2012 BMW M5 Sedan
BMW is proud to present the fifth generation of its successful M5 sedan. True to its roots, which date back to 1984, the 2012 M5 is a high-performance sports car that carries four doors and up to five passengers. Capable on the track but with an abundance of luxury appointments, the new M5 has added improved efficiency and a wealth of driver assistance systems and infotainment functions to its list of attributes.
It starts under the hood, which now holds the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine that is quickly becoming a BMW calling card. It is the first turbocharged engine to ever be fitted under the M5’s hood and the first appearance in an M car outside the X5 M and X6 M. Horsepower is up five and torque is up two from the two aforementioned SUVs to 560 hp and 502 lb-ft, respectively. This makes the 4.4-liter V-8 in the 2012 M5 the most powerful engine ever fitted in a series-produced model from BMW M. It also provides the most efficient balance between performance and fuel consumption for an M.
Despite the hood, front quarter panels, and doors being made of aluminum, weight is up from the 2010 M5 model to 4,287 pounds. This is an increase of around 276 pounds. Nevertheless, with 50 more horses and a whopping 119 lb-ft of torque compared to the last M5, the new M5 is a tad faster. How does 0–62 mph in 4.4 seconds, 0–124 mph in 13.0 seconds, and a top speed limited to 155 mph but capable of 190 mph with M Driver’s Package sound? Best of all, it achieves these statistics while requiring 30 percent less fuel. Part of the increase in fuel efficiency can be contributed to a new Auto Start-Stop function.
BMW’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be the sole transmission offered when the car launches. The driver can choose to change gear manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel—the right-hand paddle for upshifts, the left-hand paddle for downshifts—or let the DCT transmission do it automatically. In either mode, comfort has been enhanced by a new Low Speed Assistance function. This keeps the car moving at minimal speeds through stop-start traffic with a nudge of the accelerator pedal. The last M5 was offered with a six-speed manual and we hear rumors that the new car will get it as an option for the U.S.
The M5 uses a host of new technologies and a track increased by 1.2 inches to keep the extreme power planted and the car headed in the right direction. A new Active M Differential, which distributes power among the rear wheels for better traction, works in conjunction with Dynamic dampers, Servotronic steering, and a stability control system with M Dynamic Mode for superior handling characteristics.
The M Drive system in the new BMW M5 allows the driver to adjust no fewer than six parameters: the engine management system, the responses of the Servotronic steering system, the M DCT Drivelogic shift program, the DSC mode, the responses of Dynamic Damper Control, and the information in the Heads-Up Display. All these parameters can be pre-configured for on-the-fly changes via two M Drive buttons on the left-hand steering wheel spoke. For example, the driver can save a sporty configuration using the “M1” button and a comfort-biased setup via the “M2” button. When the engine is started, the car’s settings revert to a default configuration focusing on efficiency and ride comfort.
A button on the center console adjusts the engine’s management system for the desired performance characteristics. “Efficient,” “Sport,” and “Sport Plus” modes are available. The driver can also select from three settings for the Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering system. “Comfort” mode requires only a small amount of steering force when parking or maneuvering. “Sport” ensures the driver enjoys more intensive feedback across all speed ranges. Meanwhile, “Sport Plus” requires greater force from the driver.
M DCT Drivelogic offers six sift programs, three for both the automated and manual modes. The D1 program is the default mode and it delivers the most efficient possible driving style. D2 mode supports laid-back cruising and D3 is designed for sportier diving by delaying gear changes until the engine has climbed up the rev range.
The driver can also adapt the shift characteristics to his requirements in manual mode. S1 mode generates extremely comfortable and jolt-free gear changes. In S2, the gear changes are noticeably faster and accompanied by a more significant jolt at higher revs. S3 is the one to choose for maximum dynamics; it enables even sportier gear changes and also brings the Launch Control function into play. DSC can be turned off through the center console. It also offers an M Dynamic Mode (MDM), which raises its intervention thresholds.
Lastly, 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 setup, while “Sport Plus” stiffens the suspension further to achieve maximum longitudinal and lateral acceleration in track situations.
The 2012 M5 standouts next to the 550i thanks to a redesigned front apron with large air intakes for the engine and brakes; flared wheel arches for the wider track; hallmark M “gills”; new rear apron with diffuser and cutouts for the twin pair of twin exhaust pipes; subtle rear spoiler; and exclusive double-spoke-design 19-inch wheels.