Neither SUV needed more power, but they're both getting it anyway.
At the US launch event for the 2019 X7, BMW hinted it was working on a more powerful version of its flagship SUV. The X7's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 in the 50i trim is already quite potent, with 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque on tap enabling a 0-60 mph time of just 5.2 seconds. We didn't think the X7 needed any more power but we did wonder why the US car received a '50i' badge while the European diesel model received an 'M50d' badge.
Now we know. BMW USA has today announced two new M Performance versions of the X5 and X7. Both will be badged as M50i models and come powered by an updated version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo N63 V8 engine.
Thanks to some M division tuning, power and torque have increased to 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque (the same figures as the M850i and the recently updated M550i). With an added 67 hp and 74 lb-ft of torque, the X5 drops its 0-60 mph time to 4.1 seconds (down from 4.7 seconds) and the X7's time drops to 4.5 seconds (down from 5.2 seconds). Power is still sent to the xDrive AWD system through an eight-speed automatic transmission, but both the X5 and X7 M50i will now include an M Sport differential, M Sport exhaust system, and model-specific M suspension tuning.
The X5 is equipped with Adaptive M Suspension while the X7 uses a two-axle air suspension system that is optional on the X5 (both of which have been tuned by the M division). 20-inch M Star-spoke wheels come standard on the X5 M50i, but 21-inch and 22-inch wheels are also available. The X7 M50i includes 22-inch wheels as standard but can be downgraded to 21-inch wheels with all-season tires.
These new M50i variants of the X5 and X7 both seem like excellent additions to their respective model lineups, but there is a downside. The V8-powered X5 50i and X7 50i were already rather expensive at $75,750 and $92,600 respectively, but these new M50i variants start at $82,150 for the X5 and $99,600 for the X7. With a $995 destination charge, the X7 M50i will cost well over $100,000 before even factoring in options. If you believe this performance upgrade is worth the $7,000 price premium, you'll be happy to know production is set to begin on August 2019 at BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.