Following yesterday’s leaked images of the M5 Concept, from the event held last Friday in Munich, BMW have now officially unveiled details of its newest M model leading up to the car’s debut at the Shanghai Auto Show on 19th April.
Before we get too carried away, we should set your expectations straight by telling you this is a ‘Concept’ in BMW-speak, which means you can look but cannot touch. What it looks like inside and details of its powerplant will remain a secret for the time being, until BMW choose to share them.
After BMW’s press briefing last week, there is precious little new information to share, but here’s what we can tell you;
Engine and drivetrain
BMW are using a new high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology. This is a significant point, because as we’ve mentioned for some time now, this engine is based on the unit currently deployed in the X5 M and X6 M, but that’s NOT a high-revving unit – certainly not in the usual M Power sense of the term, so despite their common origins we are expecting the M5’s powerplant to be of a noticeably different (sportier) character.
The eight-cylinder power unit is said to deliver spontaneous and uniform acceleration, which remains constant up to the highest load and is characteristic of the M feeling, in a previously unparalleled way. The closest example in BMW’s M car past is the E39 M5, which remains one of the most loved M cars of all time.
As per usual for a new BMW these days, both performance and efficiency have been significantly increased in comparison to the previous engine – the figure that’s being talked about is more than 25 percent, which is you are at all familiar with the E60 M5 still means it’s likely to remain the poster-child for binge drinkers – only slightly less so.
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, which was specifically tuned to the new V8 engine’s performance characteristics, provides extremely quick gear shifting, precise gear selection and and better efficiency.
The new engine with M Drivelogic is supplemented by an Auto Start Stop function, which temporarily switches the engine off in heavy traffic thus avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption during idling. To continue the journey, just release the footbrake and the V8 engine restarts again without delay.
As with its predecessor, the M5 Concept is fitted with a bespoke M suspension featuring components exclusive to the M5 including the wheel suspension systems, specific axle kinematics as well as weight-optimised brakes, which are said to remain stable even under high levels of strain.
In addition, the BMW Concept M5 features the innovative Active M Differential which optimises vehicle stability using the targeted variation of locking torque between the right and left drive wheels. Active control of the multi-plate lock inside the rear differential is said to be highly accurate and fast, which ensures that wheel spin 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.
This is the reason why BMW chose to release those early teaser videos of the M5 on a snowy surface, showing that traction, stability and dynamic stability are optimised even under the most demanding conditions
BMW are particularly proud of the M5 Concept’s design, which they feel goes some way to addressing criticisms aimed at the E60 M5, which at times could look a little too subtle. In addition to the usual aerodynamic body kit, the F10 M5 features larger air intakes, a more prominent rear diffuser and so-called flaps on the lower edges of the outer air intakes which emphasise the shape of the front apron, whilst also optimising airflow.
The M5 Concept features black side window surrounds to distinctively underscore its set back passenger cabin, which accompanies a lowered stance, flared wheel arches and M-specific light alloy wheels – which are painted black on the M5 Concept, but which will likely come in the usual smoked silver finish of its predecessor.
Due to the M5’s wider track, which is flush with the car body, the Concept comes with 20-inch forged alloy rims fitted with 265/35 ZR20 tyres on the front and 295/30 ZR20 Michelin tyres at the rear.
The typical M-gill element on the front side panel 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 during its course across the door handles stretches back as far as the taillights.
For now, that’s about all we can currently say, but as soon as we hear more about the M5’s engine, we’ll be sure to tell you.