Monday 15th October 2012


SPOTTED: BMW 550I MANUAL

A V8 5 Series with a rare and most PH-worthy feature (clue: it's not the 'Sepang Brass Metallic' paint)


On the face of it, this BMW 550i appears another example of why there should be some kind of taste Polizei at BMW Individual. Not content with the standard BMW colour chart, the first owner of this E60 has chosen a unique 'Sepang Brass Metallic' hue, which is in reality a sludge of grey, brown and gold that does the bold styling of the last 5 Series no favours. The wheels are from the Individual catalogue also, but they are more pleasing on the eye than that paint.

Like an M5. Just more beige.
Like an M5. Just more beige.
The Sepang Brass outside is accompanied by an 'Extended Platinum Merino' leather interior which results in a rather beige-looking Five. Then there's the wood and the ... hold on, that gearstick is sprouting a bit high, isn't it?

Yes, this 550i is fitted with a manual gearbox. Would you like to guess how many SE-spec E60s there are with a 4.8-litre V8 and three pedals? 20 perhaps? Maybe just a dozen? Nope, according to howmanyleft.com, just three such 5 Series are registered in Britain.

Not only is this a phenomenally rare car in terms of numbers then, it's very seldom you see a luxurious BMW powered by such a driver-focused engine and transmission combo. This 550i, mechanically at least, is most comparable to an E39 M5. Whilst that car is subtle even by M standards, compared to the Sepang Brass 550 it looks like a touring car with its four exhausts and lowered stance. Even an equivalent 550i in M Sport spec would be noticeably more outlandish.

Wait a second, what's that in the centre console?
Wait a second, what's that in the centre console?
Moreover, the 550i delivers performance so out of keeping with its retired dentist appearance that it could be an excellent Q-car. Debadged and with the same exhaust pipes as feature on everything above a 525d, it is no exaggeration to say the exterior doesn't hint at all that a 367hp 4.8-litre V8 lurks under the bonnet. Allied to 361lb ft of torque, a 550i is capable of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and is limited to the obligatory 155mph.

The potential for embarrassing others in this car is massive. Can you imagine the look on the face of a Porsche Boxster driver as you surge past in beige majesty?

Some may say this would be priceless, but here a price tag is attached, albeit a reasonable £19,895 one. Of course it isn't breaking news that large-engined exec saloons depreciate rapidly, but this BMW probably hasn't been helped by its unique colour specification and the stark reality of typical buyers preferring an automatic 'box.

Better than that (eh?) it's got a sunroof too!
Better than that (eh?) it's got a sunroof too!
You won't want for any more equipment (it even has a sunroof!), whilst all its services have been carried out at a BMW main dealer. If you can stand the colour this 550i looks like a great value, and very rare, proposition.

And if you want a 350+bhp Q-car for under £20K but don't fancy the BMW? Have a look at the Jaguar XF S V8. No manual here, but the colour's better...

 

 


BMW 550i manual
Engine:
4,799cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power (hp): 367@6,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 361@3,400rpm
MPG: 25.9
CO2: 246g/km
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 39,900
Price new: £48,305 (standard 550i M Sport)
Yours for: £19,895

See the original advert here.

Author: Matt Bird
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