BMW released the (F10) M5 several months ago and our sunny island has just recently received the long awaited high performance sedan. It is the company’s fifth generation in the M5 history and not surprisingly with every new model there will be changes. The biggest change in the new M5 is in the engine bay.
Gone are the days when BMW M cars are powered by naturally aspirated engines. BMW has fitted a twin turbo V8 engine into its new M5 which generates more power compared to its predecessor. Long time fans of BMW’s M cars would be disappointed with this move but with strict emission regulations and also to achieve better fuel consumption, this change is a necessary one.
The F10 M5 uses a variant of the same engine found in the X5M and the X6M and it has been tuned to provide additional horsepower and at higher boost. The high revving 4.4 litre twin scroll twin turbocharged V8 engine delivers 560bhp at 6000rpm and 680Nm of torque from 1500-5750rpm. It is equipped with a cross-bank exhaust manifold, high precision direct fuel injection and BMW’s Valvetronic technology (fully variable valve control). BMW has stated that this set-up enables a lag free power delivery.
BMW has ditched the Getrag-supplied semi-automatic transmission that was used on the E60 M5. Power transferred to the rear wheels are now via a seven-speed M Drivelogic dual clutch transmission with a traction-optimised automatic gear selection feature added to it. Other features include launch control, low speed assistance and automatically activated parking mode.
There are significant improvements in the M5 which balances between performance and fuel consumption. The car does the century sprint in 4.4 seconds and 0-200km/h timing is at 13 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250km/h. However, if you opt for the M Driver’s Package, the top speed is at 305km/h. average fuel consumption done in an EU test cycle shows 9.9 litres for every 100km travelled.
To compare with the E60 M5, the new model has improved in many aspects. Firstly, there is a ten percent increase in horsepower and a thirty percent increase in torque figures. Fuel consumption has also improved by thirty percent, all thanks to BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology which includes auto start-stop function and brake energy regeneration.
With all these added performance, BMW has not forgotten to add improvements in the handling department. The car has received an M-specific suspension (both front and rear), M Servotronic steering, dynamic damper control, lightweight compound high-performance braking system and DSC stability control system which include M Dynamic Mode. Panels on the car’s bodyshell are mounted by special methods. This provides a power to weight ratio of 3.3kg/hp.
The rear axle differential (with Active M Differential) gives the car an outstandingly agile handling. An electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential enables fully variable distribution of drive between the rear wheels to optimise traction and stability in dynamic lane change manoeuvres and acceleration out of corners.
The degree of lock can be varied between 0 and 100 per cent according to the situation; whether it’s fast, precise and pre-emptive. All thanks to constant data cross-checking between the Active M Differential and DSC stability control system and also by monitoring of the accelerator pedal position, wheel speed and yaw rate.
The M5’s body design is of typical BMW’s M aesthetics which reflects the car's extremely dynamic yet precisely controllable character. One example is the large central air intake vent on the front bumper. The similarly designed side air vents provide more and better airflow for the brakes. Large wheel arches are not just for aesthetic reasons but it also gives the car a wider track.
Integrated indicator lights are situated in the traditional side fender M badge. A large rear diffuser sits centrally on the rear bumper and in between the quad-tipped exhaust pipes. A rear lip spoiler extends slightly from the edge of the rear bonnet. 19 inch M light alloy wheels hug the car’s four corners.
In the interior department, the car is wrapped in Merino leather and aluminium is used for trims which are not wrapped in leather. M-specific accessories can be found throughout the interior (gear knob, steering wheel and foot rest). An extensive range of driver assistance and mobility systems (BMW ConnectedDrive) can be found in the M5.
They include M-specific head-up display, adaptive headlights for standard xenon light, high-beam assistant, BMW night vision with pedestrian recognition, lane change warning system, lane departure warning system, surround view, speed limit info, internet usage, extended integration of smart phones and music players, real-time traffic information and apps for receiving web radio and using Facebook and Twitter.
The BMW F10 M5 was built on the traditions of its predecessor even though it now breathes on a turbocharged powertrain. The company has once again built a car that targets consumers who seeks driving performance with the qualities of a premium sedan and this could prove vital for them as it rivals cars from other German automakers.
Photo credit: Net Car Show
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