BMW Concept M5 Unveiled

BMW Concept M5 Unveiled

2011 Shanghai Auto Show

2011 Shanghai Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • BMW releases the first official images and a few details on the fourth-generation M5 sedan, which makes its public debut later this month at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show.
  • BMW confirms the new M5 will get a twin-turbo V8 that will provide "significantly increased" performance and fuel efficiency.
  • The engine will be mated to a seven-speed M dual-clutch gearbox with Drivelogic.

MUNICH, Germany — After teasing loyalists for weeks, BMW has relented and released the first official images — and just a few details — on the fourth-generation M5 sedan, two weeks ahead of the car's public debut at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show.

BMW confirms the new M5, which is expected to arrive this fall in the U.S. as a 2012 model, will get a twin-turbocharged V8 in place of the normally aspirated V10 that powered the 2010 M5. The 2010 model, which was priced from $86,575, was rated at 500 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

The 2012 M5 is expected to get a slightly enhanced version of the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 in the 2011 X5 M and 2012 X6 M, which is rated at 555 hp and 500 lb-ft. In the new 2012 M5 sedan, the same engine is expected to deliver around 580 hp and 530 lb-ft.

BMW said the V8 in the new M5 will be mated to a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. It did not provide performance specifications, but European press reports have speculated the car will sprint from zero to 60 in less than 4.4 seconds, with top speed electronically limited (in some markets) to 155 mph.

BMW also said the new V8 will be fitted with an automatic stop-start function that will help trim fuel consumption and emissions by 25 percent or more.

The 2012 M5 gets a tuned and lowered M suspension and M-specific steering, as well as unique 20-inch forged alloy wheels shod with 265/35ZR20 tires. The car also features a new Active M rear differential with variable torque split.

Painted Chrome Shadow, the Concept M5 is a four-seater — the production model will have accommodations for five — that BMW describes as a "near-series concept car," meaning it is virtually production-ready.

Design cues include a unique front apron with three large air intakes and a distinctive rear apron with integral diffuser that shrouds twin tailpipes on either side. Other subtle touches include a modest deck-lid spoiler, flared wheel arches and a pair of chrome gills in the front fenders with the M logo. says: The usual high level of specification, along with the typically discreet M visual treatment, should ensure an intense level of interest, particularly among longtime fans of BMW's M-cars. But will well-heeled Chinese customers be just as enthused as their counterparts in Europe and the States? — Paul Lienert, Correspondent

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