Mike Stevens | Jan 27, 2012

UPDATE: BMW Australia comment added, see bottom of article.

BMW has revealed details of its new M Performance range, adding a new triple-turbo diesel engine and enhancements to each model's handling and technical packages.

The M Performance line-up launches with the M550d xDrive in Sedan and Touring wagon form, along with the X5 M50d and the X6 M50d - the latter also debuting in 2012 with a subtle styling makeover.

All four cars are powered by BMW's new triple-turbo common-rail diesel: a 3.0 litre six-cylinder mill that produces 280kW and 740Nm of torque - the latter coming online at 2000rpm.

The new engine represents a gain of 50kW and 110Nm over the 535d, and 55kW and 140Nm over the diesel driving the xDrive40d SUVs.

Matched with an eight-speed automatic Sports transmission and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the engine gives the M550d a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds for the sedan, and 4.9 seconds for the wagon.

Fuel consumption for the M550d sedan is listed at 6.3 l/100km, and the Touring wagon is only slightly short at 6.4 l/100km.

The same transmission and xDrive package shunts the X5 M50d to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds and the X6 M50d in 5.3 seconds, with the X5 listing 7.5 l/100km and the X6 listing 7.7 l/100km.

While all of the M Performance diesel models fall short of their petrol M car counterparts in the acceleration stakes, the much lower fuel consumption should prove appealing to buyers looking to strike a balance between guts on the road and pain at the bowser.

2012 bmw m performance m550d x6 m50d x5 m50d 10

The M Performance range also brings a number of enhancements beyond the huge power boost, including M-tuned suspension, springs and dampers along with modified mounting for the body shell, engine and transmission.

On the styling front, the M550d gains 19-inch light alloy wheels, and the two X SUVs ride on 20-inch hoops. A new styling and aero package has been added to each model, drawing inspiration from the familiar petrol-powered M cars.

In the cabin, all four cars gets sports seats trimmed in black or dark grey, with a constrasting stitch and M logos everywhere. There's also an M steering wheel, paddle shifters, an Anthracite-coloured roof liner, and aluminium highlights.

Lastly, a new audio package has been developed to transmit the engine's noises into the cabin, sent through the car's speakers.



The M Performance range will hit European showrooms in April, and an Australian debut is expected later this year - but not for the M550d.

Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed that a mid-2012 debut is on the cards for the X5 and X6 M50d models, but the M550d won't be making its way here anytime soon.

"The triple-turbo diesel in the M550d is fitted in conjunction with the xDrive unit, and the xDrive for the 5 Series isn't available for right-hand-drive cars. So the UK and Australia don't get those variants," Mr Croaker said.


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