BMW supposedly confirms high-performance diesel and AWD for new M5
Last week, a rumor was floating around the new F10 BMW M5 saying that diesel and all-wheel drive variants could be in the works. The rumor was sourced after an official document mentioned a model designated as the “M550dX.” After breaking down the structure and meaning of the nomenclature of the designated model, we pondered the idea that the M5 variants may or may not be a break in tradition. However, the latest news for the M5 says that BMW and its M-Division has supposedly confirmed that they will in fact produce a diesel variant as well as an all-wheel drive model. Sigh…
The supposed diesel M5 engine will be an unusually triple-turbocharged setup using BMW’s 3.0L straight-six diesel. It will be designated as the BMW 550dM or 550dXM and will be the first oil burners to ever receive an official M-badge from the factory. A super small turbo will be used to build boost for launching while two larger twin-scroll turbos will supplement for the rest of the engine band. The diesel for the 550dM will receive a revised cylinder head and will use BMW’s current list of engine technologies, including direct injection and BMW’s Valvetronic system.
In terms of power, the sources said that the 550dM will deliver slightly fewer horses than the regular gasoline V8 M5, which is rated at 560hp and rather expected from a diesel. Also expected from a diesel is monumental torque, which the sources say could push 650 lb-ft of torques.
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“To handle that amount of torque and the potential in tire-spinning forces, you have to go to all-wheel drive,” said the source, “other wise you’ll be spinning your tires all day.”
The engine slated for the new 550dM’s may also find their way into other models as well, added the source. However, other details have yet to be released in terms of what other cars could see this new high-performance diesel. The source also said that we could expect its debut at next year’s Geneva Motor Show in the spring.
Altogether, it’s unfortunate to see what BMW’s doing to the brand in order to top the sales charts. It is indeed a break in tradition as I mentioned before because the M5 was always its own model and never truly had any official variants until now. And I say its unfortunate because every company these days seems to be participating in the race to top the sales charts, which inadvertently translates into, “it’s all about the money.” That said, I view BMW as one of the few remaining automakers that is holding onto tradition the longest for enthusiasts sakes…a sort of, last line of defense of new cars for the traditional enthusiasts. For instance, BMW is one of the few manufacturers these days that still uses straight-sixes instead of the cost-cutting V6 design. That said, in my opinion, the day that BMW decides to axe the straight-six—which rumors have been floating around for a year or so saying they may in favor of more fuel efficient, but just as equally powerful turbocharged four bangers—is the day that I will lose faith in the Munich brand.
Refresher: The 2012 BMW M5 is powered by a 4.4L V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo (consisting of Twin Scroll Twin Turbo Technology) making 560-hp between 6,000 and 7,000 rpm with a maximum torque of 502 lb-ft from 1,500 rpm. Mated to a 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic (with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters), the 2012 BMW M5 goes from 0 to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in 13 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph or 190 mph with M Driver’s Package.
– By: Chris Chin