click above for a high res gallery of the X5 M

This week, BMW announced high performance M versions of the X5 and X6 "sport activity vehicles." The Ms get the usual array of visual "enhancements" to go along with all the performance upgrades which include a beefed up version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that debuted in the original X6 last year. The M version of the V8 gets a boost from 400 hp to 555 hp, which should find appeal among some audiences. In Europe, however, the vast majority of X6 and X5 sales come powered by BMW's 3.0-liter dual turbo 6-cylinder diesel. In Euro-spec form, that engine produces 286 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque.

BMW is reportedly working on a high performance version of that engine that adds a third turbocharger to the mix, boosting output to the about 350 hp. The tri-turbo diesel would be paired with automatic start-stop and brake energy regeneration to help mitigate some of the extra fuel consumption. The diesel is unlikely to be badged as an official M model but would have an M-sport package that makes it look much like one. Thanks to Horatiu for the tip!

Related GalleryBMW X5 M

[Source: GermanCarZone via BMWBlog]