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2019 BMW X5 M50d - Driven

2019 BMW X5 M50d - Driven

New X5 is the sporty SUV to convert non-believers

The all-new, 2019 BMW X5 isn’t so much a new high-riding model in the Bavarian automaker’s range, but more a case of a huge grille with a big SUV attached to it. It is a very proud looking car, the new X5, and BMW really wants you to notice it because it believes it’s great vehicle that should get your attention. You don’t put this big a grille on a car you are not 100 percent confident in and after spending some time with the new X5, in top M50d diesel trim no less, I found little to fault about it. And this comes from a guy who doesn’t really like or understand the need for SUVs (it is my belief that they are a bit pointless and are usually bought to do the same job as a wagon).

I admit that when I picked up the car I wanted to start picking at faults on the quest to reach my predetermined conclusion that you’re better off buying a 5-Series wagon. But you aren’t better off necessarily because the new X5 has a lot to offer - almost car-like handling, strong performance, one of the best six-cylinder engine soundtracks ever, and limo-like passenger room and comfort levels. Plus, BMW says the latest X5 is also the best X5 ever when it comes to going off-road, not that anybody will actually take it off-road, but it’s nice to know it can. I mean it’s an SUV after all, so it should be able to take you off the beaten path whenever you feel like it.

Not this M50d with steel springs, active sway bars, and massive rims, though, as it’s better suited for on-road driving. For the first time, however, BMW is offering models that are more off-road oriented with adjustable air suspension that can increase its ride height and rough ground capability considerably. But boy is that M50d power plant good, especially with the new exhaust resonator that comes online in sport mode - it is probably one of the loudest factory diesels ever made, and I absolutely love it because of this.

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2018 BMW M550d xDrive - Driven

2018 BMW M550d xDrive - Driven

Meet one of the maddest performance diesels ever made

Europeans have enjoyed plenty of fast diesel cars over the last decade, and even in the wake of Dieselgate, manufacturers are still offering fast oil burners which don’t get much faster than the BMW M550d xDrive. The most unique thing about it is its power plant which uses no fewer than four turbochargers on its three-liter straight-six diesel to achieve some remarkable performance numbers.

Being a BMW, it drives with great precision too and even if it’s a bit on the heavy side, agility around bends is not an issue. It has plenty of tech on board to ensure fast driving is not only possible, but also enjoyable and surprisingly frisky - unlike other lesser-powered all-wheel drive diesel BMWs, the M550d’s tail will step out when you stab the throttle on corner exit.

It also stands out alongside lesser 5-Series models, thanks to the standard-fit M Performance aero pack, trunk lid spoiler and massive M brakes with blue calipers; the only other 5-Series which could attract more attention is the mighty M5.

Only available in Europe, the M550d is not the most powerful diesel in the world, but it is by far for its engine displacement. Being a diesel, it’s also considerably more efficient than a gasoline burning performance car with the same output and if you can refrain from driving it like a hooligan (which it kind of edges you to) its large fuel tank means you can cover quite a lot of ground without having to stop.

Photography by Andrei Nedelea

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2018 BMW M550d xDrive

2018 BMW M550d xDrive

The diesel-powered M5 you’ve been waiting for!

The popular BMW 5 Series was redesigned for the 2017 model year, now sporting a fresh, but evolutionary design, a revamped interior, and a brand-new platform that’s lighter and stiffer. Loaded with state-of-the-art technology and several carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, the new 5 Series also gained a range of updated engines, including four- and six-cylinder units. For the 2018 model year, BMW also launched new M550d versions for both the sedan and Touring wagon models.

Unique in this segment, the M550d is the range-topping variant of the diesel lineup, and although it’s not a proper M5, it has the exact same role on the market. It’s also an already established nameplate, having been introduced in early 2012 alongside other similar versions. Essentially, the only model that doesn’t have a competitor from Mercedes-Benz and Audi yet, the M550d comes with a major drawback, being sold on the European market only. However, its performance is outstanding given the diesel drivetrain, and it’s your only option if you want the torque and fuel economy of an oil burner, but the acceleration and dynamics of a gasoline vehicle.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M550d xDrive.

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2016 BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"

2016 BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"

BMW gives the 320d a little love for its 100th-anniversary celebration

BMW has picked the BMW 320d to create the third installment of its 100th-anniversary celebration. This time around, there will be 200 examples of the 320d and 200 examples of the 320 Touring built with a few exclusive exterior features and special interior appointments. Best of all, the two models will be equipped with BMW’s next-gen B47, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, clean diesel engine and a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The model is set to go on sale on May 28th in Japan and is expected to be sold in a short period of time.

With a Japan launch, obviously those of us in Europe or the U.S. will probably never get to lay eyes on one, but it’s at least worth knowing about. As expected, the 320d Style Edge 3 models get some M Sport love and a little bit of attention from BMW Individual too. Pricing for both models tips in between $50,000 and $55,000, which will be about $10,000 more than their standard-model counterparts.

So, coming in at a $10,000 premium, the Style Edge models must be pretty special, right? Well, let’s take a look at what BMW did with them to make them worth being part of its 100th anniversary.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"

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2017 BMW 750d xDrive and BMW 750Ld xDrive

2017 BMW 750d xDrive and BMW 750Ld xDrive

BMW throws its evolved quad-turbo diesel engine into the 7 Series

Up until now, getting a diesel-powered BMW 7 Series meant you had to go for 730 or 740 model variants, but now BMW is adding a diesel powertrain to the 750 with the BMW 750d xDrive and BMW 750Ld xDrive. So not only do you have the choice between the normal and long-wheelbase 750, but you also get a brand new diesel engine that BMW claims to be the “world’s most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine.”

Back in July of last year, it was announced that BMW was considering a Quad-Turbo Diesel Engine, then just a few weeks ago, BMW unveiled its newest piece of engine evolution that sure did feature a total of four turbochargers. According to BMW, the new quad-turbo diesel engine offers a five-percent increase in horsepower and an 11-percent reduction in emissions output. We’ve known for a while that the engines first tour of service would be in the 750, but we didn’t know it would happen so quickly.

The 7 Series entered its sixth generation for the 2016 model year and was based on BMW’s modular CLAR platform – a platform that was focused on weight reduction and structural strength. As such, the car was redesigned from the ground up with a new Carbon Core passenger cell, a 50/50 weight distribution, and a whole new, sporty look. Here in the U.S. we only get gasoline-powered versions of the 740i and 750i, and sadly, the new 750d and 750Ld aren’t slated to cross the Atlantic either. Be that as it may, we decided to take a closer look at it anyway, so keep reading to learn more about the new 750Ld and 750d models.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 750d xDrive and BMW 750Ld xDrive.

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2016 BMW 5 Series Baron Edition

2016 BMW 5 Series Baron Edition

BMW adds a few options to the 5 Series to make "the gentleman’s car."

If you haven’t noticed, auto manufacturers are practically breaking their necks to release special edition models. It seems like there have already been a ton in the first four months of 2016. Last year BMW released the 5 Series Maestro as a Japan-only special edition, and now BMW is jumping on that wagon again with the BMW 5 Series Baron Edition, a model it claims is “for the real gentleman” and will only be available on the Japanese market.

The special edition is based on the BMW 523d sedan and includes just a few goodies that make it stand out from the standard model. But, don’t get too excited, because just about everything included on the special edition can be optioned on the standard 523d, so there really isn’t anything new to discuss as far as offerings go. Of course, that shouldn’t surprise you much, considering terms like “special edition” and “limited edition” are thrown around pretty loosely these days.

With that said, BMW will start taking orders for the “real gentleman’s car” on April 23rd, and just 200 examples will be sold before the mold is broken. So, why don’t we take a closer look at it before it officially goes on sale and see if there is anything to be excited about.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 5 Series Baron Edition.

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2016 BMW 320d ED Sport

2016 BMW 320d ED Sport

Diesel has had a hard time catching on in the world. It’s not that it isn’t fantastically efficient, or doesn’t offer stellar performance potential. Ask Gale Banks or Wayne Gerdes (both world record holders in top speed and fuel economy) about diesel’s performance potential. But the simple fact is that frugal isn’t sexy, and sex sells cars. Cars sell on big, loud and stupid awesome as much as anything else — and BMW at least seems to be slowly adapting to that reality.

The 3 Series has long been a Bimmer staple, and diesel models have been favored by those who want BMW chassis dynamics but care more about fuel economy than straight-line performance. The last 320d certainly did provide some of the best of both worlds, but it still wasn’t quite enough to take advantage of the carbon taxation incentives offered in the civilized world. A of couple years ago, BMW upped its efficiency game with the 320 EfficientDynamics package, which used a combination of efficiency refinements to drop the 320d down a tax bracket.

But in spite of saving the average European driver a whopping $87 a month in taxes alone, the 320d ED failed to impress in the sex appeal department. No more, though. As with most of life’s problems, this one proved easy to solve with little more than the addition of a snazzy body kit.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2015 BMW X6 M50d

2015 BMW X6 M50d

The BMW X6 has been blurring the lines of SUV and sports car since its introduction in 2008. Things got even more strange when BMW threw a diesel engine under its hood and slapped an M badge on the side. Yes, BMW makes a diesel-powered M product. Unfortunately for those in the United States, the X6 M50d has been unobtainable. That trend sadly continues as the X6 rolls into its second generation for 2015.

The X6 can thank its second-generation upgrade to the X5, the SUV on which it’s based and shares much of its platform. For 2014, the X5 received a healthy makeover, including slightly larger dimensions for increased interior volume, a revised exterior, and a fresh interior.

The standard 2015 X6 is destined to arrive on U.S. shores likely sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014. While the M50d will be missing from our BMW lineup, our friends overseas will get to enjoy its torque-rich oil-burner. The M50d sports a straight-six construction displacing 3.0-liters and spooled up by two turbochargers. With an output of 381 horsepower and a tire-shredding 546 pound-feet of torque, the X6 M50d sprints to 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Even with all that power, the 3.0-liter, I-6 diesel still sips fuel like a Prius. On the European test cycle, the SUV returns a highly-respectable 42.8 mpg! Let that soak in while you click past the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW X6 M50d.

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2014 BMW 750Ld xDrive

2014 BMW 750Ld xDrive

The sales market of executive limousines has been slowly increasing over the last several years. These extra-long sedans provide unsurpassed comfort, technology and refinement. Formerly the sole domain of rear-wheel drive German sedans with huge cylinder counts, the market has seen quite a shakeup over the last few years. Hyundai is trying to steal sales with the Equus, and companies like Audi have released more fuel efficient, diesel-powered versions of its A8L, and nearly every competitor now offers an AWD variant.

BMW is looking to take eyes away from the competition with its own fuel-efficient, all-weather model. The newly announced 740Ld xDrive combines a fuel-sipping diesel engine with the xDrive AWD system and crams it all under the sheetmetal of BMW’s biggest car.

Is this the winning combination that BMW needs to keep from hemorrhaging buyers to competitors like Hyundai, Jaguar and Audi? We have all the details below to help you decide for yourself.

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2013 BMW X5 M50d

2013 BMW X5 M50d

Back when we first received details on the new X5 M50d, they were all still in their preliminary phase, and now BMW has finally unveiled all of the official information on its resident diesel crossover.

As no surprise, this diesel X5 will be offered with the same upgrades as the standard X5, including a new front and rear fascia, a new set of headlights and an updated interior.

The new X5 M50d will also carry a three-stage turbocharged 3.0-liter powerplant that is set to send plenty of horsepower and amazing torque through an eight-speed automatic box and out to all four wheels. This accounts for a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of under 6 seconds and fuel economy that will blow the doors off of many gasoline-powered economy cars.

The bad news is that to date, there is no mention of the new BMW X5 M50d coming to the U.S. market, hence it being a 2013 model year instead of a 2014.

Update 8/30/2013: BMW has revealed all of the specifics on the new X5 M50d. You can read all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more the BMW X5 M50d.

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2006 - 2011 BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport

2006 - 2011 BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport

A dyno, a laptop and a dream: the BBM Motorsport upgrade for the E91 generation of BMW 3 Series brings an extra 251 pound-feet of torque with a simple induction, exhaust and ECU re-flash. Yep, this 330d has 635 pound-feet of torque to go with its appealing red foil wrap and 19-inch BBS alloys.

BBM Motorsport’s impressive project really shows the scope of tasteful performance modifications to this generation of BMW 3 Series wagons. From looking like it probably has melted candy in the leather seats, to now looking at home making sparks on the Nordschleife and racing RS6 Avants on the autobahn until the tires or nerves call it quits.

This revamp is pretty cost effective as well, with BBM offering component sales for guys who might only be able to afford one upgrade at a time. The LED lights and matte wrap might be eye-catching, but the real gold comes from 30 minutes of ‘hotsynching’ to the BMW’s OBDII port.

A more effective ECU re-flash is hard to recall, but as we all know, tuners are not quite OEM in their durability and long-term reliability testing. Does the BBM kit push the limits of this excellent BMW turbo-diesel engine too high?

Despite sounding like a tractor or school bus to American ears, there is actually much more soulful inline-six bellow from the BBM upgrades. Bellows are the last thing you hear before your head meets the seat when the torque comes in a knockout punch.

Click past the jump for the full image gallery and details on the BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport’s performance and style upgrades.

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2014 BMW 328d

2014 BMW 328d

BMW expanded its U.S. 3-Series lineup with the addition of a new, diesel-powered version. This model, called the 328d, made its world debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show on March 27th and hits showrooms in the fall of 2013.

The new 328d sedan is joined by the 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. As with all the other models in the 3 Series lineup, buyers can order the new 328d in Luxury, Sport and Modern Lines, or with the M Sport package.

The 328d comes fitted with a four-cylinder diesel engine and buyers can opt for either rear-wheel drive or BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW reports that once the EPA gets around to testing the 328d that it will deliver about 45 mpg. Beyond the diesel engine and a few badges, everything else is shared with the rest of the 3 Series lineup.

Updated 08/01/2013: BMW announced prices for the 2014 328d that will go on sale later this fall at a base price of $38,600.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 328d.

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2013 BMW 3-Series Touring by AC Schnitzer

2013 BMW 3-Series Touring by AC Schnitzer

After providing an extensive tuning package for the 3-Series sedan, AC Schnitzer has moved on to its station wagon sibling to provide similar upgrades. Their new package for the BMW 3-Series Touring improves upon the exterior and interior look of the vehicle, as well as its power output.

The exterior upgrades include a new front spoiler, a chrome front grille, a rear roof spoiler, and a rear skirt. There is also a wide variety of wheels to choose from, ranging from 18" to 20" and different designs and colors. The interior combines aluminum elements with a very cool Black Line package.

The full line of engines for the 3-Series Touring was updated, providing an increase minimum of 28 HP. The 318d now delivers 171 HP, up from 143 HP; the 320d produces 218 HP, up from 184 HP; the 328i delivers 294 HP, up from 245; and the 335i pushes 360 HP, up from 306 HP. These updates were achieved with the addition of a sports rear silencer and a new exhaust system. There is also a new suspension spring kit combined with a lower suspension to bring the car closer to the ground by 25 mm.

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2012 BMW X5 M50d

2012 BMW X5 M50d

BMW’s dive into the diesel market included not just the M550d xDrive, but the X5 M50d as well. Just like the M550d, the SUV version is powered by the 3.0 liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine that delivers a total of 381 HP and a peak torque of 546 lb-ft. With this amount of power, the X5 M50d will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph. Fuel economy has been reported at 37.7 mpg.

Compared to a standard X5, the new M50d will be distinguished by an optimized aerodynamic balance and enhanced driving pleasure. In the space reserved for the fog-lamps, the new model has received new air intakes joined by horizontal bars painted in Ferric Grey metallic paint and race-inspired air-channeling flaps that sit below the side air intakes to optimize the car’s aerodynamic balance at high speeds. The BMW kidney grille features titanium-colored vertical bars, while the exterior mirror caps are painted in Ferric Grey metallic. The car sits on a standard set of 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design, but there are alsooptional 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Ferric Grey metallic.

The new BMW X5 M50d will go on sale in Germany on June 16, 2012 at a price of 82,300 euro ($106,500 at the current exchange rates).

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2012 BMW M550d xDrive

2012 BMW M550d xDrive

BMW is doing a running jump into the diesel market by releasing a few new variations in one day. The highlight of this trio of diesels is the long-rumored M550d xDrive scheduled to appear at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. In Germany, the M550d xDrive will go on sale at a starting price of 80,800 euro ($104,500 at the current exchange rates) for the sedan and 83,750 euro ($108,400 at the current rates) for the station wagon version.

The BMW M550d xDrive is the first model to come from BMW’s latest M Performance Automobiles division and is joined by the X5 M50d and X6 M50d. All three models will share a new tri-turbo straight-six diesel engine that delivers a total of 381 HP and a peak torque of 546 lb-ft. In the M550d xDrive, this power is just enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph. Fuel economy comes in at 44.8 mpg.

UPDATE 01/26/2012: This review has been updated with the official images and specs for the BMW M550d xDrive.

UPDATE 02/29/2012: BMW has unveiled a series of almost 100 new high res images presenting the new M550d xDrive in action in different locations. Check our picture gallery to see them all!

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