- New M50i versions of the BMW X5 and the BMW X7 have been revealed.
- The two models are positioned above the 50i trims of the SUVs, and pack a more powerful version of the same twin-turbo V-8.
- Special exterior trim and big wheels visually set the M50i models apart.
The latest generation of the BMW X5 and its new larger sibling, the X7, have both been on sale for less than a year, but BMW already is changing up the lineup for the 2020 model year. Slotting above the 50i versions of both SUVs will be new M50i models that fall under the M Performance brand umbrella, just like existing models like the M850i and the M340i.
While the M50i's engine is the same basic twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 as the 50i, the two are different enough to gain their own engine codes. The 50i uses the N63B44M3 unit, while the M50i uses the N63B44T3, the same version of the engine that's found in the M850i and the refreshed 7-series. Both M50i models make 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, increases of 67 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque over the 50i. Enhancements to the engine relative to the 50i's unit include a block made of a new aluminum alloy, a viscous damper on the crankshaft, stronger pistons and piston rings, and an iron coating on the cylinder walls. BMW says the X5 M50i will hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and the X7 M50i in 4.5 seconds, 0.4 and 0.7 seconds quicker than the 50i versions, respectively.
It's about more than just the powerful engine, though. The eight-speed automatic has been tweaked and now has a launch-control function, and the M division tuned the suspension. The X5 M50i comes with adaptive dampers as standard, while the X7 M50i gets air suspension at all four corners (an option on the X5). Both SUVs get an M Sport exhaust system, bigger M Sport brakes, and an electronically controlled rear differential.
The X5 M50i has 20-inch wheels with all-season tires as standard, while the X7 M50i gets a massive, staggered set of 22-inch wheels on summer performance tires, sized 275/40R-22 up front and 315/35R-22 at the rear. (The X5 is also available with 21s or 22s.) Other standard equipment on both SUVs include LED lights, sport seats, a Harman Kardon sound system, BMW's Active Driving Assistant suite of driver-assist features, and Apple CarPlay. Don't worry, there's still a large list of options like a Dynamic Handling package, even more driver-assist features, and gorgeous glass controls for the interior.
To visually set the M50i apart from 50i models that are equipped with the optional M Sport bodykit, they get unique Cerium Grey exterior trim on components like the front grille, fender vents, and wheels. They both also have gloss-black window trim, lots of M badges on the interior, vernasca perforated leather with contrasting stitching, and black headliner.
BMW says that production of both new M50i SUVs will start in August before going on sale in the fall. At $83,145, the X5 M50i will cost $6400 more than the 2019 X5 50i, while the $100,595 X7 M50i is $7000 more expensive than the 2019 X7 50i. BMW has released no other info about the other X5 and X7 models for 2020, but we expect some minor trim and options changes.
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