Ever since the latest F10 BMW 5 Series was launched, people have been talking about its high performance M5 derivative. It’s been widely stated the the E60 M5’s 500hp V10 would give way to a new twin-turbo V8, and with this latest concept from BMW, which must closely resemble the production car, we have a glimpse into what we can expect.
The first generation M5 arrived on US shores in 1987, and BMW M GmbH laid the foundation for a completely new vehicle category. The M5 was the first car of its kind to offer racing-oriented high performance in a sedan that could be driven without compromise in everyday traffic. This unique concept developed into a remarkable success story spanning four generations.
Making its public debut at the Auto Shanghai 2011 is the BMW Concept M5, which represents the latest interpretation of this unmistakable vehicle character.
It’s interesting that BMW would forego the traditional European auto shows in Geneva, Paris and Frankfurt to unveil this car in the expanding Asian market, giving further proof or China’s increasing global importance.
The world premiere of the BMW Concept M5 foreshadows the continuation of the M5 series. The near-production concept reflects the characteristic styling features of a BMW M automobile and includes a new high-revving V8 engine with twin-turbo technology. Although no specific engine information is provided, it’s expected that the engine will be similar to the one found in the current BMW X6M and X5M. Therefore, we will presumably see a 4.4-liter powerplant with around 550hp.
Numerous drivetrain innovations and other enhancements have lead to a reduction in fuel consumption and emission levels by more than 25 percent. The new engine and a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic and M-specific suspension and steering create the prerequisites for an unrivalled driving experience. The appearance of the BMW Concept M5 expresses the engine’s superior power. The sporty look has been specifically modified using typical M design vocabulary. It includes the large air intakes, which allow for the engine’s higher cooling requirements, as well as optimized aerodynamics thanks to a discreet spoiler located on the trunklid and a diffuser integrated into the rear apron.
The car’s appearance is further enhanced by the body color Chrome Shadow. The discreet appearance of this paint distinctively enhances the surface contours.
Dynamic lines and large air intakes on the front end of the BMW Concept M5 are a clear indication of the vehicle’s sport-oriented characteristics. Like on the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the contour lines on the hood of the BMW Concept M5 flow towards the kidney grille. The front apron, which was designed exclusively for the BMW Concept M5, features three large air intakes, the dimensions of which are precisely oriented towards the high cooling requirement of the engine and its ancillary components. The center opening corresponds to the width of the BMW kidney grille, the side contour lines move away from each other as they continue downwards. This echoes the V shape between the grille and the headlights, thus emphasizing the width of the air intake.
The center air intake protrudes further out than the two outer intakes and its contours are slightly curved. This three-dimensional design and the deeply embedded black grille sporting a honeycomb design additionally underscore the vehicle’s powerful character. With “flaps” on the lower edges of the outer air intakes, the BMW Concept M5 boasts a racing-inspired feature for optimizing airflow. These also emphasize a front apron design that is oriented towards the technical demands.
With powerful wheel arches and dynamically flowing lines, the BMW Concept M5 also signals sportiness when viewed from the side. The long wheelbase, the set back passenger cabin and the black window surrounds distinctively underscore the sedan’s stretched silhouette. This appearance is even more strongly emphasized through M-specific lowering of the vehicle.
The flared arches are complemented by M-specific alloy wheels sporting a double-spoke design. Due to the vehicle’s wide track, they are flush with the body. The 20-inch forged rims are fitted with tire size 265/35 ZR20 at the front and 265/35 ZR20 at the back.
The gill element on the front fender has been reinterpreted on the BMW Concept M5. The gill features a high-quality chrome surround and is horizontally divided by a chrome bar, which in addition to the side indicator also bears the M logo. The gill element is the starting point of the swage line, which runs across the door handles and stretches back to the tail lights.
The emphasis on vehicle’s width through horizontal lines is emphasized by the rear apron. It forms a smooth transition to the wide wheel arches and an integrated diffuser at the lower edge of the rear apron targets airflow from the undercarriage.
As a typical M feature, the Concept M5 is fitted with a quad exhaust system, the double tailpipes are located far apart, each side of the diffuser, and surrounded by shaped trims.
Likewise, the discreet rear spoiler located on the trunklid serves to optimize the car’s aerodynamics. It ensures additional downforce at high speed.
The high-performance of the car are realized through the M-specific drivetrain and suspension technology. Under the concept car’s hood is a new, high-revving V8 featuring M TwinPower Turbo Technology. Compared to the fourth generation M5’s V10 engine, the newly developed unit has a significantly increased output level, while at the same time lowering previous fuel consumption and emission levels by at least 25 percent.
With the new eight-cylinder engine, big steps have been taken in the optimization of drivetrain technology. A clear increase in power is accompanied by a remarkable increase in efficiency. This demonstrates the unparalleled effectiveness of a motorsport strategy where engine performance and reliability are as important as fewer fuel stops to realize a decisive advantage.
The BMW Concept M5’s engine power is transferred to the rear wheels by a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. This double-clutch gearbox was specifically tuned to the new V8 engine, offering extremely fast gear shifting and further optimizing the vehicle’s efficiency.
The combination of the new engine with M Drivelogic is supplemented by an Auto Start Stop function. When halting at road junctions or in a traffic jam, the engine is temporarily switched off, thus avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption during idling. To continue the journey it is sufficient to release the footbrake and the V8 restarts immediately. The suspension was constructed using know-how obtained from years of racing and tuned during extensive tests carried out on the North Loop of the Nürburgring. The result is an exclusive M suspension setup as well as exceptionally effective brakes, which remain stable even under the hard use the Nürburgring demands.
In addition, the BMW Concept M5 features innovative rear differential technology developed by BMW M GmbH. The Active M Differential maximizes traction in cornering by varying the locking torque between the right and left drive wheels. This ensures wheelspin is prevented even on slippery road surfaces and in the event of differing friction coefficients between the right and left wheels, in narrow bends or during sudden lane changes.