IOTD: The new BMW M5 – too much horsepower?

IOTD: The new BMW M5 - too much horsepower?

It’s launch time for BMW’s new M5, a car which delivers the oddly juxtaposed characteristics of more performance with more efficiency, and amidst the vault of images is this one which illustrates the F10 M5’s horsepower advantage (552 bhp) over its E60 predecessor (500 bhp).

But perhaps the news is not entirely good – the new M5 is the first of the mainstream M models to receive a turbocharged engine and initial impressions paint the picture of an engine which lacks the razor sharp throttle response we so enjoyed from the old 5.0-litre V10.

New BMW M5

Performance will inevitably be extreme but a question mark lies over the new turbocharged engine’s character, which was always a risk that we feared with its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 powerplant.

In fact that was the main disappointment we felt with the 1 Series M Coupe when we drove it earlier this year – performance aplenty, but a distinct lack of soul where M car engines have always been so distinctive over their competition.

It can be achieved, ironically this was the most endearing quality of Audi’s RS6 – bahn-storming performance and one of the most characterful turbocharged engines this side of a 911.

The new M5 is also noticeably heavier (115 kg) than its predecessor, so whilst it’s clearly a stunningly effective beast, perhaps BMW would have been better off delivering the increased performance and efficiency through less weight, rather than more horses – “performance through lightweight”? – how times have changed.

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