This is the new BMW M5. Long lauded as the greatest performance saloon on the planet, this is the fifth generation BMW M5, boasting 10 percent more power than its predecessor (making it the most powerful M car ever), 30 percent more torque, yet the company claims fuel consumption is improved by 30% too.
We can indeed. Out goes the E60’s screaming naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V10, and in its place is a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. It’s effectively the same engine you’ll find in the X5M and X6M. but it boasts a little more power… There’s 552bhp at 6000-7000rpm – it’s 547bhp for the M SUVs. That’s 52bhp more than before, but it’s the torque figure that stands out (and will give the M5 a new character): 502lb ft is produced from just 1500rpm to 5750rpm.
Mate all of the above with a seven-speed dual-clutch M-DCT gearbox (we won’t miss the old 7-spd SMG automated manual) and a rear-wheel drive chassis, and the new M5 will hit 62mph in 4.4 seconds, putting it on par with the CLS63 AMG. The official fuel figures are near-identical to the Merc’s too: 28.5mpg and 232g/km for the new M5, thanks in part to a stop/start system and direct fuel injection. The top speed, as ever, is pegged to 155mph (though the optional M Driver’s Package increases this to 190mph) while 0-124mph takes just 13 seconds.
We know about the styling of this super saloon already – BMW unveiled Concept M5 at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year, and bar the lack of darkened alloy wheels the production version is nearly identical. That means a triple intake front bumper, side vents and butch side sills, a discreet rear spoiler, and an indiscreet set of quad exhausts. So, the rest of this new BMW M5…
There are Manual and Automatic modes for the M-DCT ‘box, with three settings for each – sporting, normal and efficient, says BMW. The engine can be also be switched between Efficient, Sport and Sport Plus modes. Electronically controlled dampers (again with three settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus) are standard, as is M5-specific suspension. There are Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes for the steering too. The standard-fit alloys are 19in items (wrapped in 265/40 R19 rubber at the front, 295/35 R19 at the back) but forged 20-inch rims (as fitted to the car in these pictures) are an option. Behind the slender spokes are six-piston brakes.
The new Active M differential is an electronically controlled multi-plate limited slip diff. High-speed FlexRay technology helps it communication with the ESP system, and it can lock from zero to 100% as the conditions (and your right foot) dictate. Of course, it you’re not one for turning off the electronic guardians then you’ll be pleased to hear that the M5 features Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Assistant, brake fade compensation, and a Brake Drying Function.
- BMW M5 (E60) ==> Price £65,890 (2008).
BMW M5 (F10M) ==> Price £73,040.