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All-new BMW M5 is all about power and performance

By Paul Connolly

BMW practically invented the high-performance super saloon segment with the M5 back in 1985.

Now the German manufacturer has unveiled the sixth generation of the exquisite sports sedan that’s based on the BMW 5 Series executive saloon platform.

The new model comes equipped with an enhanced V8 engine, a new M-specific, all-wheel drive system known as M xDrive and performance statistics that surpass all previous incarnations.

It’ll set you back, though: the car’s official on-the-road price in the UK is £89,695.

But, it has to be said, you do get some very special metal for your money.

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The BMW M5’s main rival is the 604bhp Mercedes-AMG E 63 S.

Key to new M5’s heightened level of performance is the introduction of M xDrive and its adaptability thanks to a central control module and the variety of different dynamic modes that can be selected.

When first started, the car is in four-wheel-drive mode with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) switched on. But it comes with various driving dynamics modes, up to a track-friendly pure rear-wheel drive without DSC.

Power comes from the latest 4.4-litre V8 engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology.

It delivers a maximum torque of 750Nm, accelerating the new M5 from 0 to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds, making it the fastest M5 yet.

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Power is transferred to the road via a new eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

The engine characteristics can be changed by pushing the Drive Performance from the basic setting ‘Efficient’ to ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’, both of which provide a faster turbo response.

BMW’s M engineers have developed new turbochargers and a higher injection pressure of up to 350bar. This allows shorter injection times and better fuel atomisation, making it both faster and more efficient.

New chassis technology has been added.  Features include M xDrive, eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, M-specific variable damper control (three driving modes: Comfort, Sport, SportPlus) with electronically controlled shock absorbers and M Servotronic steering (three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus).

The official stats are:  Power - 600hp, Torque - 750Nm, Top Speed  - 155mph (limited), Combined fuel – 26.9 mph,  CO2 Emissions - 241g/km.

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HISTORY OF THE BMW M5

For BMW aficionados, here’s a full history of this legendary sports salon.

1984: BMW M5 E28S

The first generation M5 (Type E28S) was introduced in the autumn of 1984. It was powered by a 24-valve six-cylinder 3.5-litre engine with 286PS, from the mid-engined M1 sports car. The engine was equipped with a single-butterfly valve system and accelerated the first M5 from a standstill to 62mph in just 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 152mph. It was the fastest four-door production saloon of its time.

1988: BMW M5 E34S / E34 / 5S

With the second generation M5, launched in 1988, BMW Motorsport GmbH once again created a hero. Its 3.6-litre engine developed 315PS and for the first time reached 155mph. In the second generation E34, the displacement increased to 3.8-litres and the output to 340PS. From 1992, a Touring version appeared, of which only 900 were made.

1998: BMW M5 E39S

The third generation M5, the E39S, was as discreet as its predecessors. Underneath the bonnet, though, it packed a 5.0-litre 32-valve V8 engine, with an incredible 400PS sent through the rear wheels and 500Nm of torque. Top speed was limited to 155mph, with zero to 62mph in just 5.3 seconds.

2005: BMW M5 E60 / E61

With the fourth generation M5, the E60, BMW developed a new 5.0-litre V10 engine with 507PS, delivered at an astonishing 7,750rpm. It did the zero to 62mph sprint in just 4.7 seconds and again was limited to 155mph. In some markets, the M5 driver was able to cancel the maximum speed limit with the new M Drivers Package - so the M5 went as fast as 189mph. Also new was the automated Sequential M Transmission (SMG) with seven gears and Launch Control for maximum acceleration.

2010: BMW M5 F10M

The fifth generation BMW M5 came under the F10M type designation in 2011 and had the first generation of the current 4.4-litre V8-Biturbo. With 560PS, the performance had almost doubled that of the first M5. The 680Nm maximum torque also represented almost double (E28S: 340Nm). Thanks to M TwinPower Turbo technology, the M5 sprinted to 62mph in 4.3 seconds, via a new 7-speed M twin-clutch transmission. Its unrestricted top speed was 189mph.

In 2013 came the M5 with Competition Package, a variant with 575PS. In 2014, the special 30th anniversary model with 600PS came along, of which only 300 were built.

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