Sunday, June 19, 2011

The new BMW M5

BMW has officially unveiled its new M5, the fifth generation of its popular performance sports saloon.

Sporting a newly-developed high-performance M-series engine, the M5 has been eagerly awaited since a pre-production model appeared earlier this year.

The high-revving 4.4-liter engine has “typical M car thrust,” says BMW, with a power rating of 412kW (552hp) from the twin-turbo V8 engine.

It will manage 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and 0-200km/h in 13 seconds, with an electronically-limited top speed of 305km/h on the high end M Driver’s Package, using a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Despite the speed, the powerful, high revving saloon manages some respectable consumption figures — 9.9 liters/100km, some 30 percent less than the previous generation thanks to efficient technology including auto start-stop and brake energy regeneration.

The chassis has also been optimised for performance, with variables altered using two new M Drive buttons on the steering wheel, which provide easy access to presets for functions such as the M Servotronic (steering) responses, Drivelogic shift program, DSC (stability control) mode, Dynamic Damper Control and information in the head-up display.

Although car blog Jalopnik points out that the M5 packs slightly less power than the Cadillac CTS-V, the M5 has generally been well received, with a fairly positive reception from both Autocar and Autoblog.

The German automaker will be hoping the reaction from fans at the official launch at next week’s M Festival (June 23-26) in Germany, will be just as good.

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