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BMW X5 M50i and X7 M50i

From:Greg Kable 2019-05-23 16:02:14

BMW has revealed new M-Performance versions of its latest X5 and new X7 ahead of their planned introduction to the Chinese market early next year.

Set to crown the existing X5 and X7 line-ups until the arrival of the even more powerful X5 M and X7 M in 2020, the two new M50i badged SUV models receive an updated version of BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine delivering 390kW and 750Nm of torque - an increase of 50Nm 100Nm of torque over the existing X5 xDrive50i and X7 xDrive50i models.

The updated engine, known under the internal codename N63, adopts a revised aluminium block for greater stiffness. Further changes include new pistons coated in a graphite impregnated resin developed by German engine specialist Mahle as well as a damper incorporated on the crankshaft - measures BMW says enhances refinement.

Drive is sent through a standard eight-speed torque converter equipped eight-speed automatic gearbox featuring steering wheel mounted shift paddles and unique electronic mapping that includes a launch control function.

BMW’s M division has also provided the X5 M50i and X7 M50i with what it describes as a rear-biased xDrive four-wheel drive system featuring an electronic M Sport differential that is managed via the Dynamic Stability Control system. It is claimed to be able to transfer up to 100 per cent of drive to the rear wheels in certain driving conditions.

No official weight figure has yet been revealed for the new range-topping X5 and X7 models, though BMW claims respective 0-100km/h time of 4.3sec and 4.7secs as well as a limited top speed for both new M50i models of 250km/h.

By comparison, the X5 xDrive50i and X7 xDrive50i boast 0-100km/h times of 4.7sec and 5.4sec.

The boost in performance is accompanied by a retuned double wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension. It features unique bushings together with firmer springs and dampers and standard 20-inch wheels.

In the case of the X5 M50i, it is allied to a so-called Adaptive M suspension featuring adaptive damping control, while the X7 M50i receives an air suspension with variable ride height control - a feature that is also available on the X5 M50i as an option.

Optional wheel and tire packages include 21-inch wheels with 275/40R21 front and 315/35R21 run-flat tyres and 22-inch wheels with 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear with conventional tyres.

Further attention has been focused at the brakes, which feature new two-piece compound steels discs disks with revised M division callipers.

The X5 M50i and X7 M50i are distinguished from standard X5 and X7 model by a more heavily structured front bumper with larger cooling ducts, new sills underneath the doors and a revised rear bumper among other subtle exterior design tweaks.

Inside, there are door sill plates featuring an illuminated “M50i” logo, a leather-bound M-Sport steering wheel and gear lever, M-Sport instruments, leather upholstered M-sport seats and an anthracite-coloured headliner among other changes.

The X5 M50i and X7 M50i will be produced alongside standard versions of the X5 and X7 at BMW's factory in Spartanburg, USA.

Editor:Greg Kable