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The BMW 550 is a model in BMW’s lineup of 5-Series executive sedans. The German luxury and performance automaker has been producing the 5-Series since 1972, and the vehicle is in its sixth generation. The 5-Series is BMW’s best seller after the 3-Series lineup and it is sold around the world. 

The 550i is the nomenclature of the model in the current generation of the BMW 5-Series, which is also available as the 528i, 535i, and the ActiveHybrid 5. The 5-Series vehicles can be configured with xDrive, which is BMW’s optional all-wheel-drive system. As of the 2013 model year, the BMW 550i comes standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels fitted with run-flat tires, automatic adaptive xenon head lamps surrounded by LED running lights, and fog lights. The 550i also comes standard with front and rear park assist sensor systems, a power trunk lid, and a reverse camera

The BMW 550i comes equipped with many features and options that are only found in upgrade packages on the lesser 5-Series models. The 550i’s interior features 18-way multi-contour front seats, satellite radio, leather upholstery and wood trim, dual zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and push button start, ambient cabin lighting, a navigation system with real time traffic information, power rear window sunshades and manual side window sunshades, a power trunk opener with optional hands-free trunk operation, and a power sunroof. The standard audio system is 180 watts and incorporates Bluetooth wireless connectivity, HD radio, and 10 speakers. Buyers can upgrade to a premium 1200-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system. BMW’s iDrive driver information system features a color in-dash display screen. An optional cold weather package will add heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and washers for the headlights. Park assist, lane departure warning, speed limit warnings, blind spot detection, night vision, and side-view and top-view cameras are among the other driver convenience and safety features available. And finally, the top level of optional trim upgrades is the BMW Individual Composition program, which equips the 550i with 19-inch wheels, exclusive exterior trim, an Alcantara headliner, premium leather, and exclusive cabin trim selections. Of all the 5-Series models, only 550i buyers can check off the Executive package, which adds Comfort Access, ceramic controls, satellite radio, BMW Apps that enable smartphone connectivity, upgraded driver instruments and controls, and soft-close automatic doors.

The BMW 550i is powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine that is boosted by twin turbochargers.  This engine produces 400 horsepower. However, unlike some 5-Series models, this engine does not use the stop/start technology that helps vehicles save fuel by shutting off the engine at idle. The BMW 550i comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but buyers may opt for an eight-speed automatic. The 550i can be configured with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which makes the automatic transmission necessary and also adds hill-descent control. The M Sport package is available on non-xDrive models, which provides larger wheels fitted with performance tires, as well as exclusive M Sport aesthetic components such as a steering wheel and body kit. The M Sport upgrade package of the 550i is tuned to reach a higher top speed. A BMW 550i with the standard six-speed manual transmission achieves Environmental Protection Agency efficiency ratings of 15 miles per gallon city, 22 miles per gallon highway, and 17 miles per gallon combined. The automatic transmission in the 550i achieves fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon city, 25 highway, and 20 combined.