2012 BMW M5 launched

BMW has launched the new M5 super saloon at Australia's high-speed Phillip Island race circuit this week.
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It's only the fifth generation of the M5 model in 27 years, and despite the downsizing of the engine from a V10 to a V8, power is up by 10 per cent, torque up by 30 per cent, and fuel consumption is down by 30 per cent. That makes it the most powerful series production car BMW has ever produced.

While the V10 powertrain in the previous E60 M5 was a naturally aspirated unit, the latest F10 M5 adds two twin-scroll turbochargers and several other high-tech bits and pieces for a significant performance boost. The new M5 needs just 4.3 seconds to go from 0-100km/h and its top speed is electronically limited to the usual 250km/h.

German drivers will be able to add the M driver’s package, which will unlock the limiter and allow the M5 to reach speeds up to 305km/h. It comes with a BMW driver-training course to ensure your skill level is up to the task.

Also new for M5 is the seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic and new low-speed assistance for start/stop conditions.

For the first time the M5 gets a new active M differential, which provides track-car dynamics with executive-class comfort, all in the one package.

There are now two M Drive buttons on the steering wheel that can be programmed to offer two completely different drive programs from another 15 driver-selectable settings encompassing the engine, steering, stability control, dampers and the transmission.

The new M5 is technology-rich and comes a huge array of standard equipment including BMW’s professional navigation, rear view camera with surround view, front and rear park distance control, head-up display, four-zone climate control, bi-xenon and adaptive headlights, professional hi-fi system with 600-watt amplifier and 16 speakers, sunroof and automatic tailgate. Options are very few on the latest M car.

The big gain is not just with the M5’s stupendous all-round performance, but also with the car’s exceptional fuel efficiency. Despite the huge lift in torque, fuel consumption has fallen to a miserly 9.9L/100km, while CO2 emissions are down to 232g/km. That’s attributable to several factors including the new transmission and EfficientDynamics with auto start-stop and brake energy regeneration.

The new M5, like all previous M5s, is both subtle in style, but easily recognisable as the halo M car by its trademark quad exhaust system, aerodynamic body kit, huge 20-inch alloys with ultra-low-profile tyres, and massive 400mm brake rotors up front with six-pot calipers in dark blue metallic paint.

The new M5 is currently available in Australia from $230,000 (including GST & LCT).

CarAdvice will post a complete review and track test of the M5 later today.