What you’re looking at is the new BMW M550d xDrive, which employs what the German automaker bills as the “most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine” available in any production car.
Although the press images show the Touring wagon, this engine will also be available in the sedan.
With the help of four (yes, FOUR) turbochargers working in a multi-stage system, the 3,0-litre straight-six unit in the M550d xDrive churns out a whopping 294 kW and 760 N.m of torque, with the latter on tap from 2 000 r/min. This considerable oomph is delivered to all four wheels through the brand’s eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission.
The result is a claimed 0-100 km/h time of just 4,4 seconds (and 4,6 seconds for the tubbier Touring model) and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. In addition to this, the Munich-based automaker claims a combined fuel consumption of just 5,9 L/100 km (and 6,2 L/100km for the Touring).
The multi-stage turbocharging system seemingly works to create an efficient flow of power alongside the common rail injection system, which injects diesel into the combustion chamber at 2 500 bar.
At the high-pressure stage, two compact turbochargers are used with variable turbine geometry and integrated in a combined housing. BMW says the two low-pressure turbochargers and one of the two high-pressure chargers are “permanently powered” during travel. The second high-pressure turbocharger, however, is added only at engine speeds of over 2 500 r/min.
To make these turbos more efficient, an exhaust-gas re-circulation system has been added for both high- and low-pressure stages.
Seeing that the 5 Series xDrive derivatives aren’t available for right-hand-drive markets, it’s unlikely that we will see this example in South Africa any time soon. So, it looks like we’ll just have to make do with the 530d…