• Apr 10, 2009
BMW X5 M – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a post on the forums at GermanCarZone, BMW is currently working on a new version of its 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine, which puts out 286 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque in its current, twin-turbocharged guise. To bump that power peak a bit higher, those crazy German engineers are rumored to be adding a third turbocharger that would boost horsepower to around 350.

This new tri-turbo diesel V6 would see its first application in a BMW X5 Performance Diesel. In a bid to maintain the oil-burners fuel efficiency, BMW would add hybrid componentry that includes stop/start and regenerative braking. These bits would earn the big SUV entrance into the automaker's Efficient Dynamics club.

In addition to the high-performance engine, the X5 Performance Diesel would reportedly get a unique body kit that includes subtle lips around the wheel arches along with revised air intakes and a front spoiler. It's too early to verify any of these rumors, but we'll be sure to keep our ears to the ground for more.



[Source: GermanCarZone via BMWBlog]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those pics were taken in Charleston, SC.. I recognize that bridge anywhere.

      Funny, I even remember seeing that X6 around town but didn't think anything of it..
      • 5 Years Ago
      That front bumper looks like a cheap, tasteless aftermarket piece.
      • 5 Years Ago
      V6?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, Straight 6. That's how they can use 3 turbos easily.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seems like 50% of autoblog writers think BMW's use V6's - someone on here posts an article every few months about the BMW V6 - makes you wonder how many other facts are incorrect when they screw up the most obvious things!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know it's an straight 6. But does Mr. Korzeniewski?
      • 5 Years Ago
      There's no V's in their sixes!
      • 5 Years Ago
      interesting design choice, instead of inducing more lag by replacing the turbos, they are adding a single big one behind the two little ones for top end airflow. I like it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a straight six for sure, I've notice that autoblog has made that mistake a few times in the past.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am a big fan... that is one of the biggest drawbacks of going for more boost
      • 5 Years Ago
      3 turbos seems a bit too complicated, though I've heard of a racing unit that is trying to assemble an engine with 1 small turbo per cylinder.

      I guess just making the big turbo in the 2-turbo setup larger isn't going to work for them.

      Hey, how come we never hear of supercharged diesels?
      • 5 Years Ago
      BMW Diesels now with 75% more complications...

      BMW Diesels, better gas mileage so you can afford the maintenance...

      BMW Diesels, Small penis? Compensate with three turbos...
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is nice of BMW to study up and try to put some 'sport' into diesel technology while watching Audi race and win with it.

      The X6 is also the Canary in the coal mine. BMW needs to stick to their basics and stop trying to be all things to all people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If this engine makes 350hp@4500 and 516ft-lbs@2250, that is 75% more torque than the M3.

        and just think of how much the M3 will drop as the altitude increases.

        How would having an extra turbo make it more of a maintenance hog than two turbos?
        If you don't want a diesel just get the N54 I6 in the X5, oh wait BMW doesn't offer than in the X5, only the X6.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or they could save a lot of time and hassle and put the ~400 horsepower v8 from the M3 in it and call it a day. I'd rather have that than a diesel with three turbos. Talk about a maintenance headache.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The V8 doesn't have any turbos. The diesel has three. Three turbos is a lot more of a maintenance headache than zero turbos. Also, it's not a plane. The 2% of my driving that I do above 1000'MSL isn't really enough to make me want a turbocharged car just for that. Granted, this is a truck and so a torquey diesel makes some sense for it. I really don't see the point of building a higher output diesel for the X5. If someone wants something faster there's a 5 series estate.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt it'll be a V6. I don't see BMW abandoning it's straight six anytime soon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Three turbos?

      How many compressors and turbines do they need before they just decide to put a turboshaft jet engine in the thing?

      Honestly... with that much hardware, why not just make it one big turbo with a combustion stage, and make that the powerplant, rather than just making three small turbos support a piston engine.

      Some turbines can burn diesel, kerosene, ethanol, methanol, or just about any fairly un-contaminated organic liquid as a fuel.

      And the front end of this, as well as the WHOLE X6-M, is ugly as hell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Boxer: A+ work. I absolutely agree and have thought about this for some time.

        But at that point, why not have the car completely powered by an electric motor/batteries which get electricity from a small turbine which spins up as needed? A turbine just large enough so that at it's max RPM it's enough to keep the batteries going at the car's full throttle. No direct link between the turbine and the drivetrain... Although that maybe what you were getting at :)

        A diesel turbine hybrid anyone? I can't imagine a more efficient way to make oil power an automobile.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have looked into those.

        And I have proposed solutions to the two distinct problems.

        1: throttle response... Disconnect the turbine speed from the ground speed. The Abrams does it with hydraulic drive. I suggested electric drive, with just enough battery/capacitance to pick up the slack between the two, and to keep the turbine at generally smooth engine speed, or at least smooth changes. Electric drive would also have the benefit of regenerative braking.

        2: exhaust heat... the other big problem with the chrysler turbine cars... A bypass system could be devised to flow compressed air around the combustion and turbine stages, to diffuse the hot exhaust. Not only that, but the more efficient the turbine stage, the more kinetic energy it pulls from the combustion heat and pressure, and the exhaust, which is not used for thrust, will be cooler than older jet turbine technology.

        The Abrams and others use centrifugal compressors (which is basically the compressor side of a turbocharger), most jet engines use axial compressors (fan blades like an enclosed multi-blade airscrew.

        If you combine the two, as Pratt&Whitney have, they have a hybrid axial first stage, and centrifugal second stage compressor, often called diagonal flow compressor.... which could be very good if scaled down from VLJ, to automotive size (and scaled for near-steady-state electric generation, not outright kinetic drive to the pavement which would require higher power spikes, and a larger engine capacity than ideal for steady-state)

        With an instant-torque throttle response of electric drive, with recouperative-energy braking (drive motors become generators when coasting-down and braking.)
        The benefits of liquid fuel and internal combustion on board (high energy density, fast liquid fillup, burns any organic liquid fuel)
        minimal or modest electric capacity (less battery weight, charged on board, not by plug-in to a power grid, unless you really must.)
        Minimum exhaust heat by air-to-air exhaust diffusion (and clean exhaust due to full burn characteristics of the combustion stage, and much less load than an aircraft)

        Where exactly are the down-sides?

        Tech has come a LONG, LONG way since the '60s turbine cars, which were mechanical/hydraulic drive, IIRC... and a lot less load and power demand than a main battle tank or a locomotive... the turbine can be small. Possibly smaller than a piston engine, or roughly the size of a rotary, maybe just a little bigger...

        With mass-market economies of scale, and less catastrophic failure precautions and cost expense than the aircraft industries (cars don't fall out of the sky if something goes wrong...) just like automotive piston engines aren't as meticulous as piston engines for aircraft, the drivetrains may start out expensive, but would quickly come down in price as R&D happens.

        Is that enough of a report?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Study up on Chrysler turbine cars and the M1 Abrams, then give us a breif report next class period.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mercedes had that concept with 3 turbos on a V6, two small outside the Vee bank, and a larger one in the Vee.

        So for a performance BMW this makes sense. Use two large ones for top end diesel power 2500-5000rpm
        and a small one for low speed operation. Basically expanding the current serial-sequential setup.

      Brett
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone heard of variable geometry turbos? They have been using them in diesels for years. Porsche even uses them in a gasoline engine (911 Turbo). They can act like a small turbo at low engine speeds and a big turbo at high engine speeds simply by changing their shape. BMW needs to stop thinking like it's a gasoline engine and remember this is a diesel. Use technology available on diesels.
      And yeah, I'm confused enough by their naming already, what would they call a high performance diesel?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm guessing they'll call it BMW X5 XdriveD3 M
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