The 2020 G05 BMW X5 and G07 X7 will both be getting a hot new engine, one that is plucked straight off the engine bay of the M850i. Set to go on sale in September this year, the M50i-badged SUVs will be powered by the N63B44T3 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol that makes 523 hp between 5,500 to 6,000 rpm, and 750 Nm of torque between 1,800 to 4,600 rpm.

Comparatively, the existing xDrive50i (also a 4.4 litre turbocharged V8 unit) makes 456 hp from 5,250 to 6,000 rpm and 650 Nm from 1,500 to 4,750 rpm, which makes the M50i approximately 67 hp and 100 Nm more powerful. This allows the X5 to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a blistering 4.1 seconds, while the X7 gets there in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically-limited to 250 km/h.

The newer eight-cylinder M Performance unit features a number of improvements, particularly the use of two twin-scroll turbochargers with charge air cooling located within the V, High Precision Injection, Valvetronic fully variable valve control and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing.

The engine block is made of aluminium alloy, while the cylinder walls are given an iron coating (via wire-arc spraying process) to reduce frictional losses. Reinforced, Grafal-coated pistons and optimised piston rings are also specifically designed to endure the stress on the crank drive that comes with the extra output and torque. To enhance engine smoothness, torsional vibration is minimised with the help of a viscous damper on the crankshaft.

Channeling all that power to the wheels is an eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission with revised control logic for improved performance and efficiency. Both the X5 and X7 M50i are identical in terms of gear ratios, while paddle shifters with Launch Control function and xDrive all-wheel drive (with M Sport rear diff) are standard. Also on is a sporty-sounding M Sport exhaust system.

The standard double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear suspension have also been upgraded by M GmbH. BMW claims the setup provides the best balance of traction on rough terrain and dynamic response and comfort on paved roads. The bushings, spring and damper settings have all been uprated.

The X5 M50i is gets Adaptive M Suspension while the X7 M50i is fitted with a two-axle air suspension system (optional on the X5 M50i). The latter allows ride height to be reduced by up to 20 mm when in Sport mode, or when speeds exceed 136 km/h. Drivers can also raise vehicle ride height by 40 mm for greater ground clearance when required.

Design-wise, the M50i models get a slightly revised front bumper with larger openings to allow for greater air flow to the cooling system. The rocker panels and rear bumpers have been distinctly sculptured as well, whereas several exterior components are finished in BMW Individual high-gloss Shadowline trim and Cerium Grey accents.

As for the wheels, the X5 rides on 20-inch dual-tone M Star-spoke items shod with 275/45 profile run-flat tyres, although optional 21-inch and 22-inch versions are available as well. The X7, on the other hand, sits on staggered 22-inch Cerium Grey M V-spoke alloys wrapped with 275/40 (front) and 315/35 (rear) series performance tyres. A set of smaller 21-inch wheels can also be optioned. Resting behind the wheels is a two-piece, lightweight compound brake discs with blue painted calipers and M logos.

Additional features include unique door sill plates with illuminated M50i logo, M leather steering wheel, gear selector with M logo, Vernasca perforated leather upholstery with contrast stitching, Anthracite headliner in the X5 M50i and Alcantara Anthracite headliner in the X7 M50i.

Elsewhere, things remain as is. Standard equipment includes the latest BMW Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive 7 Operating system, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Harman Kardon surround sound system, Apple CarPlay, WiFi hotspot, and wireless smartphone charging tray.