Autocar spies have scooped the best pictures yet of BMW’s new 500bhp M5 super-saloon. Caught testing virtually undisguised on public roads in Munich, it is set to be unveiled sooner than expected at the Geneva Motor Show in March, before going on sale in the UK in a year’s time at around £55,000.
Known internally as the ‘Five Car’ – thanks to an impressive spec of 5.0 litres, 500bhp and 500Nm (369lb ft, the same as the current V8-powered car) of torque – the E60 M5 is powered by a Formula One-inspired 90-degree, 40-valve V10. Prototypes are rumoured to produce up to 540bhp at a heady 10,000rpm, but for production cars the limit will be set at 9000rpm for longevity.
Still, an extra 100bhp over the current car should slash a second off the 0-60mph dash, down to 4.5sec, with the top speed still limited to 155mph. Transmission options are likely to include a six-speed manual and an optional SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) with paddle-shift operation, but a BMW insider quashed speculation of an automatic option to enhance appeal to American buyers.‘All M5s have been manuals and so will the new car,’ said our source. ‘We are thinking of other options – one possibility is SMG like we have in the M3 – but certainly not an automatic.’