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BMW 5-series range gets performance and green boost


Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012 as the first diesel powered M performance 5-series, BMW has now officially unveiled the second iteration of its M550d xDrive, as well as the petrol powered M550i xDrive and hybrid 530e iPerformance.

M550d xDrive

Fitted as standard with BMW's M styling package consisting of model specific bumpers, rear diffuser, door sills, 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels as well as blue brake callipers and a bespoke interior, the M550d xDrive's biggest highlight comes up front in the form of the most powerful production six-cylinder diesel engine ever made.

Replacing the old M550d's tri-turbocharged setup, the latest version adds a fourth turbocharger to the 3.0-litre straight-six engine, for a output of 294 kW and a massive 760 Nm of torque, the latter figure eclipsing that of the outgoing M5 by 80 Nm and available from as low as 2 000 rpm.

Mated to a eight-speed Sport Steptronic gearbox and BMW's rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive system, the M550d will hit 100 km/h from standstill in 4.4 seconds, the Touring in 4.6 seconds, and top at 250 km/h while consuming diesel at a claimed rate of 5.9 L/100 km (6.2 L/100 km).

Fitted as standard with BMW's M Sport suspension and Integral Active Steering with a variable rack-and-pinion, the M550d can also be had with Adaptive M Suspension Professional featuring Dynamic Damper Control as an option.

It however remains unknown if the M550d xDrive will be added to the local 5-series range at some stage.

M550i xDrive

Likely to arrive later this year, the M550i xDrive boasts the same M specific exterior and interior detailing as its diesel sibling, but swaps the quad-turbocharged six-cylinder oil burner for a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 developing 340 kW and 650 Nm of torque.

Able to crack the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.0 seconds before also topping out at 250 km/h, the M550i features the same rear-biased xDrive setup and eight-speed Sport Steptronic 'box, with the aforementioned Adaptive M Sport suspension again offered as an option.

530e iPerformance

Joining the 330e, 730e, X5 xDrive 40, 225xe and China exclusive X1 xDrive 25Le as the sixth iPerformance hybrid model, the 530e employs the same 135 kW / 320 Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the former, but adds a 83 kW electric motor for a total system output of 185 kW and 420 Nm of torque.

Linked a conventional eight-speed Steptronic 'box, BMW claims the 530e will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 235 km/h, with a claimed electric only range of 50 km on a single charge at speeds up to 140 km/h.

Consisting of a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located underneath the rear seat, charging time from a standard wall unit takes five hours or three hours when hooked to BMW's 3.7 kW i Wallbox unit. As with other iPeformance models, the 530e also features BMW eDrive and three mode settings; Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro that alters throttle response and the battery.

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