First Look: BMW M Performance Diesel Cars

By Christian Stampfer on 6 February 2012
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In January, BMW unveiled a line-up of the BMW M Performance Automobiles, a sub-category of the BMW M brand.  The automaker will offer a selection of performance oriented cars that are nonetheless suitable for everyday use . The BMW M550d xDrive Sedan (pictured), BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d will be the first cars of the new product line-up.

With the introduction of the BMW M Performance Automobiles, BMW is not only presenting a new car family but also updated engines. The new 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine, which comes standard in the first four diesel-powered M Performance cars, represents BMWs latest development stage in diesel technology and provides the highest power output ever achieved by a BMW diesel engine.

TwinPower Turbo technology represents the next generation of multi-stage turbocharging and offers a maximum power output of 381 hp (280 kW). The engine uses a set of three turbochargers (one larger and two smaller ones) and creates a peak torque of 546 pound-feet (740 Nm ). The incredible amount of torque will be available over the entire rpm range to a maximum of 5,400 rpm.

When it comes to performance as well as fuel economy, the BMW M Performance Automobiles seem to be unparalleled in their segment. The BMW M550d xDrive Sedan manages to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) within 4.7 seconds while the fuel consumption is ony 6.3 l/100 km (37.3 mpg) in the EU test cycle. Thanks to standard-fitted BMW BluePerformance technology, the CO2 emissions for the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan are only 165 g/km which also meets the stipulations of the EU6 exhaust standard.

To ensure the best and most efficient use of all that pulling power, an eight-speed sport automatic transmission with M-specific characteristics is standard for each of the four new models. Also the intelligent all-wheel drive system xDrive, which provides the power individually to rear- and / or front-wheels according to the current driving situation, is standard for the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan and its siblings.

The world premiere for the BMW M Performance Automobiles will take place at the International Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. The presentation at the exhibition floor in Geneva will include the first four diesel powered M models, namely the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d. The market launch for Germany will start just a few weeks later and  the first models will hit the showroom in May and June 2012.

Base price for the four models in Germany, incl. 19% VAT  is:

BMW M550d xDrive                        80,800 EUR
BMW M550d xDrive Touring          83,750 EUR
BMW X5 M50d                                  82,300 EUR
BMW X6 M50d                                  85,800 EUR

BMW executives confirmed to The Diesel Driver that there are no current plans to add any diesel models to the U.S. line-up in the calendar year 2012 and they also stated there are also no plans for BMW of North America to import the diesel M Performance cars at this time.