Official: BMW opens the floodgates on 2012 M5
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is upon us. Well, actually, it came last night when the first batch of images leaked out showing the new BMW M5. But just as it did with its last new vehicle – the new 1 Serieshatchback – the Bavarian automaker has followed up with a very full batch of official photos and the details to go along with it.
Since its inception in 1985, the M5 has stood as the definitive European super-sedan. But while the newest iteration may have ditched a couple of cylinders from the model it replaces, it has gained a couple of turbochargers in their stead and a commensurate increase in output to go along with ‘em. The 4.4-liter twin-scroll twin-turbo V8, complete with direct injection and variable valvetrain, offers up a whopping 560 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque – about 10 percent more than the outgoing V10, accessible from lower revs to boot. It also does so using less fuel and emitting fewer carbon molecules into the atmosphere, aided by such features as regenerative braking and stop-start ignition.
Driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission complete with launch control and all the electronic do-dads you’d expect from a modern German performance sedan, BMW figures it’s good for a 4.4-second sprint to 60, with top speed limited (as many German automobiles are) to 155 miles per hour, though the governor can be relaxed with the optional M Driver’s Package for a 190-mph top end. Of course, the M5 isn’t all about straight-line speed, packing an Active M electronic multi-plate limited-slip differential and stability control to help get the power down coming out of the corners.
A welcome change from the overly complicated system on the outgoing M5 is the presence of two little buttons on the steering wheel, allowing drivers to pre-program parameters from accelerator response and shift program to chassis control and head-up display, to be recalled at the touch of a button, instead of having to fiddle through an endless array of iDrive menus and options each time. And of course, as you can see from the high-resolution images in our extensive gallery, BMW has given the new M5 all the visual cues – both inside and out – it needs to stand apart from more ordinary 5 Series models. Click on past the jump to peruse the full press release for more.