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BMW X5 and X7 to get V8 power for 2020

The top-spec M50i variant for each SUV will score a 390kW/750Nm petrol V8.

BMW has revealed halo models for the X5 and X7 SUV ranges, both of which are powered by 4.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V8s.

The X5 M50i and X7 M50i will share the same power output of 390kW/750Nm from the V8 mill, and both will benefit from BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system and use an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.

The M50i variants will step in above the current top-of-the-range M50d versions, which run a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder quad-turbo diesel engine producing 294kW/760Nm.

Thanks to the eight-speed 'Steptronic' transmission’s launch control mode and maximum torque availability from just 1800rpm, the X5 M50i is claimed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds, and the X7 M50i can do the sprint in 4.7sec.

Each car comes standard with paddle-shifters, 21-inch M light alloy wheels, M sport brake system, and a rear M sports differential. BMW’s M division has also given each of the SUVs a bespoke suspension tune for these halo variants, the X5 M50i has electronically controlled ‘Adaptive M suspension’ while the X7 M50i employs a more sophisticated adaptive dual-axle air suspension setup which can alter the ride height of the vehicle either automatically or as set by the driver.

On the options list for each car is 22-inch alloy wheels and ‘Integral Active Steering’ which allows for four-wheel steer and active anti-roll stabilizers.

The X5 M50i has a claimed/combined fuel efficiency rating of 10.5L/100km, while the extra weight of the X7 pushes it out to 10.9L/100km.

The X5 M50i can also be optionally fitted with the X7’s dual-axle air suspension.

On the inside unique treatments to each M50i variant include ‘Vernasca’ leather interior trim, aluminium or wood highlights, illuminated entry sills, and black headlining. The X7 M50i scores Alcantara headlining and a Harman Kardon stereo over the X5 equivalent.

BMW Australia has high hopes for the V8 bruisers, saying: “M Performance vehicles have performed strongly in the Australian market.”

The announcement comes after Volkswagen confirmed an even more powerful V8 TDI engine arriving in the Touareg range internationally. VW’s V8 diesel mill produces 310kW/900Nm.

The M50i's main petrol competitor is in the form of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ which produces 320kW/520Nm from its six-cylinder twin-turbo engine.

The M50i variants are set to arrive in late 2019, so stay tuned for more on local pricing in the second half of this year. Expect north of the current M50d's prices of $153,500 for the X5 and $169,900 for the X7.

Would you consider either of these V8-powered M50i variants or would you be more likely to consider diesel in something this size? Tell us what you think in the comments below.