After more than three decades of making high-revving, gas-powered performance cars, word has it that BMW’s M division is moving in a completely new direction with a diesel version of its upcoming M5 super sedan. Tentatively called the 550dXM, the oil-burner would be the brand’s first diesel super sedan.
First reported by The Detroit Bureau, the new car is said to have a triple-turbocharged diesel V-8 engine capable of producing upwards of 500 horsepower. Where it will differ from the gas-powered car will be with torque — 650 lb-ft — about 150 lb-ft more than the M5. To handle the greater force, insiders say it will come standard with all-wheel drive.
“You have to go to all-wheel drive,” an anonymous official within BMW said in an interview with The Detroit Bureau. “Otherwise you’ll be spinning your tires all day.”
It is suggested that this engine could find other applications in vehicles like the BMW X5 crossover. While Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have sold diesel vehicles in the U.S. for years, only recently has the fuel taken off in popularity with cleaner emissions and higher gas costs.
Traditionally more efficient than gas-powered counterparts, diesels have gained ground as performance engines in the 2011 BMW 335d sports sedan and in Audi’s LeMans racecar applications. If the 550dXM gains traction for a production model, expect it to make its first appearance at next spring’s Geneva Motor Show.
Source: The Detroit Bureau