WORLD PREMIERE: 2018 BMW M550i xDrive

5-series, News | December 17th, 2016 by 39
2018 BMW M550i xDrive M Performance11 750x500

BMW’s new G30-generation 5 Series has been garnering quite a bit of praise for bringing performance back to the top of BMW’s priority list, or …

BMW’s new G30-generation 5 Series has been garnering quite a bit of praise for bringing performance back to the top of BMW’s priority list, or at least close to the top. That trend continues with the newest version of the G30-gen 5er. Welcome to the fastest non-M BMW 5 Series ever made — the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive.

We all know the crux of the G30 5 Series by now. Built on BMW’s new CLAR (Cluster Architecture) platform — the same one that underpins the new 7 Series — the new generation of 5 Series is lighter, stiffer, stronger and more dynamic. It’s basically better than the outgoing F10 5 Series is every single way. It also packs far more technology, with the latest version of BMW’s iDrive 6.0, Gesture Control, Remote Parking and the latest in BMW’s autonomous driving technology. And all of that is helpful to the buyer of the new 5 Series. But all of that takes a back seat to performance in this new M550i.

2018 BMW M550i xDrive M Performance15 750x500

2018 BMW M550i xDrive M Performance17 750x500BMW M550i xDrive

Packing a new, M Performance-tuned 4.4 liter V8 — featuring two twin-scroll turbochargers, a High-Precision injections system, Valvetronic valve lift and Double VANOS variable cam timing — the BMW M550i xDrive develops 456 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. The latter of which comes in at an incredibly low 1,800 rpm. All of that power and torque is sent through an eight-speed automatic Sport Steptronic gearbox to all four wheels, via xDrive.

BMW is claiming “less than 4.0 seconds” for the M550i, so it’s possible that this car could be even faster than the M5 Jahre

Thanks to that power and torque, the BMW M550i xDrive is capable of getting from 0-60 mph in under 4.0 seconds. That makes it the fastest non-M BMW 5 Series ever made. In fact, the only BMW 5 Series to have claimed 0-60 mph time faster is the BMW M5 Jahre, which claims 3.9 seconds. However, BMW is claiming “less than 4.0 seconds” for the M550i, so it’s possible that this car could be even faster than the M5 Jahre. Either way, though, the M550i is incredibly impressive because it hits that speed with only 465 hp whereas the Jahre packed 600 hp. Thank the all-wheel drive for that.

The xDrive all-wheel drive system is intelligently setup to offer more performance-oriented handling, as it features a rear-bias and precision handling tuning. Adaptive M Suspension also helps, as it lowers the car 10 millimeters and comes with both Sport and Sport+ modes. Both of those sporty modes have M-specific tuning to both the suspension and steering, which highlights the precision handling and dynamics of the new M550i. 19″ M-light alloy Cerium Grey Metallic Matte wheels are standard but 20″ M-light alloy wheels in the same finish are available. M Sport brakes with blue calipers and “M” badging are also standard on the M550i.

BMW M550i xDrive

To add to the exterior design of the M550i, an aerodynamic kit is fitted, which features an M spoiler on the trunk deck lid, quad black chrome rectangular exhausts and a Cerium Grey finish on the side mirrors, kidney grille frames and Air Breathers. There’s also a Shadowline trim around the window frame, to give it a more aggressive look.

On the inside, “M550i xDrive” door sills are fitted, as well as the Multi-Contour sport seats in Black Dakota leather with blue contrast stitching as standard. It also gets the latest M-Sport steering wheel and aluminum pedals, which has become a hallmark of BMW M Performance vehicles.

“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,” said Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M. “The experience and expertise garnered by BMW M in the world of motor sport and the development of high-performance sports cars are also channeled 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.”

BMW M550i xDrive

All of this is added to the impressive luxury and technology that the G30-generation 5 Series has to offer. That makes this almost like a mini-BMW M5 and one of the most, on paper, impressive BMW 5 Series to ever be made. It’s faster than the current-generation F10 BMW M5, packs more technology than even the new 7 Series and has looks that kill. We can’t wait to get out hands on one.

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