-door BMW M140i, 3-door BMW M140i xDrive, 5-door BMW M140i, 5-door BMW M140i xDrive, BMW M240i Coupe, BMW M240i xDrive Coupe, BMW M240i Convertible, BMW M240i xDrive Convertible, BMW X4 M40i, BMW X5 M50d, BMW X6 M50d and BMW M760Li xDrive.