BMW gives its X5 and X7 SUVs the 523bhp M division treatment

BMW has added a new high-performance model at the top of its large SUV model ranges, boasting V8 engines tuned by M division.

Badged M50i, the new model will be available for the X5 and X7 and features a 523bhp, 4.4-litre V8 engine. Both models utilise BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive technology and get their own suspension tuning.

That engine is the big news here, as it’s been given an update for use in the M50i. The turbochargers have been enlarged and the petrol injectors now work at a higher pressure, while the crankcase, cylinder barrels, pistons, crankshaft and cylinder head have all been upgraded.

The result is that these large SUVs can complete the standard 0-60mph sprint impressively quickly given their size – 4.2 seconds for the X5 and 4.6 for the X7. Drivers can choose between comfort-focussed or sportier drive modes, with the standard-fit sports exhaust system amplifying the V8’s note when the latter is selected.

Both M models are given sporty exterior design tweaks such as larger air intakes in the front bumper to improve engine cooling, while grey trim pieces denote that this is the top-spec model. Inside, the M50i gets an M leather steering wheel, M gear shifter, leather upholstery and aluminium or black wood interior strips.

UK pricing has not yet been confirmed, but production of both models will begin in August 2019, with deliveries starting shortly after.