These are the latest spy pictures of the new BMW M5 in winter testing.
The new performance saloon, known internally under the codename F10M and due to make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt motor show in 2011, is set to mark a major departure from its predecessors by adopting turbocharging for the first time.
The decision is part of the drive to cut fuel consumption, a key element of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics programme. M division’s head of development, Albert Biermann, has previously told Autocar the new driveline will also receive taller gearing, helping to cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent, from 344g/km to around 275g/km.
The engine’s output remains secret. But with the same unit pumping out 555bhp in the X5 and X6 M, the new car should stick to the M5 tradition of being more powerful than the car it replaces.
The most noticeable difference will be the way the new engine delivers its power. The V10’s 500bhp comes at 7750rpm, but the V8’s peak power should arrive at not much more than 6000rpm.
More than outright power, though, it is the added torque that is likely to bring the biggest change in character. Biermann indicated there will be a 30 per cent increase, taking torque from today’s 383lb ft at 6100rpm to somewhere around 500lb ft at little more than 1500rpm. Biermann is also confident the V8’s unique induction system will provide similar levels of throttle response to those of today’s model.
Although BMW has just introduced a new petrol-electric hybrid system on its new Active Hybrid 7, it has not been considered for the M5 due to the 100kg it adds to the car’s weight.