With the full specification of the new 2012 BMW M5 finally revealed, BMW has introduced the most powerful engine ever fitted in production car from BMW M GmbH.
Under the hood lies what BMW is calling a newly developed, high-revving V8 with M TwinPower Turbo (consisting of Twin Scroll, Twin Turbo technology, a cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision fuel direct injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve control). It has a maximum output of 560hp (US preliminary figure) at 5750-7000rpm and peak torque of 500 lb-ft between 1500-5750rpm. In reality, it’s a development of the X5 M/X6 M engine.
However, its instant power delivery results in an acceleration of 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 4.4 seconds and 0-124mph (0-200km/h) in 13.0 seconds. While the engine’s output has increased by around 10%, and maximum torque is up by more than 30%, the new BMW M5 consumes roughly 30% less fuel than its predecessor.
The efficiency of the new V8 engine is thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics technology including an Auto Start-Stop function in conjunction with the standard seven-speed M Double Clutch (M-DCT) Transmission with Drivelogic. The V8 started with the S63 engine found in the BMW X5 M and X6 M. It was further developed for the M5, internally designated as the S63Tü, that uses similar M Twin Power technology combined with the reverse-flow V8 layout of the aforementioned SUV.
As in the X5 M, the two twin-scroll turbochargers are placed (along with the catalytic converters) in the Vee between the two cylinder banks. The patented crossover exhaust manifold, introduced in the S63, is also employed in the S63Tü.
The exhaust manifold is a special 8-into-4 setup that combines the exhaust from two cylinders (on opposite banks) that are 360° of crankshaft rotation apart from each other. Each of the eight runners is of identical length to ensure perfectly regular timing of exhaust gas pulses.
Each of the four manifold outlets is fed into each of the four available scrolls of the two twin-scroll turbochargers. The two scrolls of a twin-scroll turbo lead each exhaust pulse directly to the turbine without feedback or interference from other scroll.
Finally, the S63Tü uses a maximum boost pressure of 1.5 bar (22psi absolute) versus 1.2 bar for the S63 engine, which is the primary source of the small power increase in the M5 over the X5 M/X6 M.
Throughout each of its four previous generations, the heart of the BMW M5 has been its high-revving, high output-per-liter engine fed by individual throttle plates and built specifically for the M5. This new M5 engine introduces VALVETRONIC variable valve control system for the first time on a BMW M engine – effectively providing 16 individual throttles.
VALVETRONIC is BMW’s patented fully variable valve control system that eliminates the need for conventional throttles. Engine power is instead controlled directly by varying the amount of lift of the intake valves. Throttle losses in the gas cycle are minimized, which has a positive impact on both the efficiency and torque. VALVETRONIC has also sharpened the responsiveness of this engine compared to the V10 engine it replaces.
The M TwinPower Technology of the new V8 engine also includes BMW’s Double VANOS infinitely-variable valve timing system to optimize the engine’s efficiency and to generate high torque at low engine revs.
In addition, a volume-controlled oil pump and a range of other EfficientDynamics measures deliver an extra boost to efficiency. The new BMW M5 features both Brake Energy Regeneration and the Auto Start-Stop function, which automatically switches off the engine when the car comes to a stop. The extensive use of efficiency-enhancing technology produces fuel consumption and emissions values to levels unmatched in this segment.
M TwinPower Turbo Technology also shaped the development of the V8 engine’s soundtrack. The concept of crossover exhaust manifolds plays a key role in delivering a multi-layered collage of sound.
The twin-tailpipe exhaust system of the new BMW M5 runs largely in a straight line and has a large cross section. The two exhaust gas ducts feed into a single muffler from which the customary M twin-tailpipes extend through. The M-DCT works with an Active M Differential, which optimizes power transfer to the rear wheels, combined with extensive chassis upgrades developed on the history of extensive racing expertise.
M DCT with Drivelogic offers three shift programs in both automated and manual mode. The driver selects the desired mode using the rocker switch positioned behind the shift lever on the center console. The D1 program is selected automatically when the engine is started, tailoring gear selection to deliver the most efficient possible driving style.
D2 mode supports laid-back cruising with gear changes carried out according to engine revs and load. And, to promote a sporty driving style laced with dynamic acceleration, shift times in D3 mode are set up to delay gear changes until the engine has climbed higher up the rev range.
The driver can also adapt the shift characteristics in manual mode. S1 mode generates comfortable and smooth gear changes. In S2, the gear changes are completed noticeably faster and accompanied by significant shift kick at higher revs. S3 is the one to choose for maximum driving dynamics; it enables even sportier gear changes and is require to initiate the Launch Control function. When the stability control system is switched off, Launch Control allows the driver to achieve maximum acceleration from a standstill as permitted by conditions. During launch control acceleration, each gear change takes place automatically and at the optimum engine speed.
The new M5 boasts electronically controlled dampers, M-specific Servotronic steering, a stability control system with M Dynamic Mode and high-performance compound brakes.
Dynamic Damper Control (DDC) uses standard electronically controlled dampers. Electro-hydraulic damping force adjustment provides damper settings that can be adjusted at the touch of a button.
In “Comfort” mode the dampers respond adaptively to the condition of the road surface and the driver’s style. “Sport” mode activates a noticeably stiffer damper set-up, while “Sport Plus” allows further stiffening of the suspension to achieve maximum longitudinal and lateral acceleration in ultra-dynamic driving situations. At the touch of a button, the driver can also select from three settings for the M-specific Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering. “Comfort” mode requires only a small amount of steering force when parking or maneuvering, but still provides the M brand’s hallmark direction-changing precision at higher speeds. “Sport” ensures the driver enjoys more intensive feedback across all speed ranges. “Sports Plus” is the highest level of steering dynamics that can be selected where the driver is called on to use even greater force with the steering wheel.
The new BMW M5 also uses BMW’s most advanced Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assistant, brake fade compensation, a Brake Drying function and Start-off Assistant. The DCS system has three levels of operation. The default is “DSC On” which provides the greatest level of stability and traction control. M Dynamic Mode (MDM) can be activated to override the basic setting by pressing the DSC button on the center console. This mode allows for very spirited driving – as on a race track – while still providing a safety by raising the intervention thresholds of DSC. “DSC Off” mode can also be activated at the touch of a button for complete deactivation of the system.
The new M5 retains the typical BMW M compound rotors have been further improved for the new M5. These rotors thermally separate the central hub (constructed of aluminum) and the vented and cross-drilled cast iron rotors. As a result, the rotors are free to expand and contract without warping. Six-piston fixed-calipers are radically bolted to the pivot bearing. Together, the brake system provides exceptional braking performance, fade resistance and pedal feel.
The standard M5 wheel and tire combination is 19” diameter. The M-specific wheels are fitted with 265/40 R19 front tires and 295/40 R19 rears. Furthermore, 20” forged M wheels can be ordered as an option. In turn, the aerodynamics have been tuned to optimize cooling air to the engine and drivetrain. They also maximize high-speed stability and enhance the dynamic design typical of BMW M cars.
The long wheelbase, set-back passenger compartment and High-gloss Black side window borders clearly accentuate the stretched silhouette of the new BMW M5. Muscular flared wheel arches spotlight the wide track. Wheels sitting flush with the bodywork and a 13mm lowered suspension enhance the car’s sporting presence when viewed from the side. The front fenders carry a fresh take on the hallmark M gills. The three-dimensional shaping, a wide chrome frame and the free-floating look of the indicator bar, which bears the M logo, give the intakes an extremely deep-set look. The aerodynamically optimized form of the exterior mirrors is emphasized by a horizontal crease. The mirror caps are painted in body color, the mirror base and lower edge in High-gloss Black.
The sills of the new BMW M5 also have a unique design of their own. A particularly powerful bulge at the back end of the skirts and a crease rising slightly to the tail divert the eye to the rear wheel arches.
A diffuser integrated into the lower edge of the rear fascia provides efficient air flow out the rear of the car under floor section. A signature M feature of the new BMW M5 is the twin-pipe exhaust system. The subtle Gurney-style rear spoiler on the trunk lid also aids the car’s aerodynamics by providing additional down force at high speeds.
The standard Adaptive Xenon headlights of the new BMW M5 generate the daytime running lights with visually unique LED light rings. The indicator lights positioned on the car’s outer edges each consist of 10 LED units. LED accent lights cut across the top of the customary BMW twin round headlights. Ultimately, all systems have been refined in extensive and detailed testing on the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring. This ensures unbeatable longitudinal and lateral acceleration, handling characteristics and braking performance on the circuit or the commute to work.
The interior design of the new M5 is a reflection of the dual performance/luxury nature of the car. Customized M sports seats, Merino extended leather upholstery, door sills with “M5” lettering, an M driver’s footrest, exclusive Aluminum Trace interior trim strips and the BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite are all standard equipment, as is the iDrive control system with a 10.2-inch Control Display.
The instrument cluster with black-panel-technology includes classic circular instruments in traditional BMW M car style, with red needles and white illumination, as well as model-specific displays and the M logo on the rev counter. The shift program currently selected and gear engaged are shown in the center of the instrument cluster. Feedback from all the drive and chassis settings selected at the touch a button are also displayed in the cockpit.
On the left-hand steering wheel spoke, the driver has two M Drive buttons which can be used to call up a pre-configured set-up for the car. For example, the driver can save a sporty configuration using the “M1” button and a comfort-biased set-up via the “M2” button. The set-up selected will remain activated until it is either canceled by pressing the button again or the driver switches to another M Drive setting. Once the system has been switched off – as when the engine is started – it reverts back to a default configuration focusing on efficiency and ride comfort.
The M Drive system in the new BMW M5 allows the driver to adjust no fewer than six parameters: the engine management, the responses of the Servotronic steering system, the M DCT with Drivelogic shift program, the DSC mode, the responses of DDC and the information in the Head-Up Display.
The desired settings for the engine, chassis systems and Head-Up Display can be configured in any combination via the iDrive menu. Plus, the driver can also save the current set-up configuration selected earlier using the buttons on the center console by holding down one of the two M Drive buttons for a few seconds.
For safety reasons, a set-up involving the DSC settings “MDM” or “DSC Off” requires confirmation from the driver – by pressing the M Drive button again – before it can be activated. The set-up configuration selected is shown by a clear symbol displayed in the instrument cluster.
The M Drive configuration also includes the information shown on the standard Head-Up Display and projects important information onto the windscreen directly in the driver’s field of vision. A full spectrum of colors is used to display graphics and symbols and the all-color capability means road sign symbols can be reproduced very realistically. In addition to a digital speed read-out, the M-specific version of the Head-Up Display also shows the gear currently engaged and a color rev counter symbol, complete with Shift Lights.
The M5’s weight is minimized by an intelligent mix of materials containing a high proportion of high-tensile and ultra-high tensile steel, as well as aluminum. The hood, front fenders and doors of the new BMW M5 are made of aluminum. With a power-to-weight ratio of approx. 7 lb/hp, the high-performance Sedan represents a substantial step forward from its predecessor.
The new BMW M5 is expected to arrive in authorized US BMW Centers in the Spring of 2012. Pricing, US technical specification, EPA mileage ratings, standard and optional equipment will be announced closer to the on-sale date.