2012 BMW M5 Officially Unveiled
By Carl Malek
After photos of the 2012 BMW M5 began making there way on to the internet, BMW has decided to unveil the official details on their latest four door missile. The brand new M5, which joins the more conventional 5 series sedan on BMW’s new F10 platform, is one of the first examples of the company’s recent shift towards better fuel efficiency in their M cars without compromising the world class performance enthusiasts have come to expect from a car wearing the M badge.
One of the key changes that BMW engineers made to the 2012 M5 was under the bonnet. Under there, the 5.o liter V10 that powered the last generation M5 has been shelved in favor of a new 4.4 liter twin turbocharged V8. While the missing two cylinders may appear to equal less performance versus the old car, the added turbochargers along with direct injection, and other engine upgrades all work together to help produce 560 horsepower and 502 lb ft of torque. These numbers not only represent a 10 percent increase in horsepower over the outgoing V10, but all of this new-found performance can be brought out much lower in the engine’s revband. As a bonus, the new engine manages to achieve these numbers while using less fuel and emitting less CO2, thanks to the use of aides such as regenerative braking, and start and stop technology.
Providing all of this power to the rear wheels is a seven speed dual clutch transmission that is equipped not only with launch control, but the latest in electronic driving aides and gadgets that one can expect out of a BMW M5. BMW claims that the car can hit 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph though the limiter can be raised to 190 mph when the car is equipped with the optional M drivers package. However, the 2012 M5 isn’t just about quarter mile times and winning stoplight duels, BMW engineers also made extensive revisions and enhancements to the car’s suspension to help improve the vehicles handling behavior. A key piece of technology that helps in this regard is the use of an Active M electronically controlled limited slip differential, which works together with the car’s stability control systems to help deliver power in a much more efficient manner especially when the car is coming in and out of corners.
Another piece of technology that helps improve the driving experience of the 2012 BMW M5 is the use of two simple steering wheel mounted buttons that give the driver the ability to set and store various vehicle parameters, such as the response of the accelerator pedal and the head-up display settings. These buttons are designed to eliminate the over-complicated method of going through multiple iDrive menus to access the various settings, which was quite frustrating to do in the old M5.
With all of these updates in place, the 2012 BMW M5 looks like it will not only be able to successfully fill the big shoes of the outgoing V10-powered model, but also help the new M5 to continue being one of the best four door sport sedans in the world.