The 2018 BMW M550i xDrive: Can It Daily?
The 5-series legacy for everyday usability is legendary, but does it hold up with the newest model?
Last fall, 5-Series.net staff got the chance to beat the hell out of the new G30 chassis BMW M550i xDrive at Willow Springs International Raceway. Until the new M5 hits dealer lots this spring, the new not-an-M-but-called-M550i is the most capable Fiver you can get. That said, we still thought it felt a little out of its element on the desert race track. That filled us with a tiny bit of concern. With a ton of go-faster goodies like M-Sport suspension, active rear steering, and massive brakes, would the new top-level 5-Series be a bit too harsh for daily usage? Did BMW manage to make a car that is a bit too soft for track usage and a bit too high strung for everyday tasks?
To find out we spent just over a week with the sexy sedan. From boring morning commutes, to back road blasts, and everything in between, we piled up hundreds of miles to bring you this verdict. We know, our jobs are just the worst sometimes.
So, what did we think?
Well for starters, no conversation about the M550i can be had without mentioning that engine. It’s an incredibly potent twin-turbo V8 with 4.4L of displacement. To call this 456 horsepower piece of engineering anything less than marvelous should be a sin. Thanks to its “hot-V” turbo arrangement that puts the turbos on top of the engine between the cylinder banks, the motor has near-instant response. This motor also loves to rev, and shows no signs of sluggishness as it hammers towards its redline, just a touch over 7000 rpms. And when that dual-stage sports exhaust opens up, this engine is so deep and growly you’d almost believe AMG helped with the tuning.
Couple that eager power delivery with a surprisingly good 8-speed automatic and the grip from xDrive AWD and 60 mph can be cleared in a claimed 3.9 seconds. We couldn’t quite match that pace in our testing, but our car was equipped with the standard performance all-weather Michelin tires, not the optional Pilot Super Sports.