The 2012 BMW M5 has finally landed on U.S. shores and BMW has trotted out its oldest sibling – the same E28 we drove last year – at California's Laguna Seca raceway to mark the occasion.

After its debut at the Nürburgring early this year, BMW boxed up its latest M machine for the festivities here in Monterey and will be shuffling it around to various events throughout the week.

Our first in-the-flesh impressions are beyond favorable, with an exterior that's far less gauche than its predecessor, finally putting the "executive" back in "executive sports sedan." Inside, the professional demeanor carries over, with less flash and a more driver-focused interior.

As if you need a reminder, the M5 now packs a modified version of the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 fitted to the X5 M and X6 M, putting out 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque – the latter of which is available from 1,500 to over 5,750 rpm. Redline is a decidedly un-M-like 7,250 rpm, but the blast to 60 mph happens in claimed 4.2 seconds when fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

And what about a manual option? BMW officials delivered the standard "we're looking into it" line, but we suspect they're already testing a six-speed 'box that could be an option after the M5 goes on sale in the U.S. this February. Check out our high-res gallery above and let us know what you think in Comments.


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  • 63 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is the guy spamming about the Ipad not banned yet? Or at least why not delete his comments?
        Dvanos
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I agree. These spamming guys should be taken out back and beaten senseless.
      Shelton Stevens
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is one complex engine bay!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        Other than the ISF and MAYBE the IS350, Lexus doesn't have anything sporty under $400 k. BMW's are some of the sportiest cars around. As for reliable, it's not he 90's anymore, BMW doesn't have the handicap in reliability that it used to have, and Lexus doesn't have the advantage. As for the looks, BMW makes some of the best looking cars around. Lexus really doesn't produce anything that isn't extremely bland.
          Joe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Actually I don't even think the ISF compares. I started to look at one last year and walked away very disapointed after spending some time behind the wheel. As someone above mentioned, they just didn't get the whole driving dynamics thing right. Nothing seemed to work well together. Get out of that car and then drive a M3 and the difference is astonishing. Everything works in perfect harmony on the M3.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
          me
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          I agree, people love to compare numbers and point but Lexus has never gotten the driving dynamics right, even if on paper the IS-F and IS350 are good cars. As an example, Porsche can charge what they charge because of driving dynamics. A mustang 5.0 GT is as fast as a base 911 but if anyone spends time in both they would never choose the mustang if they could afford the 911. It's the same thing with BMW and Audi, people who can't afford them love to beat their chest about how car X performs just as well and costs less. Guess what, I can get an Evo X to outperform a CTS-V for the same money and they both seat 5, but it doesn't mean the Evo is a better car.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          [blocked]
      Peter S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Heh, I'm not really a GM fan, but I find it funny that the Bavarians can't keep up with a Cadillac that's been out for 3 years... but cars aren't all about numbers... hopefully it drives better!
        sysadm1n
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peter S.
        I find it funny you believe for one second that they couldn't have spent 2 minutes tweaking the boost to officially get a better 0-60 time. Saying the Bavarians can't keep up is pretty laughable.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sysadm1n
          [blocked]
          Hazdaz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sysadm1n
          They can sure keep those prices up, that's for sure... no one can touch them in that department.
          Lemon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sysadm1n
          Wow you make engine tuning sound easy!
        me
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peter S.
        Of course it will drive better, the E60 drove better.
        ColeWorld
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peter S.
        what are you talking about?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        me
        • 3 Years Ago
        They still can't touch it's hideous angular styling or ugly grille either. I am not sure which sedan is uglier, the Acura TL or the CTS. The E60 M5 was no prize either but it looks good compared to the CTS.
          Adrian
          • 3 Years Ago
          @me
          BMW's are no beauty queens. I'd take a Cadillac based only on just styling any day over a BMW, but currently, I think the 5-series has a standard CTS beat on driving dynamics.
        ColeWorld
        • 3 Years Ago
        no thanks.
      Michael Alexander
      • 3 Years Ago
      as a big fan of the cts-v, i still have to point out that bmw tends to underestimate performance numbers while it's been proven cadillac has overestimated theirs (i have yet to come across a magazine that did 0-60 in 3.9s)
      Ryan McGrory
      • 3 Years Ago
      Really don't understand why BMW insist on showing us their cars with the old versions of them. Are they getting the message that no one wants their vile Chris Bangle led garbage and we just want our menacing boxes back from the 80's...
        prettypnoyboi69
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan McGrory
        Chris Bangle quit like 2 years ago. Obviously you know **** about this company.
        simianspeedster
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan McGrory
        It's called heritage. Most companies don't have it -- those that do know the value of it. I grew up drooling over the original M5 and M6 -- they still have a special place in my heart and others'. BMW knows this.
      mark
      • 3 Years Ago
      from car and driverThe third problem we encountered was axle tramp, also known as wheel hop, during hard acceleration from a standing start, and it's one that can't be explained away so easily. Morris notes that with a judicious combination of clutch slip and wheelspin, GM development engineers have finessed 0-to-60 runs in the 4.5- and 4.6-second realm, which is pretty much what we anticipated with this car's Corvette powertrain. Unfortunately, we hadn't been to the GM school of CTS- V launch technique, so our efforts were rewarded by rear-wheel hop, with severity in direct proportion to the level of aggression employed to get the car out of the blocks. It soon became clear that further runs were likely to bring the test to a premature end, whereupon we left off. The result was a disappointing 0-to-60 time—5.2 seconds versus the 4.7 seconds we estimated in September. And although we believe Cadillac engineers when they say they've found ways to drive around this phenomenon, we also believe that CTS- V owners attempting to extract the best 0-to-60 times from their cars are likely to become intimately acquainted with differential replacement if you want the whole review http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/04q1/cadillac_cts-v-road_test so what gm claims and what the truth is is far different
        Chris Bangle
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mark
        That was for the previous generation CTS-V. GM fixed the axle hop issue and Motor Trend retested the car and was able to get a 4.7s 0-60 http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_0502_muscle_car_comparison/viewall.html
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mark
        That was 2004. That's a totally different car. GM now uses two different sized half-shafts in order to minimize axle tramp.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          [blocked]
        Chase
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mark
        Here's C&D's article on the current generation CTS-V: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/11q1/2011_cadillac_cts-v_wagon-long-term_road_test_update 4.1s 0-60
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mark
        [blocked]
      mark
      • 3 Years Ago
      to RUN YOU OVER- come on you cant even compare the 2 cars. for one if the keys are on the table and you could take either set which one would you take? now i know you love gm but if your mind is making the decision not your heart you would take the m5 its not even close. 2 i know the claims of 3.9 for your v but as the other poster stated never have i seen that in a test. bmw claims 4.2 which is always understated. bottom line i know you love your v its an awesome car but to say the m cant touch it c'mon man.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mark
        [blocked]
        Chase
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mark
        Honestly, I'd take the V, and it wouldn't be close. The V is a better car than the E60 M5. The steering is sharper, the chassis is more poised, the power is more vicious. Compared to this M5, I don't know, I'd have to drive it -- I wouldn't put it past BMW to produce an excellent car. However, the old M5 was not the same kind of car the V is though, BMW fanboys be damned.
      adam1keith1980
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am usually not "this-car-looks-like-x", but the new M5 looks like the Pontiac G8. I saw a G8 on the street today, what a beautiful car. I hope it will come back eventually.
      Chase
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love how it looks, but my one big concern is weight. The current 550i weighs 4350 lbs, and the 550i has a very similar drivetrain to this M5 (nearly the same motor, just detuned). So with around 4350 lbs and 560 hp, it does not have a deciding numbers advantage over the CTS-V. Hopefully the tuning is good.
      Where's the cheese?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish there was more horsepower from the engine, but then again that's like dating Scarlett Johansson and wishing she was sexier.
        stevenh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Where's the cheese?
        More horsepower??? 560 from 4.4L in a 4 dr sedan...how much are you looking for, just even a few years ago anything over 400 was in supercars only, so I am not sure what spec that disappoints you. Most people would be happy with half that amount in their daily driver
        NissanGTR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Where's the cheese?
        By sexy you mean fatter?
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