When the diesels learned to run, they were still considered boring smokers - BMW only dared to venture into the world of auto-igniters in 1983 and is now one of the front runners. In view of the diesel discussion about limit values, which is not ideological, the BMW M550d xDrive with its 400 hp appears like a provocation.
The fact that, thanks to AdBlue and Speicherat, it also meets the strictest limit values on the road and has the Euro6 d TEMP technology on board proves that the diesel engine is fit for the future. And when he enters the driving dynamics consciousness with such vehemence, driving pleasure and reason merge into synthesis.
"For God's sake", a gas station attendant shouted at me in 1983, "You fill up with DIESEL!" His emergency call was not meant badly, but the discreet reference to a supposed idiot who in his five-man BMW did not know that BMW ultimately only built gasoline engines . I was able to reassure the man by looking at the operating manual, but I still felt that I was stunned. He just couldn't believe that there should now be a BMW with a diesel. I thought I saw him shake his head in the rearview mirror. I was on a test drive with the newly introduced BMW 524td.
BMW diesel used to smoke like a coal-fired power station
Back then, the BMW 524td was simply awesome. Today he wouldn't even go through as a hammer. A miserable 115 hp were still the basis for euphoric enthusiasm in 1983, the top speed of a little under 190 km / h made you king on the highway and gave you the feeling of being the greatest with a maximum torque of 210 Newton meters at each traffic light start but to be the fastest. I cannot believe that the “fastest diesel sedan” (BMW advertisement from 1983) should have taken 0 seconds from 100 to 12,9 km / h.
Full throttle was not without significant side effects: the car smoked like a GDR coal-fired power station. In order to make this more unobtrusive, the exhaust tailpipes were curved downwards. The smoke in the airstream under the vehicle quickly evaporated. Soot filter? At that time the word was as unknown as facebook or the internet. Sex was still something intimate and, according to Stern and Spiegel, the climate was supposedly heading for a new ice age. CO2we didn't know from the exhaust, but only from chemistry classes.
Consumption fluctuated between 13 and 15 liters of diesel on fast freeway journeys, even though the standard consumption was already given as ignoring reality in the city at 9,5 or 7,2 liters on average. At the time, we thought that the 524td should be the end of the dynamic flagship for the diesel sedans. To err is human.
400 diesel horsepower and a hammer torque ensure pure driving dynamics
The world's most powerful six-cylinder diesel in the automobile in the M 550d xDrive, with its 400 hp and brutal torque of 760 Newton meters, is capable of making any diesel prejudice absurd. Yes, other diesels do that too, but this propellant surpasses similarly predicted competitors and every previous idea of diesel driving dynamics. The despite the M aerodynamic package the relatively good-looking five-man offers unlimited driving pleasure, which is underlined in every curve by an excellently coordinated chassis and the intelligent all-wheel drive system xDrive, in which the torque is distributed with emphasis on the rear. You have to have experienced this ability to accelerate from a speed of 80 km / h to 250 km / h to find out breathless that an M5 cannot do (much) subjectively. The fact that the performance hammer M550 d xDrive with its 400 hp is at 4,4 km / h in 100 seconds, the current M5 that with its 625 hp only 1,1 seconds faster, allows the pulling power of the diesel with its four TwinPower Detect turbochargers. That is the real character of the diesel: the tremendous power from the rev cellar. According to the on-board computer, our consumption levels off at 9,5 liters. In view of the driving performance a physical miracle or better: Efficient Dynamic!
The 8-speed Steptronic "Sport" gearbox ensures fast gear changes, which are almost a bit too smooth for this sports device. The gears can of course also be controlled manually using paddle shifters on the steering wheel. We like to remember the SMG transmission in the M5 (E 60) with the ten cylinder and 507 hp. Every gear change at full load acceleration was felt as a real gear change. However, the gear was heavily loaded and tended to wear prematurely. The progress towards the comfort zone also has advantages. This does not detract from the dynamic towards the horizon.
Six driving modes for every need
The integral active steering installed in the test car brings noticeable sportiness. The steering rear wheels make this five very agile and also ensure high driving stability at high speeds. The rather heavy five (empty weight 1.970 kg) can be steered very precisely around every curve. In various settings, the Adaptive M “Professional” suspension gives the driver every opportunity to determine the driving behavior with the “Driving Experience Switch” according to his ideas. Six driving modes can be controlled with it.
Numerous assistants should relieve the driver. The lane change warning, which even intervenes in the steering in the event of impending collisions, the Speed Limit Assist recognizes speed limits and automatically takes them over for the activated cruise control. We were impressed when we drove the 550d into a narrow parking space without sitting in it. "Remote parking" is activated on the vehicle key using the mouse cinema display and the engine starts by hand control, the vehicle slowly rolls into the parking space. Really sensational, as can be seen from the open mouths of the passers-by watching.
The layout of the instruments is perfect
In addition to all the technical highlights that would require a few hundred lines to mention, we only want to turn to the interior design, exactly the layout of the displays. These deserve top marks. Whether head-up display or the screen in the middle: The flood of information appears clearly structured and with aesthetic images. The entire presentation show was staged by experts. Unfortunately, voice control is not yet reliable. The fact that she understands only Caracciola Street in the very clearly spoken address "Karl-Theodor-Strasse" suggests development potential. Other competitors usually listen to what is said.
Technical data BMW M550d xDrive: four-door sedan, length: 4,91 meters, width: 1.86 meters, height: 1,45 meters, wheelbase: 2,97 meters, turning circle: 12,20 meters, empty weight: 1.970 kilograms, trunk volume: 530 Liters, tank capacity: 66 liters, engine: in-line six-cylinder diesel with four TwinPower turbochargers, displacement 2993 ccm, output: 400 hp at 4.400 rpm, max. Torque: 760 Newton meters between 2.000 and 3.000 rpm, 0 - 100 km / h: 4,4 seconds, top speed: 250 km / h limited, standard average consumption: 5,9 liters diesel / 100 km, CO2-Emissions: combined 154 g / km, efficiency class C, emission class Euro 6d TEMP, base price from: 87.000 euros.