2020 BMW X5 M50i and X7 M50i give SUVs a 530hp twin-turbo V8

Chris Davies - May 22, 2019, 11:57 am CDT
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2020 BMW X5 M50i and X7 M50i give SUVs a 530hp twin-turbo V8

Your SUV needs more power, and BMW wants to give it too you. The latest chess move in the German automaker’s strategy of M-all-the-things, the 2020 BMW X5 M50i and X7 M50i answer the age-old question of “why doesn’t my luxury truck do 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds like the new Toyota Supra?”

To make sure you’re never embarrassed in a straight line dash at the lights by a Japanese sports car, BMW slots the new version of the N63 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 under the hood of its M50i variants. In the 2020 X5 M50i it grants that 4.1 second time; the larger, heavier 2020 X7 M50i follows on shortly after, at 4.5 seconds.

Considering just how big these SUVs are, no small amount of power is required from the V8. 530 horsepower arrives between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm, while the peak 553 lb-ft of torque drops from just 1,800 rpm. That’s 67 hp and 74 lb-ft more than the regular xDrive50i versions of each.

Off the lot, and on all-season tires, top speed is an electronically-limited 130 mph. Opt for summer performance rubber, meanwhile, and that rises to 155 mph. BMW has paired the V8 with an eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission, with new shift programing and steering wheel paddles. There’s Launch Control for getting away without delay from the school drop-off, and if you spec the Active Cruise Control system the transmission will preemptively shift according to the trajectory of the upcoming road.

Going around corners is just as important, of course, and so there’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled rear M Sport differential. The 2020 X5 M50i and X7 M50i are rear-biased in normal driving, indeed the SUVs can push all of the power to the back wheels if needed. Meanwhile, the differential can push power left to right at the rear, depending on traction conditions.

Double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension has been fettled by the M team, with the X5 M50i combining it with Adaptive M Suspension. The X7 M50i goes for two-axle air suspension as standard; it’s an option on the smaller SUV. The air suspension allows for almost an inch lower ride height in Sport mode, or at speeds above 85 mph; alternately, it can be lifted up to 1.6-inches for better clearance.

M Sport Brakes get two-piece, lightweight compound brake disks. The 2020 X5 M50i combines them with 20-inch M Star-spoke light alloy wheels with 275/45R20 run-flat all-season tires as standard; you can have up to 22-inch wheels if you’d prefer. The 2020 X7 M50i goes for 22-inch cerium grey M V-spoke wheels as standard, though you can get smaller 21-inch versions if you’d prefer.

Inside, there’s BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system. Apple CarPlay is supported, and there’s wireless charging, multi-contour sports seats, and WiFi hotspot. Options include glass controls and a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Audio System, together with driver assistance features like the Dynamic Handling Package, 3D parking assistance, and adaptive cruise.

Production of the two feistier SUVs is set to kick off in August of this year. They’ll join the BMW line-up in US dealerships come the fall. Pricing starts at $82,150 (plus $995 destination) for the 2020 X5 M50i, and at $99,600 (plus $995 destination) for the 2020 X7 M50i.


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