It's going to outrun the old M5 in the sprint to 60 mph.

The first-ever M550i xDrive is going to serve as the temporary range topper in the 5 Series G30 family until the arrival of the flagship M5. As the name implies, the high-performance sedan comes as standard with all-wheel drive and is powered by the familiar biturbo 4.4-liter V8. In this specification, the engine pumps out 456 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 480 lb-ft available from 1,800 rpm channeled to both axles through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Keep in mind that BMW’s U.S. division is saying the output numbers are provisional at this point, but even so the final ones should be very close.

Thanks to a beefy V8 engine and a substantial weight loss brought by the CLAR platform, the new 5 Series in the hot-flavored M550i xDrive edition will cover the 0-60 mph sprint in less than four seconds, so it’s going to be at least two tenths of a second faster than the outgoing M5. Unsurprisingly, BMW is going to install an electronic top speed limiter that will kick in at 155 mph.

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Images of the U.S.-spec 2018MY car are not available at this point, but it’s going to look virtually the same as the European variant pictured here plus the mandatory side marker lights. Embodying the pure definition of an evolutionary design, the new 5 Series in the spicy M550i xDrive guise is sporty on the outside and elegant on the inside in an attempt to offer the best of both worlds.

BMW M550i xDrive (Euro-spec model)
BMW M550i xDrive (Euro-spec model)

It sits 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) lower than the lesser models thanks to the adaptive sport suspension and can be had with either standard 19-inch wheels or with an optional 20-inch set, both featuring a Cerium Grey metallic matte finish. Similar accents are noticeable on the kidney grille, front air vents, and on the side mirror caps, while the high-gloss Shadow Line trim around the windows is also part of the package.

To further set it apart from the others, BMW is painting the M Sport brake calipers in blue and is also slapping on M badges both inside and out to let everyone know it’s not an ordinary 5 Series. At the back, there’s an M Sport exhaust system with quad pipes delivering an “unmistakable and exciting BMW M roar.”

BMW M550i xDrive (Euro-spec model)
BMW M550i xDrive (Euro-spec model)

Further upgrades include the illuminated “M550i xDrive” inscription on the door sills and the choice of either standard Black Dakota leather with blue stitching or optional Nappa leather. Rounding off the tweaks are other M-flavored goodies, such as the steering wheel, pedals, and floor mats.

Pricing details are not available at this point, but BMW says an announcement is going to be made closer to the model’s U.S. launch scheduled to take place in spring 2017.

If you’d rather wait for the new M5, it will likely come out by the end of next year or early 2018 with a standard xDrive setup capable of switching to a RWD layout by simply pressing a button. Sounds familiar? The M5’s main rival, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 / E63 S, has a Drift Mode that will do just that.

Source: BMW

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