When three turbos are just not enough...
Since the debut of the new generation BMW M550d xDrive, we’ve been asking ourselves the same question over and over - how many turbos are too much? Today's vehicle has the most-powerful six-cylinder diesel on the market, a 3.0-liter inline-six unit with not one, not two, not three, but four turbochargers. With 400 horsepower (294 kilowatts) at 4,400 rpm and a massive peak torque of 560 pound-feet (760 Newton-meters) available from 2,000 rpm, the motor is giving the 5 Series some serious capabilities.
On paper, it’s very, very quick. In reality, it feels even faster. A new video, courtesy of the folks over at YouTube channel AutoTopNL, gives us a direct look at its acceleration and top speed performances. And, to better put these figures into context, it is compared with its predecessor, the previous generation M550d.
The two cars actually use the same engine, but the newer version has one additional turbocharger. This might sound like a minor improvement, but in reality it gives the new M550d a good advantage in the 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration. In Sport mode, with launch control activated, the 2018 model needs 4.4 seconds, while the previous version requires 0.3 seconds more.
As far as top speed is concerned, it’s nearly the same situation. The 400-hp model needs approximately 35 seconds to reach its maximum velocity of 161 mph (260 kph), while the tri-turbo 381-hp variant is a couple of seconds slower and its electronic limiter kicks in at 155 mph (250 kph).
As a reminder, the M550 uses an xDrive AWD system, which is mated to an eight-speed sports automatic gearbox. BMW claims the average fuel consumption for the sedan is 5.9 liters per 100 kilometers, or about 40 miles per gallon, but you’ll definitely have to go way below thе speeds in the video above to achieve it.