Latest spy pictures and full details of the new BMW M5
5 March 2010

BMW’s new M5 has been spied in winter testing in Sweden.

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.

See the latest BMW M5 spy pictures

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, said the new driveline will also receive taller gearing, helping to cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent, from 344g/km to around 275g/km.

“We’ve been forced to switch to an engine offering greater low-end torque than the naturally aspirated engine to ensure it can cope with the longer axle ratio,” Biermann said. “It’s the only real way we can balance achieving the environmental improvements we want while retaining similar levels of performance to today’s car.”

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 today’s model.

The early prototype pictured here is one of 10 road-going mules for the new M5. It is being used to test the cooling provided by a new front end. “The development process is at an early stage. We’re concentrating on the durability and cooling of the driveline at the moment,” said Biermann.

The V8 means the M5 will require additional cooling capacity for the intercooler as well as a means of extracting hot air created by the turbochargers.

Along with the new engine, the car will also get a new gearbox, a beefed-up version of the M3’s seven-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission), as previewed on the 25th anniversary version of the M5 unveiled last week.

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.

Weight saving is playing a big part in the M5’s development, with carbonfibre being used in the bodyshell. BMW is working on a carbonfibre roof and bootlid, mainly because, being sited on top of the car, they are less vulnerable to impact damage.

At the same time, a lot of effort is going into honing the aerodynamics at BMW’s new wind tunnel in Munich. The car will get Active Aerodynamics, which blanks off parts of the grille and cooling intakes during warm-up and under light throttle load.

The new M5 will continue the car’s tradition of visual understatement with a muscular appearance. LED lighting will be used to enhance the look and differentiate the M5 from the standard 5-series, a new generation of which is due early next year.

Underneath, there will be new double wishbone front suspension in place of the MacPherson strut set-up that has been a mainstay of the M5. It will be combined with multi-link rear suspension.

As with today’s model, active dampers will be used to provide the driver with the choice of differing levels of ride comfort. They will be part of a new chassis system that also includes reworked traction and stability management.

The M5 will also get new, fully electric power steering, described by Biermann as a third-generation system that offers similar levels of response and feedback to today’s hydraulic set-up.

Greg Kable

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Comments
13

5 March 2010

I just hope it sounds better than the drone you get from the X5/6M.

Let's have a nice burble please chaps!

5 March 2010

Should finally silence the tiny but v. noisy gaggle of 'M' nuts who believe their adopted trademark is superior to the competition (i.e. AMG) because the BMW power is 'pure' and not sullied by such dreadful things as forced induction.

I've always presumed these people must simply be ignorant of the fact that BMW have been dropping one or more turbochargers into their finest diesel products for years, but most likely they're just ignorant.

5 March 2010

Wow owners of one of these will be on first name terms with their local tyre fitter . That is an awful lot of power and torque to put down through 2 wheels .

5 March 2010

It doesnt look anywhere near as radical as an "M" car should. Not a fan of BMW styling at the moment - they all seem to lack the sense of occasion.

5 March 2010

Preferable styling than the current 5 series. I look forward to seeing one in the metal.

Performance wise, well it's a BMW isn't it? It will be better than average.

5 March 2010

How dull looking. Give me the sporty looking Jaguar XF any day.

5 March 2010

[quote TStag]How dull looking. Give me the sporty looking Jaguar XF any day.[/quote]

I tend to find that accountants prefer the low key looks of the mid BMW range.

Having said that, another tick in the box of the XF. Who wants to drive what an accountant drives.

5 March 2010

There's never been a bad M5 - not long to wait for that acolade to fall. That may sounds cynical but historcally the M5 was the epitomy of luxury/exec peformance saloons that could stand up to many sports cars and supercars.

Sounds like a lot of compromise - you don't buy cars like the M5 for economy.

5 March 2010

[quote fhp11]It doesnt look anywhere near as radical as an "M" car should. Not a fan of BMW styling at the moment - they all seem to lack the sense of occasion.[/quote]

Me neither. I wasn't sold on the Bangle look but at least they were dramatic. Prior to Bangle BMWs were starting to look really generic.

5 March 2010

[quote every thing you say is right]but at least they were dramatic[/quote]

This is where I think BMW looks fail for some. They feel it actually lack sthe drama and passion that many look for in motoring.

Having said that, when one passes a 10 year old Subaru with it's big exhaust, Carlos Fandango wheels and chuffed looking youth at the wheel, is Comical drama, I suppose?

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