BMW reveals new M-Performance versions of its X5 and X7 models ahead of their planned introduction to the North American market during the final quarter of 2019 at respective prices of $82,150 and $99,600.
Set to crown the existing X5 and X7 lineups until the arrival of the even more powerful X5 M and X7 M in 2020, the two new M50i-badged SUVs receive an updated version of BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4L gasoline V-8 delivering 523 hp and 553 lb.-ft. (750 Nm) of torque – an increase of 67 hp and 74 lb.-ft. (100 Nm) over the existing X5 xDrive50i and X7 xDrive50i.
The updated engine, known under the internal codename N63, adopts a revised aluminum block for greater stiffness. Further changes include new pistons coated in a graphite-impregnated resin developed by German piston specialist Mahle as well as a damper incorporated on the crankshaft – measures BMW says enhance refinement over the earlier V-8.
Drive is sent through a standard torque-converter-equipped 8-speed automatic gearbox featuring steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles and electronic mapping that includes a launch-control function.
BMW’s M Division provides the X5 M50i and X7 M50i with what it calls a rear-biased xDrive all-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% of drive to the rear wheels in certain driving conditions.
No official weight figure has yet been revealed for the range-topping X5 and X7 models, though BMW claims respective 0-60 mph (97 km/h) times of 4.1 seconds and 4.5 seconds as well as a limited top speed for both SUVs of 130 mph (209 km/h) on all-season tires and 155 mph (250 km/h) when they are equipped with performance tires.
By comparison, the X5 xDrive50i and X7 xDrive50i boast 0-60-mph times of 4.7 seconds and 5.4 seconds.
The boost in performance is accompanied by a retuned double-wishbone (front) and multilink (rear) suspension. It features unique bushings together with firmer springs and dampers and standard 20-in. wheels. In 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 available on the X5 M50i as an option.
Optional wheel and tire packages include 21-in. wheels with 275/40R21 front and 315/35R21 run-flat tires and 22-in. wheels with 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear with conventional tires.
Further attention is focused on the brakes, which feature new two-piece compound-steel discs with revised M Division calipers.
The X5 M50i and X7 M50i are distinguished from standard X5 and X7 models 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 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-colored headliner.
The new M50i performance models will be produced alongside the standard X5 and X7 at BMW’s Spartanburg, SC, factory starting in September.