What is it?
The not-quite M5, sharing its bigger brother’s combination of a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and all-wheel drive, but with less power and less performance.
The M550i is one of BMW’s M Performance products, but neither it or its diesel-powered M550d sibling will be sold in the UK, the official logic being that there isn’t enough space between the 540i xDrive and the full-fat M5.
While unable to match the raw firepower of the 600hp M5, the M550i’s 4.4-litre V8 produces an entirely respectable 456hp and – thanks to the magic of all-wheel drive and the weight saving made to this generation of 5 Series – dispatches the 0-62mph dash in a claimed 4.0sec, which is faster than the last-generation F10 M5 could manage. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, although one that lacks the M5’s ability to turn itself rear-drive only.