BMW has opened its first diesel M car: the new M550d xDrive in saloon and Touring estate forms. Its part of a strategy to fill the gap between the exclusive M GmbH division cars and the top-end cosmetic M Sport trim lines with a new range of M lite: BMW M Performance Automobiles.
Developed by the engineers responsible for the M3, M5 et al, the new M550d xDrive is powered by a new high output version of the 3.0-litre straight six turbo diesel packing not one, not two, but three turbochargers.
No wonder it puts out 376bhp and 546lb ft of torque. It's claimed to be reviver than normal turbo diesels, topping out at 5400rpm, though few drivers will need to extend it that far thanks to the sky-high torque figure.
Before you get too excited about the M550d xDrive, Brits be warned: its not coming here. BMW GB just doesn't think there's demand for a car even faster than a 535d and knocking on the door of M5 money - and xDrive hasn't been engineered for right-hand drive.