2012 BMW M5 Revealed Ahead of Frankfurt Auto Show [Big Picture]

BMW has released details of its new M5, the fifth generation of its flagship performance saloon, which it claims provides the dynamics of a trackday car with the civility and comfort of a true grand tourer. It goes on sale in November, priced at $120,000.

A change in leadership is nigh in the exclusive segment that brings together ultra-dynamic business saloons with track-oriented drive and chassis technology. The new BMW M5 is poised to build on the tradition of its predecessors and once again redefine the performance experience available in a four-door car. Displaying the conceptual harmony, state-of-the-art technology and astonishingly dynamic handling for which BMW M cars have become renowned, the fifth-generation BMW M5 stirs the passion of keen drivers for top performance and blends it, in inimitable style, with the universal qualities of a top-class premium saloon. The most powerful engine ever fitted in a series-produced model from BMW M GmbH, the innovative Active M Differential – which optimises power transfer to the rear wheels – and model-specific chassis technology developed on the back of extensive racing expertise all secure the BMW M5 a dominant position in the high-performance saloon market.

The new BMW M5 is a high-performance sports car whose exceptional dynamic potential is geared squarely to the demands of track use yet which also sets a new benchmark in everyday driving with its supreme touring comfort and innovative equipment features. It also sets the pace in its class in terms of efficiency. The car’s history of success in a segment founded more than 25 years ago by the original BMW M5 is set to continue in thrillingly contemporary style.

Under the bonnet of the new BMW M5 lies a newly developed, high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo (consisting of Twin Scroll Twin Turbo technology, a cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Injection petrol direct injection and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control), maximum output of 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 680 Newton metres (502 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. The instantaneous power delivery and sustained thrust familiar from M cars are the key to acceleration of 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds (0 – 200 km/h/124 mph: 13.0 seconds). Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle stands at 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres / 28.5 mpg imp (CO2 emissions: 232 g/km). While output has increased by around 10 per cent and maximum torque is up by more than 30 per cent, the new BMW M5 burns over 30 per cent less fuel than its predecessor.

The significantly improved balance between the performance-focused M experience and the car’s fuel consumption stems from the exceptionally impressive efficiency of the new V8 engine and from far-reaching Efficient Dynamics technology including the Auto Start-Stop function in conjunction with the standard seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic. In order to channel the engine’s imposing power development into inspiring performance characteristics, the new BMW M5 boasts chassis technology – including electronically controlled dampers, M-specific Servotronic steering, a stability control system with M Dynamic Mode and high-performance compound brakes – developed on the back of racing expertise and tuned to the output profile of the powerplant.

This technology combines with model-specific design features – which make a direct contribution to optimising the supply of cooling air and enhancing aerodynamic characteristics – to create the conceptual harmony typical of BMW M cars. The precise interplay of the drive system, chassis and design has been refined in extensive and detailed testing on the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring, to ensure unbeatable longitudinal and lateral acceleration, handling characteristics and braking performance.

The interior design, control concept and innovative equipment features of the new car also play their part in creating the exclusive M experience. Sports seats, an M leather steering wheel, and an M-specific instrument cluster and centre console lend the cockpit a classical sports car feeling. For the first time, two M Drive buttons have been fitted as standard for the driver to call up the ideal car set-up for the situation at hand. High-quality, precisely finished materials, generous levels of space and the extensive range of equipment fitted as standard generate the premium ambience – laced with cutting-edge luxury – of a BMW 5 Series model. Added to which, customers can also give their car the personal touch, since virtually the full range of options for the BMW 5 Series Saloon are also available for the M5, including a host of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive.

Body design: hallmark M design elements make a genuine contribution to meeting technical requirements.

The design of the body faithfully showcases the standout characteristics of the new BMW M5. The dynamic proportions and stylishly authoritative appearance of the BMW 5 Series Saloon has been further enhanced by the addition of M-specific design features. The carefully selected modifications are geared precisely to meeting the technical demands of the car, making them a central element of the high-performance Saloon’s overall concept. The car’s extraordinary potential is highlighted subtly and with impressive authenticity by the distinctive design elements on its front, sides and rear end.

The design of the front apron clearly embodies the supreme power of the new V8 engine. The contour lines of the bonnet converge in a V to the brand’s hallmark double-kidney grille. The wide-spread arrangement of the customary M black slats – like the three air intakes in the lower section of the front apron – emphasise the cooling air requirement of the engine behind the grille. The arrangement of the air intakes over various levels creates an impressive depth which underlines the dynamic, forward-thrusting appearance of the Saloon.

Dynamically formed intakes ensure precise airflow and optimum cooling.

The functional significance of the forward-projecting central aperture is emphasised by the width of the car, which spreads out towards the road surface, and the protruding form of the contour lines. The two side air intakes, meanwhile, have a dynamically curving form. Positioned far to the outer edges of the car, they emphasise its wide track and fill the spaces in the front apron the BMW 5 Series Saloon normally reserved for foglamps. At the lower edge of the front end, air-channelling flaps developed on the race track ensure optimised aerodynamics.

The standard-fitted bi-xenon headlights of the new BMW M5 generate daytime running light with visually unique LED light rings. The indicator lights positioned on the car’s outer edges each consist of 10 LED units. LED accent lights cut across the top of the customary BMW twin round headlights to perfect the intent look – both during the day and in night-time driving – characteristic of BMW models.

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