If you weren't already jealous of the cool cars offered abroad, BMW has given you four more examples of forbidden fruit. After much teasing, the automaker finally revealed its line of diesel-powered M Performance vehicles before their Geneva Motor Show debut, but the company insists the four special models aren't bound for our shores.
BMW's range of new M models launches with four vehicles, including the M550d xDrive Sedan, M550d xDrive Touring, X5 M50d, and the X6 M50d. All vehicles will be powered by a new 3.0-liter triple-turbo-diesel I-6, confirming previous rumors of such an engine. BMW says the three turbochargers are high-pressure and utilize variable turbine geometry. The engine also makes use of common-rail direct injection with piezo injectors, a combination good for 2200 bar maximum injection pressure. What sort of power does all that fancy hardware net? A solid 381 hp and a torque-tacular 546 lb-ft (for those keeping score, that's about 120-170 hp less than the M5 and X5/X6m, but an extra 44-46 lb-ft of torque). Peak horsepower is achieved at 4000 rpm, while max torque is available at 2000 rpm, well shy of the 5400-rpm redline.
BMW incorporated many of its Efficient Dynamics-branded technologies into the new M models as well, as each model gains start-stop functionality, and an efficiency-optimizing Eco Pro mode. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available, and all models will feature BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system, optimized for enhanced dynamics. For handling, each of the new M diesels receive unique suspension tunings with new springs and dampers. As a bonus, the M550d xDrive Touring and the X5 M50d also boast self-leveling rear air suspension.
Each M Performance model also gets subtle exterior enhancements, which include side mirrors and vent bars finished in Ferric Grey metallic, trapezoidal exhaust tips, high-gloss Shadow Line trim, and exclusive 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels.
That's great, but how do they provide? BMW published estimates for acceleration, top speed, and average fuel consumption, and the numbers are pretty impressive. BMW says the M550d xDrive sedan can run from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds, and -- like all these models -- can hit an electronically-limited top end of 155 mph. BMW suggests fuel economy is somewhere around 37 mpg combined, although that figure is based on EU-cycle testing. Other M diesels won't be all that much slower: the M550d Touring sprints to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds; the X5 M50d in 5.4 seconds (more than a second faster than the last X5 xDrive35d we tested), and the X6 M50d in 5.3 seconds.
Impressive -- but given this market just isn't that warm to diesels, don't expect any part of this fab four to cross the pond.