Is it just us, or does it feel like the BMW X7 only just came out? Nope; not just us. It’s been in dealers for about three months, and an “M” version – sort of – is already on its way.
We say “sort of”, here, because like its X4, X3 and X2 SAV siblings, the “M” version of the X7 is actually part of the “M Performance” line of vehicles, meaning not quite as heavy an overhaul in the vein of the BMW X5M or M5.
Still, though, both the X7 M50i and X5 M50i models get the latest version of BMW’s 4.4 L TwinPower Turbo alloy block V8, putting out 523 hp and 553 lb-ft, increases of 67 and 74, respectively, over the xDrive50i models of each vehicle. They are of the “hot-vee” variety, meaning the turbos are nestled within the V8’s cylinder banks, improving exhaust flow and providing faster power delivery. Both vehicles take less than five seconds to accelerate from 0-100 km/h.
Helping achieve this feat is an eight-speed sport automatic transmission that can work with the navigation to determine how quickly it needs to shift gears, or what gear it should be in to best tackle whatever the road ahead throws the driver’s way.
Being large SUVs, it’s imperative that BMW tunes the suspension in order to help the chassis keep up with all that power; to that end, the suspension has been specifically tuned to make these two performance versions handle as fast as they can accelerate. The X5 comes standard with Adaptive M Suspension, while the X7 comes standard with two -axle air suspension, which will lower the ride height when in sport mode. If more ground clearance is required, the air suspension can also be raised. Wheel sizes, meanwhile, range from 21-22 inches while new front bumpers with larger openings and sculpted rocker panels help differentiate the M50i from other X5 and X7 models.
Of course, BMW’s latest iDrive tech also comes as standard. It’s the seventh generation of the tech and provides twin 12.3” displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment screen. The infotainment screen can be customized with a variety of widgets, and should you own another BMW with similar tech, the info you have in one car can be shared with the other over the cloud.
Canadian pricing has yet to be released, but the X5 M50i starts at US $82,150 and the X7, US $99,600.