BMW 550i Gran Turismo Gets xDrive Version

BMW announced the introduction of all-wheel drive system xDrive on its 7-Series based crossover, the 5 Series GranTurismo. The premiere of this new version will take place at the Beijing Auto Show, which will open its doors in a few days.

The BMW 550i xDrive GranTurismo is powered by a V8 featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and high precision injection and it uses the same xDrive system as the BMW 7 Series. The complex 4WD system originally conceived for the BMW X models and then also introduced in the BMW 5 and the BMW 3 Series offers a high level of precision not only on rough surfaces, but specially on the road.

The first version of the GT to receive the xDrive is the 550i, which sports the largest engine available for this model. The xDrive offers unique qualities such as intelligent all-wheel drive, offering optimum grip on the road in each situation. Under normal conditions, the power is distributed on 40 : 60 ratio front to rear. The system is able to vary the distribution of drive power whenever necessary within fractions of a second.

On dry, fast roads more power is driving the rear wheels in order to increase agility and avoid understeer, up to 80 percent of the drive power going to the rear wheels. And unlike a conventional all-wheel-drive system, BMW xDrive also looks ahead, not just responding once a wheel starts to spin. This stabilises the car even before the driver recognises any need for action. Aimed specifically for the U.S. market, where the Mercedes-Benz R-Class is already offered with 4WD, the 550i Gran Turismo xDrive will be on sale from June. It is rumoured that in September BMW will also introduce all-wheel drive on the 535i and 530d GT models.
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