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Review (2/2)

Introducing The All-New 5th Generation BMW M5

Source: BMW | Published: Sat Nov 19, 2011

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Design: 2013 BMW M5's Exterior

The design of the 2013 BMW M5 showcases its stand-out character. The dynamic proportions and stylish authoritative appearance of the BMW 5 Series Sedan has been further enhanced by the addition of M-specific design features. The carefully selected enhancements are geared to meeting technical demands, making them a central element of the Sedan's performance. The car's extraordinary potential is highlighted subtly and with impressive authenticity by the distinctive design elements on its front, sides and rear end.

The design of the front fascia embodies the impressive power of the new V8 engine. The contour lines of the hood converge in a V to the brand's hallmark double-kidney grille. The wide-spread arrangement of the customary M black slats - like the three air intakes in the lower section of the front apron - emphasizes the engine cooling capacity behind the grille. The arrangement of the air intakes over various levels creates an impressive depth which accentuates the dynamic, forward-thrusting appearance of the Sedan.

The functional significance of the forward-projecting central aperture is emphasized by the width of the car, which spreads out towards the road surface, and the protruding form of the contour lines. The two side air intakes have a dynamic curving form positioned far to the outer edges of the car. It emphasizes the wide track and fills the spaces in the front apron of the BMW 5 Series Sedan normally reserved for fog lamps. At the lower edge of the front end, air-channeling flaps developed on the race track ensure optimized aerodynamics.

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 to perfect the intent look - both during day and night-time driving - characteristic of all BMW models.

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 unique 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design also assist in defining its presence and road holding dynamics. The lightweight construction of the optional 20-inch forged wheels is highlighted by its five slim double-spokes. This design clears a line of sight to the high-performance brakes with six-piston fixed calipers, hinting at the precision with which the driver can modulate the car's braking prowess.

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 - and therefore to the drive axle of this high-performance sports sedan.

The design of the rear fascia provides an effective expression of the superior sports performance of the new BMW M5. There are further design elements of the 2013 BMW M5 that focuses on the car's width through the dominance of horizontal lines driving additional emphasis to an athletically formed rear fascia. The tailored rear fascia of the M5 provides a fluid transition into the wide wheel arches, drawing even more attention to the drive forces channeled through the rear wheels.

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 2013 BMW M5 is the twin-pipe exhaust system, where tailpipes are positioned wide to either side of the diffuser and have aerodynamically formed surrounds. 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 L-shaped rear lights fit the brand's template down to the distinctive night-time look. Three LED-powered light strips shape the face of the characteristically homogeneous units, and the turn signals and brake lights are also fed by LED units. The reflectors are arranged immediately below the rear lights. This is higher up on the rear apron than normally located on the regular BMW 5 Series Sedan and accentuates the car's powerful muscular form.

Design: BMW M5's Interior

The interior of the 2013 BMW M5 brings together the incomparable combination of a driver-oriented cockpit design of a sports car, the spaciousness and luxurious feel of a premium automobile. 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 roof liner in Anthracite are all standard equipment, as is the iDrive control system with a 10.2-inch Control Display. This screen is centrally positioned and like the controls in the central section of the instrument panel, slightly oriented towards the driver.

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.

BMW M5's High-Revving V8 Engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology

The new BMW M5 engine has the highest output ever generated by a BMW M car, and at the same time provides the most efficient balance between performance and fuel consumption. It is characterized by immediate throttle response, a linear power curve and an unusually high and flat torque curve. The new engine produces around 10 per cent higher output than the V10 engine of its predecessor and torque is up by over 30 per cent. At the same time, fuel consumption and CO2 are expected to be reduced by approximately 30%.

To achieve the performance levels demanded by the M5, the engineers at BMW M started with the proven BMW M developed V8 engine from the BMW X5 M - X6 M (internally known as the S63) and further developed it for its duty in the M5. Internally designated as the S63Tü this new engine uses similar M Twin Power technology combined with the reverse flow V8 layout. The result is that the high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology lends a whole new intensity to the powerful thrust at the higher rev ranges for which M cars are known. The 4.4-litre engine develops a peak output of 560 hp (412 kW) at 5,750 - 7,000 rpm (versus 555 hp at 6,000 rpm for the S63), while its maximum torque of 500 lb-ft (680 Nm) is on tap between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm (versus 500 lb-ft from 1,500 to 5650 rpm for the S63). The rev limiter intervenes at 7,200 rpm (up 200 rpm from the S63 engine). The rev band, which offers extremely dynamic acceleration between peak torque and the availability of maximum output, is therefore almost three times as wide as that of the V10 engine in the previous generation M5.

As in the V-8 engine of the X5 M, the two twin-scroll turbochargers are placed (along with the catalytic converters) in the V-space between the two cylinder banks. This layout results in an unusually compact engine where the intake is moved outboard and the exhaust inboard - the opposite of conventional V-engines. The lengths of intake and exhaust tracts are thereby reduced and their diameters increased, reducing pressure losses - especially on the exhaust side. A further advantage of the layout is the short distance between the cylinders' combustion chambers and the primary catalytic converters; this leads to quicker warm-up of the catalysts after the engine is started and therefore lower start-up emissions.

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. The 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 with this system, 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.

M TwinPower Turbo Technology also shapes 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 out through the far left and right-hand sides of the rear apron.

7 Speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic

The new V8 engine M TwinPower Turbo engine is mated to a newly developed 7 speed double-clutch transmission designed to handle the high torque and high revving nature of the engine. The M DCT with Drivelogic System developed especially for the new M5 has been tuned to the performance characteristics of the engine. It delivers exceptionally fast and clean gear changes in both automatic mode (D) and manual mode (S). No clutch pedal is required for manual gearshifts and the driver can keep their foot on the accelerator during gear changes. The driver uses the model-specific M gear selector to choose between D and S mode and to engage reverse. The transmission offers a sequential shift pattern for the manual gearshift mode. Alternatively, the driver can also change gears manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel - the right-hand paddle upshifts, the left-hand paddle for downshifts. Comfort is further enhanced by the new Low Speed Assistance function, which smoothes power delivery in stop-and-go traffic with a light touch of the accelerator pedal.

The driver can also adapt the shift characteristics to their requirements 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 a launch control acceleration, each gear change takes place automatically and at the optimum engine speed.

Active M Differential

The Active M Differential in the new M5 is an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential programmed to optimize traction, stability and sporting character.

The rear axle's multi-plate limited-slip differential works with high precision and speed. Its control unit is connected with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system via FlexRay high-speed data transfer technology and constantly cross-checks the data collected by its sensors with the feedback from DSC. It then uses this information to calculate the locking force required to deliver optimum traction and stability. The data recorded by DSC sensors is also passed on if the stability control system is switched off. The locking force within the differential can be varied continuously between 0 and 100%. The ABS system retains full functionality in all situations.

M5-Specific Chassis

Each component in the suspension and chassis of the new M5 has been developed based on the extensive race expertise of BMW M engineers. Specially tuned axle kinematics and newly developed suspension components boasting impressive strength and minimized weight meet both the requirements of everyday road driving and the specialized demands of track use. Reinforced chassis mountings at the front and rear axles ensure that dynamic forces are passed evenly through to the body structure. The result is that the BMW M5 continues the BMW M tradition of engineering a chassis that is faster than the engine. As with every BMW M car, the engineers carried out the fine-tuning during extensive testing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit.

Dynamic Damper Control (DDC) electronically controlled dampers are standard on the new BMW M5. DDC uses electro-hydraulic damping force adjustment to provide a set-up suited to the driving situation and the wishes of the driver. The damper settings 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 2013 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.

High-Performance Brake System of the 2013 BMW M5 Sedan

The high-performance braking system of the new BMW M5 guarantees outstanding stopping power matching the overall performance of the car. The typical BMW M compound rotors have been further improved for the 2013 BMW M5. These rotors thermally separate the central hub (constructed of aluminum) and the vented and cross drilled cast iron rotor disk. 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 a 19 in. M specific light alloy wheels fitted with 265/40 R19 tires in the front and 295/40 R 19 tires at the rear. 20 in. forged M light-alloy wheels can be ordered as an option.

M Drive Buttons

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 cancelled 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.

Head-Up Display

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 new BMW M5 has arrived in authorized US BMW Centers in the Summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.

BMW M5: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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