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2012 BMW M5 – full details released

After yesterday’s leaking of the 2012 F10 M5 pictures and some specs, today BMW has given us its full press release giving more insight into the four-door monster, now in its fifth generation.
As known already, the new M5 will be powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 412kW and a whopping 680Nm from a super low 1500rpm. Peak power is made between 6-7000rpm meaning the powerband is ridiculously wide. Judging by our drive in the current X5M, this engine will be super flexible. Of course, helping this flexibility is its weight. Considerably lighter than the X5M, the new M5 is still a big beast, tipping the scales at 1870kg. Still, it’ll launch and get to 100km/h from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds. Top speed is a limited 250km/h, but with an optional M Driver’s Package, that is lifted to 305km/h and a must for the autobahn drivers.

More amazing though is that despite its huge power potential, it sips das Benzin. How does 9.9-litres/100km combined sound? That’s a remarkable figure when you consider that power is up by 10 percent, torque by 30 percent but equally, fuel consumption has fallen by 30 percent.

CarAdvice was lucky enough to put 2500 kilometres on the clock of the outgoing M5 at regular speeds in excess of 250km/h while crisscrossing the German countryside in 2009 and I can tell you without reservation that it reigned supreme as the ultimate four-door high speed autobahn chaser, so at this stage, we can only imagine how good this new M5 will be.

Apart from the engine, which we’ll get to later in this piece, BMW’s seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission should transform this car with extra-quick shifts up and down the ratios for explosive in-gear acceleration. That’s 0-200km/h in just 13 seconds flat. But this is a ‘smart’ transmission that offers drivers a plethora of drive modes depending on driving style and of course, the prevailing conditions. Selecting manual (S) or the fully automated (D) mode provides three programs in each from relaxed to hard-core charging. For those peak hour crawls, there is a low speed function that ensures smooth take offs with a light accelerator pedal. Moreover, drivers can choose Efficient, Sport or Sport Plus via a button in the centre console.

Add to that BMW’s Drivelogic and Efficient Dynamics technology with Auto Start-Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration and you get 9.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 232g/km.

Maximum charge pressure of 1.5 bar of the gas flow from the cross-bank exhaust manifold to the twin-scroll turbochargers provides a unique V8 soundtrack. Apart from the performance, the standout advantage of the M5 sedan over other high performance autobahn cruisers was the car’s rock solid stability at speeds beyond 250km/h. That’s not just in a straight line either; you could maintain these speeds through the sweepers and the car felt rock solid.

The all-new M5 is armed with the Active M, which is essentially an active limited-slip differential that controls wheelspin and slip. The control unit for this function sends data via a high speed FlexRay transfer to the stability control unit, which calculates the correct degree of intervention. More advanced drivers with greater skills can also choose to reduce DSC involvement or in some cases, turn it off completely.

The M5’s chassis and suspension dynamics have been honed on the infamous Nurburgring. Standard fit are electronic dampers, which allow drivers to select up to three settings including, normal, Sport and Sport Plus for track work.

We’ve always thought that BMW always did steering calibration as close to perfect as anyone could do, but the new M5 goes one better by allowing drivers to select one of three levels of power assistance; Comfort for city parking maneuvers, Sport for less assistance and Sport Plus for the least amount of assistance for greater feel for more precise turn-ins on track.

Braking under heavy loads won’t be an issue either. The new M5 gets six-pot calipers all round, mounted within the 19-inch alloys, and shod with 265/40 R-series tyres up front, and 295/35’s down back.
Optimised aerodynamics feature strongly on the latest M5, as do specific cooling channels, with some degree of function over form. Notice the deep front apron with its three air intakes, which provide sufficient cooling for the twin-turbo V8 powertrain. The flaps on the lower front edge are there to channel airflow along the sills, for example.

The standard bi-xenon light assemblies feature a 10 LED clusters for the turn indicators as well as LED light rings around the headlamps. The M gills now have a chrome surround and the side-skirts feature a pronounced bulge leading up to a rising crease to the wheel arches. The signature twin tailpipes either side of the rear diffuser remain although, larger pipes would seem more appropriate for this hero car.
Inside, it’s pretty much business as usual when it comes to the M5, with a sports car cockpit with M Sport leather seats and steering wheel (hard to fault what BMW do in this regard). There are aluminium trim accents on the dash and doors with Anthracite roof liner for that no-nonsense business like effect.

Standard kit includes BMW’s brilliant 10.2-inch high-def wide screen Control Display and the easy-to-use iDrive system that controls almost all interior functions from phone, TV, music and satellite navigation to name just a few.

Standard equipment in the UK includes, Head-up display, front and rear Park Distance Control, Adaptive Headlights and front seat heating, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth with USB integration.

The new M5 will go on sale in the UK from November 2011 at an on-road price of £73,040.  BMW Australia has confirmed that they too are hoping for a late 2011 release of the car here, but suggest that early 2012 is more likely, No word on the local price as yet.

More news tomorrow.




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