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RPM TV Website | March 7, 2021

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BMW M50d engine to be reborn with four turbochargers

BMW 7 Series
Adam Schoeman

BMW is apparently looking at replacing its high-power tri-turbocharged diesel engine with a similar unit – but endowed with a fourth turbocharger.

This new quad-charged engine is meant to serve as the brand’s flagship performance diesel engine and will take over from the triple-charged oil burner, which has been used to glorious effect by the X5 M50d until now.

The new engine is rumoured to produce a smile-inducing 300 kW, but seeing that it is a diesel the majority of its driving force should come from its torque output, which in this case is a heart-thumping 800 Nm.

It is unlikely that this is an all-new motor, but rather an evolution of the current triple-turbo design. That means it will still use a 3,0-litre straight-six base, but add a fourth turbocharger to reduce lag so that the other force-induction units can be introduced at higher engine revs to enhance boost levels.

BMW is thinking of driving the turbocharger electrically, meaning that it could be spooled up from zero revs, effectively nullifying turbo lag. Audi has been playing with this idea for a while now and has created some concept cars equipped with a similar set-up, but in order for it to power the turbocharger effectively, the car needs a 48V electrical system.

According to insiders BMW has also been experimenting with a conventional, exhaust gas-powered fourth turbocharger.

The first car to receive this engine layout will be the upcoming pseudo performance-orientated BMW 7-series, and will wear a M750d badge. After that the power plant is also destined for the X5, X6 and X7 chassis, and will be known as the xDrive50d in each of those ranges.

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