At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, BMW introduced their first tri-turbo engine powering four models in the new BMW M Performance Automobiles line: BMW M550d xDrive (sedan and touring), BMW X5 M50d and X6 M50d.
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The innovative powerplant is based on the popular 3.0 liter inline-six (N57D30) and produces 381 horsepower and 740 Nm (546 lb-ft) of torque. In Europe, some customers have switched from the 535d model with twin-turbo diesel which outputs just over 300 hp and 600 Nm of torque. Although the Tri-Turbo diesel offers more power at low revs and a has a wider RPM range, the performance gap between the innovative engine and the twin-turbo is not sufficient for some BMW owners.
Additionally, the all-wheel drive combination offered with the Tri-Turbo diesels brings a drawback: increased weight and friction in the drivetrain which has a negative impact on performance.
According to some sources, Munich aims to fix that. The engineers are said to be working feverishly on a first update for the relatively new engine. The rumormill churns out a 420 hp figure that will make it into the facelift for the 5 Series (F10 LCI) due in summer of 2013. In addition, the BMW M Performance model would not fall too far behind the future 450 hp BMW 550i that comes with the LCI.
Besides the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan (F10 LCI) and Touring (F11 LCI), the X5 and X6 M50D could benefit from the increased performance.
On a side note, the German-tuner Hartge managed to pump up the tri-turbo diesel to 438 horsepower and 850 NM of torque.