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New M5 not so powerful after all

2011-06-15 07:42

BAD NEWS FROM BAVARIA: New M5 looks striking, but is it perhaps a trifle underpowered? Image gallery

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer BMW
Model M5
Engine 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 412kW
Torque 680Nm
Official images (and details) of BMW’s most keenly anticipated car since 2007 have leaked.

Although the F10-series M5 concept was shown at the Shanghai auto show in April, BMW’s official media images have found their way on to the internet, showcasing the brand’s performance nameplate in a very traditional deep blue hue.

Styling elements differ little from those seen on the Shanghai auto show concept, rendering an assertively proportioned, yet elegant car.

M5-specific airflow management details (generously enlarged front bumper air intakes), a grouping of dual tail pipes and 20" rims ensure the fifth-generation M5 retains enough presence to denote its status as a rather special four-door family performance motoring solution.

Mechanically, the new M5 is very much an affront to traditional M-division engineering principles. Its 4.4-litre V8 is boosted by two turbochargers, powering the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (although it's rumoured North American market customers will have option on a six-speed manual).


Featuring a slightly modified version of the engine found in the X5/6 M, BMW fans will be in all likelihood be disappointed to find the F10-series M5 has a rather negligible power advantage over the performance SUV models with which it shares the twin-turbo V8 engine configuration.

Power peaks at 6000rpm (1750rpm less than the previous E60 M5’s V10) at 412kW, a scant four kW improvement on that of an X5 M. Rotational force gains are impressive compared to the E60’s non-turbo V10, though, with the new M5’s maximum torque swelling to 680Nm, an improvement 160Nm.

The twin-turbo V8 will undoubtedly endow BMW’s fifth-generation M5 with tremendous performance credentials (there’s talk of a 4.6sec 0-100) but in absolute terms it doesn't make the kind of peak power to distinguish it as the headline four-door supercar its badge has always denoted.


When BMW launched the previous (E60-series) M5 back in 2005 its non-turbo V10’s 373kW power peak was an amazing achievement. AMG’s engineers would exceed it in time but for nearly three years it was a marker of excellence.
The plain (uncomfortable) truth with the F10 M5 is that when it comes to market towards the end of 2011 its 412kW will be only two kW superior to chief rival Mercedes-Benz’s E63 AMG, and a rather embarrassing three shy of America’s four-door supercar, Cadillac’s CTS-V

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