About that crazy Euro-market diesel engine: The triple-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six puts out 381 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque; the latter figure beats the latest M5’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 by 46 lb-ft. The diesel powerhouse wears the same twin-scroll-referencing, semi-confusing TwinPower badge that also adorns the company’s single- and twin-turbo motors. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive in each of the three initial offerings, the M550d xDrive sedan/wagon, the X5 M50d, and the X6 M50d. (Talk about preposterous names.) BMW estimates that the M550d sedan can hit 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds, the X6 M50d in 5.3, and the X5 M50d in 5.4. Predictably, the claimed 0-to-60 times all fall between those of a conventional 5-series, X5, or X6 and the corresponding M5, X5 M, or X6 M.
Each Euro model receives M Performance–specific tuning for the suspension and hydraulic steering rack, and BMW’s various adaptive suspension systems are optional or standard depending on model. The M550d and the X5 M50d get BMW’s Performance Control system, which offers a brake-based torque-vectoring function. The X6 M50d, however, has Dynamic Performance Control as standard; this brings the full-on torque-vectoring differential borrowed from the X5 and X6 Ms.
BMW kept the M Performance exterior modifications to a minimum, lending the cars a stealthy flair. The side mirrors and lower intake trim are painted a metallic grey color, with the rest of the pieces rendered in the company’s dark “Shadow Line” finish. Oh, and the exhaust outlets are square instead of the round muzzleloaders that jut from the rear fascias of M cars. The M550d and the X5 ride on 19-inch M accessory wheels, but grey 20-inchers are available; the 20s are standard on the more flamboyant X6. There’s but a single M badge on the exterior of each vehicle: the “M” before the model designation. There are more inside, but still fewer than you’ll find on a typical M car. An M steering wheel, shifter, and front sport seats round out the interior upgrades.