Now, we’ve had an ongoing love affair with the BMW 5-series sedan for some time; and like any relationship, occasionally you have to spice things up a little. Consider this 2018 BMW M550i xDrive a healthy dose of Cayenne pepper.

Occupying the middle ground between the I6 540i and the hell-bent-for-leather M5; the twin-turbo V8-powered M550 gets 456-horsepower, a new rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, recalibration of the 8-speed automatic transmission, and chassis tuning from the guys who put together the M5, with the accompanying lower ride height. All helping it hit 60 in under four seconds.

Sounds like our kind of fun…

GARICK ZIKAN: “As soon as you step on the throttle… you get that nice push back into the seat… while the digits rapidly rise on the speedometer. The transmission clicks through the gears lightning fast. And as all this power is pouring out of the engine… it’s still refined… and maintains its composure.”

JOHN DAVIS: Of course bigger brakes were needed as well; and an aero kit always helps. But there’s more here than just a tacked on rear spoiler; the grille, front fascia, side mirrors, and front fenders are all tweaked for optimized airflow. 

The black chrome tail pipes don’t necessarily add any increased performance, but the sport exhaust system that they are connected to certainly does.

Plenty of M performance flavoring gets sprinkled around the interior too; sport seats with blue contrast stitching, M steering wheel, and aluminum pedals naturally. 

So, if you really need to get to that business meeting across town really fast, and can’t afford a full-flavor M5; the slightly milder BMW M550i xDrive is a very close next best thing. It’s available now for about $75,000. 


  • Horsepower: 456
  • Price: About $75,000