BMW’s M division has gone back to the drawing board with the fifth-generation BMW M5, giving it a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine. It’s the first time that Munich’s iconic super-saloon has used forced induction rather than a highly strung naturally aspirated powerplant.
The F10 M5 has made its world debut as a thinly disguised ‘concept’ at the Shanghai show today.
The virtually unchanged production version is slated to appear at the Frankfurt show in September, with the car going on sale in the UK in November, priced at around £75k.
The new M5’s 4395cc forced-induction engine makes 552bhp and a thumping 510lb ft of torque — a solid 52bhp and 126lb ft more than the outgoing model’s naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V10, which is being discontinued after just seven years.
“Turbocharging provides more power and performance but with better fuel economy and emissions,” says Albert Biermann, BMW M’s head of R&D. The V8 is the same ‘S63’ unit used in the X5 M and X6 M, but with revised induction and exhausts for sharper throttle response and a more solid top end.
Official performance figures won’t be reveled until Frankfurt, but Autocar sources have revealed that standing-start acceleration has been improved by up to two-tenths of a second.
This points to a 0-62mph time of around 4.5sec — equalling the straight-line performance of its main saloon rival, the £73,415 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
Top speed, like all M division cars, will be limited to 155mph, although a longer final drive ratio and taller gearing, made possible by the turbo V8’s hefty torque, lift the theoretical top speed to over 180mph.