The leaks are finally over, and the official details and images are here. The 2012 BMW M5 is real, and it's pretty impressive on paper.
Power comes, as expected, from the twin-turbo V8 M engine of the X5 M and the X6 M, with five ponies added: The M5 is rated at 560 horsepower at 6,000-7,000 rpm, with 502 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 rpm.
By the way, turbo fans, BMW calls the power delivery "lag-free."
All that power equates to acceleration of 4.4 seconds to 60 mph, 13 seconds to 124 mph, an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (or 190 mph with the M Driver's Package: yikes!), and combined EU fuel economy of 23.7 U.S. mpg—solid stats across the board.
The suspension is upgraded for M-car use, of course, with different front and rear geometry, stiffer springs and dampers, and dynamic damper control, plus M Dynamic Mode and M-tuned DSC to help the driver make the most of the car. The limited-slip differential is electronically controlled, with the amount of lock variable from 0% to 100% depending on the situation.
The official documentation only notes a seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch transmission with launch control and paddle shifters, but we have been assured that a six-speed manual option will surface when U.S.-specific specs are released.
Subtle differences in appearance distinguish the M5 from the standard F10 5 Series, with a new front bumper hosting large air intakes for the engine and brakes, flared wheel arches, quad exhaust pipes, trunk lid spoiler, nineteen-inch M-Light wheels—the twenty-inchers from the M5 Concept are available as an option, arrh arrh ARRH!—and a more aerodynamic rear bumper with integrated diffuser.
Inside, the new M5 gets an M-specific instrument cluster, leather center console trim, and M sport seats, plus standard Merino leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, an anthracite-colored roof liner, and other convenience upgrades. Most of the standard 5 Series options sheet is available for the M5 as well, including the electric glass roof, active or multifunction seats, and more.
Of some significance—or controversy— is the availability of an all-wheel-drive version of the M5.
All of this adds up to a luxury sedan weighing just seven pounds per horsepower—an impressive figure that trumps even very light forced-induction cars like the Lotus Exige. Of course, physics is physics; getting a two-ton sedan to stop and turn like a sports car is the real genius of M GmbH.—Paul DucheneBack to News