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BMW launches hot M50i versions of X5 and X7 SUVs

X5 M50i and X7 M50i M Performance models revealed by BMW

BMW has announced a new M Performance M50i powertrain based on its 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine that will power performance versions of its X5 and X7 SUVs. The X5 and X7 M50i models will top their respective ranges (alongside the M50d diesel in the X5's case) until the full-blown M Division products, the X5 M and X7 M models arrive sometime in 2020. Prices for the M50i SUVs have yet to be announced. 

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The M50i models use an updated version of the 4.4-litre BMW unit found in the existing X5 and X7 xDrive50i models. The revisions made by BMW yield a power boost to the tune of 67bhp that takes the total output to 523bhp and torque is also increased by 100Nm for a prodigious maximum output of 750Nm.

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The 8-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox has also been modified in the M50i models with, new mapping designed to make the most of the extra performance on offer. A launch control system appears, and the xDrive 4x4 setup gains an M Sport differential that can send up to 100 per cent of the available drive to the rear of the car.

Suspension updates are included, with firmer springs and dampers on each model. The X5 M50i gets adaptive dampers but the X7 uses its standard variable air suspension - an option on the X5. Both get standard 20-inch wheels with larger wheel sizes on the options list.

The result of the performance modifications are claimed 0-62mph times of 4.1s for the X5 M50i and 4.5s for the X7 M50i, with both models capable of hitting an electronic muzzle of 155mph flat out. To help with stopping duties, the braking system uses upgraded callipers and new two piece steel discs.

To underline the extra potency that’s been added under the skin, both the X5 and X7 M50i get sporty styling enhancements with more aggressive bumpers and pronounced sills. Inside, M division logos are sprinkled around the cabin and support sports seats replace the standard items.

What do you think of the BMW X5 and X7 M50i options? Let us know in the comments...

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Head of digital content

Steve looks after the Auto Express website; planning new content, growing online traffic and managing the web team. He’s been a motoring journalist, road tester and editor for over 20 years, contributing to titles including MSN Cars, Auto Trader, The Scotsman and The Wall Street Journal.

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