Car News

BMW Powers Up X5 and X7 with 523-hp M50i Trims

BMW today revealed new performance variants of its two largest SUVs, the X5 and X7, powered by the latest version of the company's 4.4L twin-turbo V8 engine.

The X5 M50i and X7 M50i share a new derivative of BMW's N63 engine. It boasts a stronger block, pistons and piston rings, which work with a pair of twin-scroll turbos, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing and control to crank out 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. Those figures mark increases of 67 hp and 74 lb-ft over the xDrive50i versions of both SUV models.

Today's reveal introduces the first performance-oriented version of the full-size X7; meanwhile, the X5 M50i fills a gap, however narrow, between the 456-hp xDrive50i and the wild X5 M.

In addition to the new engine, both new M50i models also gain M Sport exhaust and suspension tunings, an M Sport differential and an upgraded version of BMW's eight-speed automatic transmission.

BMW claims 0-100 km/h acceleration times of 4.2 seconds for the X5 M50i (which makes it about as quick as the M4 coupe) and 4.6 seconds for the X7 M50i.

Suspension changes include new bushings and spring and damper rates. The X5 M50i gets an adaptive M suspension, while the X7 comes with a variable-height adaptive air suspension that's optional in the X5.

M Sport brakes are included too, with two-piece brake rotors and blue calipers that nicely fill the 22-inch wheels shared by both trucks.

There are cosmetic differences as well, like larger front grille openings for better cooling air flow, and revised rocker panels and rear bumpers.

The X5 M50i gets adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, while the X7 M50i uses adaptive LEDs with laserlight. BMW's active driving assistant, multi-contour sport seats, wireless smartphone charging and iDrive7 are standard in both models.

BMW will announce pricing for the X5 M50i and X7 M50i early next month, before they begin arriving at Canadian dealers in the third quarter of this year.