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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2012 BMW M5 revealed

BMW has taken the wraps off its new M5 which, unsurprisingly, is virtually identical to the Concept M5 that was seen at April’s Shanghai motor show.

BMW M5 (2012) Front Side

As was revealed then, the 2012 F10 M5 gets a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 instead of the 5.0 litre normally-aspirated V10 unit that powered its E60 M5 predecessor.

With Twin Scroll turbo technology and Valvetronic variable valve control, the new engine generates 552 bhp (412 kW / 560 PS). Peak torque is a substantial 680 Nm (502 lb/ft), which crucially is available from just 1,500 rpm.

Although there have been rumours that North American variants might get a manual transmission, for now drive to the rear wheels is via a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission. This comes with various driver aids including low-speed assistance, traction-optimised automatic gear selection and launch control.

BMW M5 (2012) DashboardBMW M5 (2012) Rear

The result of all that is a zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) time of 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph (250 km/h), although this rises to 190 mph (305 km/h) with the M Driver’s Package. Don’t expect it to take too long for an aftermarket tuner to crack the magic 200 mph (321 km/h) barrier.

Even the M5 benefits from BMW’s Efficient Dynamics programme, and the new model arrives complete with fuel-saving devices such as a stop-start function and brake energy regeneration. They undoubtedly help to achieve a fairly respectable combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 28.5 mpg (9.9 l/100km) and CO2 emissions of 232 g/km.

BMW M5 (2012) Rear SideBMW M5 (2012) Side

To put those figures into perspective, the Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG Saloon is down on power compared to the BMW, making do with 517 bhp (386 kW / 525 PS) and 630 Nm (464 lb/ft). That deficit isn’t really reflected in the performance figures though, as 0-62 mph (100 km/h) takes 4.5 seconds and the AMG has the same limited top speed as the M5. However, economy is where the Mercedes really loses out, as it manages only 22.4 mpg (12.6 l/100km) with CO2 emissions of 295 g/km.

The new M5’s chassis features specially recalibrated suspension with Dynamic Damper Control, DSC stability control with M Dynamic Mode, M Servotronic steering and an Active M Differential for the rear axle which is there to maximise traction.

Naturally, being an M5, the driver gets the opportunity to fiddle with a multitude of settings before the car even turns a wheel. For instance, there’s the gearshift program, steering response, traction control mode, accelerator sensitivity and dynamic damper firmness to choose. To help simplify things a little though, two set-ups can be memorised and then recalled using the steering wheel-mounted M Drive buttons.

BMW M5 (2012) FrontBMW M5 (2012) Interior

Available from November 2011, the UK price for the new BMW M5 has been set at £73,040 on the road. By a very strange coincidence, that just undercuts the E 63 AMG Saloon, which costs £73,465.

Cheaper than both though, and a slightly left-field alternative, is the £71,950 Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo.

Related posts:

BMW Concept M5

Alpina B5 UK sales start

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