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BMW M Performance range launched

  • BMW M Performance models
  • Three-turbo, 375bhp diesel engine
  • In X5 and X6 for UK
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New BMW M Performance models with 375bhp diesel engines will be available in June. The new high-performance versions of the X5 and X6 SUVs are the first in a range of new M Performance models that BMW will introduce.

The new X5 M50d xDrive and X6 M50d xDrive use a new 3.0-litre diesel engine, with three turbochargers. Maximum power is 375bhp; peak torque is a mighty 546lb ft.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive are standard. BMW quotes a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds for the X5 and 5.3 seconds for the X6.

BMWs usual range of Efficient Dynamics features is fitted, including an engine stop-start system. Average fuel economy is 37.7mpg for the X5 M50d and 36.7mpg for the X6 M50d.

Both models have self-levelling rear air-suspension. BMWs Adaptive Drive system an adjustable suspension set-up with active anti-roll bars is standard for the X6 and optional for the X5. All versions come with bespoke steering and suspension settings and upgraded engine and transmission mounts.

Externally, the new models have a similar makeover to BMWs M Sport models, with deeper, more aggressive bumpers and side sill extensions.

M Performance models gain a special metallic grey finish for the door mirrors and air intake grilles, bespoke alloys and an M Performance badge on the bootlid. Inside, theres Alcantara-and-leather upholstery, and special materials for the headlining and trim.

BMW is also launching a four-wheel-drive version of the BMW 5 Series with the same engine and a similar makeover, called M550d xDrive, but its not due in the UK until at least 2015. BMW has denied rumours that a rear-wheel-drive version of this model will be produced for the UK.

Both M Performance models go on sale in June: the X5 M50d will cost 60,325 and the X6 M50d which joins an updated X6 range will be 62,260.

Leo Wilkinson