M Performance, what is it all about?
The understated M550i is here to fill a gap in the market. It is no longer the flagship 5-series, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked.
This was my first time up close, behind the wheel of the latest 5-series chassis (G30) from BMW. When I was invited, by BMW of West Houston, to take this car for a spin, I wasn't exactly sure what it's purpose is. I was thinking M535i and M5, in the E28 era.
First things first, M Performance line is in between the M Sport packages available on models like the 340i and 540i, and the classic M Power cars like the M3 and M5. The portfolio of M Performance vehicles began in 2012 and now includes seven models in the U.S. market.
The immediate first thought that comes to mind is, of course from Jeremy Clarkson. You just bought yourself the M550i (top of the line, at the time), and here comes 2018, the new M5 is already roaming on the streets of your own city. Sooner than later, you will find yourself next to a F90 M5, at a red light. You know the rest of the story.
However, it is a completely different story, if you actually drive the car, especially in Sport+. The throttle response, the steering precision, and the downshifts really make you feel intoxicated. It almost has split personality - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but both are really nice guys.
And let's not forget the financial side. This exact car today will cost you $84,351
Get your exclusive online price for the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive at BMW of West Houston near Houston, TX. VIN: WBAJB9C53JB286214
On the contrary, where I am sure the new F90 M5 is a hoot to drive (if you got one, and need me to drive it, don't hesitate to contact me) you would be paying an additional $32,000. We can call that M5 tax. With the rate of depreciation of BMWs in the US, you will loose that in the first 6-months give or take.
There are a lot of cool cars, you can buy for $32,000! Comment below on suggestions!
The aesthetics of the M550i, are slightly different than the F90. It makes the car look a bit more grown-up, more serious. Is it the gentlemen's 5 series on steroids, you ask?
It almost reminds me of the original M5 (E28) options from back of the mid-80s, when you could order your car de-badged. Just imagine sneaking up on a 911, in a 4-4-door sedan, leaving the air-cooled owner scratching his head. Those were the days.
The N63B44 is lacking 138HP and 74 ft-lbs of torque from it's bigger brother the S63B44. At the time of it's release BMW said it was the quickest 5-series sedan of all time, even out-accelerating the F10 M5.
A lot has been said about the looks of the new 5 series, and for that matter the new generations of BMW. It is a love or hate relationship. For me, it takes time to get used to a new look. It's like a slow dance.
Feel free to share your thought below, and would you consider buying an M550i over M5. If so, you can head over to BMW of West Houston, today. They got two for sale!