By on January 26, 2012

Before we go any further in depth into the BMW M550d, X5 M50d or X6 M50d, just know that all three models will not be coming to North America.

Rumors of a tri-turbo diesel I6 from BMW sounded like a fanboy’s wet dream being propagated as truth, but apparently it’s real. The new 3.0L mill makes 376 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 545 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 to 3,000 rpm. An 8-speed automatic and xDrive AWD put the power down, and the 550d can hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. A wagon version of the M550d will be available alongside the X5 and X6 variants. BMW quotes fuel economy figures as high as 36.7 MPG (in US gallons) but didn’t specify if it was city, highway or combined consumption. Check out the press release below for more information.

The BMW M Performance Automobiles.

The BMW M Performance vehicles described in the attached press release are not planned for the US market. The press release is posted for informational purposes only.

New BMW M GmbH product range based on current BMW models; BMW M Performance Automobiles complement the model family with their clear focus on sports performance combined with unrestricted everyday usability and outstanding efficiency; new product category launches with four models: BMW M550d xDrive Sedan, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d.

Rigorous use of BMW M GmbH development expertise in the optimisation of agility, precision and emotion; BMW M Performance Automobiles with harmonious interplay of powertrain, chassis technology and design features typical of M models; exclusive, extremely powerful engine; detailed modifications to chassis technology and power transfer; aerodynamically optimised body.

World premiere for a new six-cylinder in-line diesel engine developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance Automobiles; new, globally unique M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology: three turbochargers, common-rail direct injection with piezo injectors and maximum injection pressure of 2,200 bar; 3.0-litre displacement, 280 kW/381 hp, maximum torque: 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft); instantaneous responses and outstandingly dynamic power delivery into the upper reaches of the rev range; maximum revs: 5,400 rpm; impressively economical thanks to optimised efficiency and extensive BMW EfficientDynamics technology, including Auto Start-Stop function and ECO PRO mode.

Eight-speed Sports automatic transmission with enhanced gearshift dynamics fitted as standard on all BMW M Performance Automobiles; BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive with bespoke set-up optimised to enhance dynamics; BMW M550d xDrive and BMW X5 M50d with Performance Control, BMW X6 M50d with Dynamic Performance Control.

M-specific tuning of suspension, bodyshell mounting, engine and transmission mounting, springs and dampers, all standard and optional chassis control systems, and the Servotronic mapping for the hydraulic steering; result is significantly enhanced agility and precision in dynamic driving situations, with the linear build-up of lateral forces familiar from M cars.
BMW M550d xDrive comes as standard with the Driving Experience Control switch, including ECO PRO mode; BMW M550d xDrive Touring also features air suspension on the rear axle and automatic self-levelling; both models available as an option with Dynamic Damper Control and Adaptive Drive including anti-roll control.

BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d fitted as standard with air suspension on the rear axle and self-levelling, Adaptive Drive standard on the BMW X6 M50d and available as an option for the
BMW X5 M50d.

Purposeful design modifications in familiar M style set individual models apart and provide aerodynamic optimisation; exterior mirrors and air intake bars with striking Ferric Grey metallic paintwork; trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes; BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line; 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design standard on the BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring; 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design standard on the
BMW X5 M50d; 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design standard on the BMW X6 M50d; exclusive 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Ferric Grey available as an option for all models; model lettering on the door sills, boot lid and, in the case of the
BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d, also in the instrument cluster; engine cover with “M Performance” badge.

Bespoke interior design shows clear emphasis on the cars’ sporting character; gearshift lever with M logo; exclusive Alcantara/Nappa leather M sports seats in Black (BMW X5 M50d, BMW X6 M50d) or Alcantara/Cloth in Grey Shadow (BMW M550d xDrive) with contrast stitching and embossed M logo; M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles; BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite; interior trim strips in Brushed Aluminium Shadow (BMW X5 M50d,
BMW X6 M50d) or Aluminium Hexagon (BMW M550d xDrive); interior sound design adds further emphasis to the characteristic six-cylinder soundtrack.

All BMW M Performance Automobiles contain a wide range of comfort-enhancing equipment as standard; extensive individualisation possible thanks to virtually full availability of BMW 5 Series, BMW X5 and BMW X6 options; includes Comfort Access, automatic tailgate operation (standard in Germany on the BMW X6 M50d and BMW M550d xDrive Touring), hands-free tailgate opening (BMW M550d xDrive, BMW M550d xDrive Touring), electrically operated glass/panoramic sunroof, doors with Soft Close Automatic function, trailer coupling, heated steering wheel, active seats, Adaptive LED Headlights (BMW X6 M50d), navigation systems with hard disk storage, high-quality audio and rear-seat entertainment systems.
Wide range of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive unmatched by any rival: Head-Up Display, Adaptive Headlights, High-Beam Assistant, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition (BMW M550d xDrive), Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Lane Change Warning System
(BMW M550d xDrive), Lane Departure Warning System
(BMW M550d xDrive), rear-view camera with Top View
(BMW X5 M50d, BMW X6 M50d), Surround View (BMW 550d xDrive),
Speed Limit Info, internet access, extended integration of smartphones and music players, Real-Time Traffic Information and apps for receiving web radio and using Facebook and Twitter.

Six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with
M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology, aluminium crankcase, three turbochargers (high-pressure, with variable turbine geometry), common-rail direct injection with piezo injectors, maximum injection pressure: 2,200 bar.
Displacement: 2,993 cc,
output: 280 kW/381 hp at 4,000 – 4,400 rpm,
max. torque: 740 Nm (546 lb-ft) at 2,000 – 3 000 rpm,
specific output: 93.6 kW/127.3 hp per litre of displacement.
BMW M Performance models: performance figures, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions:
BMW M550d xDrive Sedan:
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 4.7 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph),
average fuel consumption: 6.3 litres/100 kilometres (44.8 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions: 165 g/km, exhaust standard: EU6.
BMW M550d xDrive Touring:
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 4.9 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph),
average fuel consumption: 6.4 litres/100 kilometres (44.1 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions: 169 g/km, exhaust standard: EU6.
BMW X5 M50d:
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 5.4 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph),
average fuel consumption: 7.5 litres/100 kilometres (37.7 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions: 199 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.
BMW X6 M50d:
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 5.3 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph),
average fuel consumption: 7.7 litres/100 kilometres (36.7 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions: 204 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.

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23 Comments on “BMW Launches Diesel M Performance Tri-Turbo Triplets...”

  • avatar

    It’s torquetastic!

  • avatar

    I’m glad to see BMW introduce performance diesel models. 3 turbos is over the top but that is BMW. Perhaps this is a precursor to challenging Audi’s success with diesel Le Mans prototypes.

    Now I’m waiting for even more ridiculous model names along the lines of Z4 sDriveM35dis.

  • avatar

    While the power and torque are good, diesel engines tend to make cars nose heavy which will mean that these “M” cars are for straight line drag racing only.

    BMW is also risking diluting the M brand by slapping the M logo on any overpowered SUV or diesel sedan.

    • 0 avatar

      Re: brand dilution

      They are trying to expand the M-brand. We will all know what the real M cars are. Unfortunately we will have to deal with the douchebags who will be fooled by body kits, M badges and long model numbers.

    • 0 avatar

      6 cyl. diesel is nose heavy but petrol V8 isn’t? Are you sure about that nose heavyness theory? I think all the alu/carbon/alloy/plastic parts BMW puts into front part of it’s new cars esp. to reduce weight and balance cars better should take care of any such problems.
      I don’t remember seen any comments that old v10 or new V8 M5 are nose heavy.

      • 0 avatar

        Diesels typically require an iron block, and iron is almost 3x heavier than aluminum. (MB developed an aluminum block diesel engine in 2005, but I don’t know if BMW is going the same route.)

      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        All BMW diesel engines introduced since 2007 use an aluminum block. The N57S used here is no exception. (The N57 3.0L I6 was introduced in 2008… this is just a high performance tri-turbo version)
        The American-market 335d and X5 35d use an old-school iron-block M57 – European X5s are available with 258PS single turbo (30d) and 313PS twin-turbo (40d) versions of the N57.
        The 335d soldiered on with the old M57 engine in Europe too, while 5/6/7/X3/X5/X6 all already had their N57s – I guess the F3X is going to change that…

    • 0 avatar

      I know a guy who’d love to glue a M550d nameplate to the back of his tuned Dodge Cummins pick up…

    • 0 avatar

      In the American Le Mans Series, the BMW M3 GT cars (front engine V8) got a special exemption to move the transmission from the front (just behind the engine) to the rear (as a unit with the differential). This also allowed the V8 engine to be moved back in the chassis about 3 inches. So, for those cars, before being prepped for racing, nose heavy was indeed a problem.

  • avatar

    The original owners of these M-series TTT-diesels will only buy them for the novelty. When that wears off, it’ll be the next owners who live the nightmare of maintaining and repairing them.

    • 0 avatar

      Hasn’t that been increasingly true of German cars in general?

    • 0 avatar

      I doubt they will be any more expensive to maintain than the other current M cars. And they will probably use 1/2 the fuel. Which at $10/gal is significant, even for someone who can afford the price of entry. Plus the possible CO2 tax savings cannot be dismissed in Europe.

      • 0 avatar

        +1 on the tax savings. Them gummiments prefer soot to soda bubbles over there.

        I do wonder though, how much more carbon a maximally efficient 375 hp gas engine would use, if it’s price was no more of an object than in these Bimmers. That’s power waayy short of the ancient small block in the ‘Vette.

        And as far as torque go, us simpleminded ‘mericuns do get to spec gearboxes on our cars, and some of us even know how to use them.

  • avatar

    Diesels typically require an iron block, and iron is almost 3x heavier than aluminum. (MB developed an aluminum block diesel engine in 2005, but I don’t know if BMW is going the same route.)

    alloy block does save weights, is more for a good time but not long time.

    Sadly they’re not coming to this side of the Atlantic!

  • avatar

    There are a lot of misconceptions & noise here about BMW diesel block. This particular block is an evolution from N57 which is is a family of aluminium, turbocharged straight-6 common rail diesel engines.

    Do any of you even know what “nose heavy” means? (Try Audi)

    Do you know both 335d & x5 xdrive 35d are 49/51?

    Instead of pulling crap out of your rear end, some of you shall know BMW describes those”heavy engine block” as : … inline 24-valve 6-cylinder Advanced Diesel engine with aluminum engine block…

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      “Do you know both 335d & x5 xdrive 35d are 49/51?”
      You just quoted the last two current BMW diesels that still have the iron block M57 – and still these are 51/49.

      • 0 avatar


        I thought those were iron block. According to BMW’s own spec:

        3.0-liter, 265-horsepower, 24-valve inline 6-cylinder dual overhead cam (DOHC) Advanced Diesel, TwinPower Turbo engine with aluminum engine block and third-generation piezo common rail direct injection.



      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        That is really weird. The North American BMW diesels use a M57Y – the last M57-family engine. When they came out with the M57 in 1998, BMW’s own technical literature stated:

        M57-specific features:
        •In-line 6-cylinder engine with cast-iron crankcase
        •High-pressure fuel pump
        •Plastic cylinder head cover
        •Plastic manifold based on two-shell weld technology

        So either BMW completely changed the block for the M57Y compared to all other M57-family engines, or the BMW USA website is wrong.

  • avatar

    What type of model name is POSSW & why did they mount the badge upside down?

  • avatar

    M badge, diesel, automatic only, AWD? Bleh. That is not an M car.

    • 0 avatar

      AWD is necessary for putting all that power down, though it seems the UK will get an optional RWD M550d.

      An automatic transmission is necessary because most drivers won’t be able to launch and drive the car properly with so much excessive torque available. Also, I don’t think BMW has a manual transmission available that is capable of handling that much torque. And developing one for this car is a waste of resources (most M5s will be sold with the DCT).

  • avatar

    I prefer this torque beast to M5 for daily driving. This beast will probably never reach the shores of NA.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “376 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 545 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 to 3,000 rpm”

    I am pretty sure that there are peterbilt’s without that much spec.

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