With the new BMW M5 release nearing the horizon, enthusiasts have taken their eyes and attention off the BMW M550i xDrive to look forward to the imminent M5.  Road and Track is excited about the M5, too, but they want to make sure no one overlooks what the BMW M550i has to offer, which is why they name it one of their “Road & Track Sleepers”.

“The new M550i xDrive looks like any other new BMW 5 Series, but thanks to a 456HP twin-turbo V8 and all-wheel drive, it is a bit of a rocket ship.  It’ll hit 60MPH in under 4 seconds which makes it quicker than the previous generation M5”, says Road and Track.

Road and Track describe a sleeper car as a subtle-looking vehicle that packs a serious punch – “perfect for when you want some performance, but want to fly under the radar, too.”

Essentially, what you get with the BMW M550i xDrive is performance that is not much slower than the upcoming M5, but is also faster than the previous M5.  What is impressive is that the M550i beats the earlier M5 using significantly less power.   Despite only bringing 456HP to the track, the M550i xDrive rockets from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds.

And it brings all of this performance in the unassuming look of a traditional 5 Series with the M Sports Package.  While there are queues to distinguish it from its more traditional 5 Series siblings, it takes a closer scrutiny.  Pull up to a red light next to anything short of a dedicated sports car or its new-gen M5 sibling and you’ll likely be able to leave whatever is in the other lane in stunned silence, watching your rear lights quickly recede into the distance.