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First Drive: 2013 BMW M5

Making the best even better.

by on Sep.23, 2011

Our European correspondent Henny Hemmes gets behind the wheel of the new BMW M5.

When the first BMW M5 was introduced, back in 1984, it was the fastest production sedan in the world, largely hand-built on the same chassis as the 535 but given the modified M1 engine under the hood.

Time and again, each generation of M5 has gotten a bit more powerful and a bit faster, gen-two featuring a straight six engine and, in 1998, the third generation getting a V-8.  It seemed like BMW would have a hard time topping the 2004 remake, with its superb V-10.  And complicating the challenge: a steady stream of new offerings from Audi and Mercedes-Benz AMG that have stretched the limits of performance beyond what once seemed possible in all but the most exotic supercars.

Get Behind the Wheel!

But BMW has given no signs of retreating.  Barely a month ago, TheDetroitBureau.com got its first look at the fifth-generation BMW M5 out on the Laguna Seca Raceway.  (For that report, Click Here.) Sadly, it was a static display, the Bavarians tantalizing us with some impressive numbers but letting us wait until now to get behind the wheel.

Which is precisely, finally what we had a chance to do this week – though this time at Europe’s Ascari Race Resort, a beautiful and technically challenging race track which features plenty of bends and a long straight that seemed perfectly suited to the latest offering to wear the legendary BMW M badge.

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First Look: 2012 BMW M5

The image of aggressiveness.

by on Jun.15, 2011

BMW brings back the M5 for 2012.

Call these the image of aggression.  The first official pictures of the new 2012 BMW M5 have landed in our digital hands and we thought readers might want to take a look.

Dubbed by BMW the F10 M5, the new German muscle car can be distinguished by a clearly more aero-focused body, with notable ground effects designed to both improve downforce and reduce wind resistance.

Coming up in your rearview mirror, you’ll likely first notice the larger air intakes.  Blasting by, the 2012 BMW M5 will reveal its quad exhaust pipes.

News Now!

The new model rides, meanwhile, on 20-inch Z-rated wheels and tires.

Despite the F10 designation, the 2012 BMW M5 abandons the old models V10 in favor of a twin-turbocharged V8 – which bumps the horsepower count from 507 to 552.  More significantly, that power comes on about 1,750 RPMs lower than with the old V10, peaking at 6,000 RPMs.

The 2012 BMW M5 migrates from a V10 to new twin-turbocharged V8.

The big increase comes in torque, the twin-turbo V8 making a whopping 501 lb-ft, up from 383 with the old V10.

BMW’s transmission of choice is expected to be a DSG, though AutoBlog reports a 6-speed manual is likely on tap for Americans.

And performance numbers?  We’re waiting for top speed ratings, which should nudge above 180, if BMW provides an unrestricted number.  But on the 0 to 60 front look for something on order of 4.4 seconds or less.

As for pricing, the Euro-spec numbers are being quoted on the order of 100,000 Euros, which would mean a real sticker shock for American buyers once you factor in exchange rates. But the price is likely to dip as the 4-seat rocket crosses the Atlantic.

The last model to bear the M5 badge, which was pulled after the 2010 model-year, was listed at $89,575 including the gas guzzler tax.  Expect the 2012 BMW M5, in American trim, to stay somewhere at or under $100,000, sources suggest.