Cars MSN UK gets behind the wheel of the new BMW M550d sedan. Powered by a 3.0 liter inline-six (N57D30) with three turbochargers, the M550d produces 381 horsepower and 740 Nm (546 lb-ft) of torque. As the magazine labels it, “the M550d is the closest thing BMW has ever come to building an M5 diesel.”
Let’s have a look at an excerpt from their review:
“With three turbochargers and four-wheel drive, the new BMW M550d is not your average 5 Series. The first of a new line of M Performance cars designed to bridge the gap between BMW’s regular model lines and its full-house M products, it’s also the first ever BMW M Division diesel.
The M550d will not be going on sale in the UK – at least, not in this guise, and probably not at all. That’s the bad news. But we will be getting this extraordinary new engine in M50d variants of the BMW X5 and BMW X6, and the 5 Series represents an early opportunity to try it out.
It seems like the antithesis of everything BMW M, which has always previously stood for highly tuned petrol engines and rear-wheel drive driving dynamics.
But the new car is aimed at a slightly different kind of customer, someone who requires a higher degree of practicality, and doesn’t want to end up on first name terms with the local petrol station personnel.
Point it up the road and put your foot down, and two things become clear immediately. First, this car is every bit as fast as it sounds – and second, it doesn’t sound anything at all like a diesel. Utterly astonishingly, it actually sounds almost exactly like a petrol V8.
BMW is refusing to say exactly how it’s done this – speaking loosely of component specific vibration dampening at source and a mysterious “secret” – but it is adamant the M550d doesn’t have any artificial amplification (as the new M5 does, incidentally). Possibly it has some kind of active noise cancellation instead.
It doesn’t really matter. What you get is a fabulous, mellifluous soundtrack with only the merest occasional hint of diesel rattle; a soundtrack you can tune in and out by changing the driving mode – the switch from Comfort to Sport is less than subtle – accompanying acceleration that is properly described as relentless.”