We've already gotten our first glimpse of the BMW M5 Concept bound for the Shanghai Motor Show, and now we can give up the full monty on BMW's fifth iteration of its world-beating super sedan.
In keeping with BMW tradition, the M5 "Concept" is deceptively close to the production model that's set to hit Europe this Fall and come Stateside next spring, but so far, BMW is only telling half the high performance story.
Based off the current F10 5 Series chassis, the M5's exterior has been pinched, pulled and imbued with the understated aggression that typifies BMW's M-fettled products. Up front, a revised front fascia houses three enlarged black mesh-covered intakes to feed the turbocharged eight-cylinder and supply the front brakes with cool air. The lower edge of the sculpted front bumper is a pure representation of BMW's latest M models and extends rearward to the aerodynamic rear apron equipped with an integrated diffuser. A deceptively subtle lip spoiler spans the trunk to provide downforce at speed, while M-specific quad exhausts shuttle spent hydrocarbons out the back. Hit the jump to continue reading, watch a video of the unveiling and check out the official press release.
Live photos copyright ©2011 Damon Lavrinc / AOL
[Video Source: M5Board via YouTube]
The lightweight, black wheels fitted to the show car should be an accurate representation of what's available when the production model debuts. Forged and sized 20-inches at all four corners, each is wrapped in super-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber, with the fronts wearing 265/35 ZR20s and the rears coated in 295/35 ZR20s – the first time BMW has fitted a staggered wheel setup on the M5.
As we've known for some time, the F10 M5 will pack a variant of the X5 M and X6 M's twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 delivering somewhere north of 580 horsepower and a comparable amount of torque. Naturally, power will be sent to the rear wheels, with BMW employing a highly-modified version of its latest seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic to modify shift behavior and speed. (Fun Fact: The last E60 M5 was tested with a dual-clutch gearbox during development but never made it to production.) Combined with the new-for-the-U.S. Auto Start Stop functionality, BMW claims that emissions have been reduced by 25 percent when compared to the outgoing model's V10, while developing more power in the process. BMW claims this new turbo'd V8 is a rev machine and we'll be interested to see how the new M5's RPM band compares to its predecessor.
BMW isn't releasing any information on the interior (the concept on hand had blacked out windows and locked doors), nor are they detailing the revised suspension, only saying that the components were specially developed for the M5. One tidbit BMW did divulge is the inclusion of the multi-plate Active M Differential (first fitted to the X6) that independently doles out torque to each rear wheel based on traction, slip angle and a host of other data points.
From our discussions with BMW engineers and spokespeople here in Germany, the automaker has taken the (hard) lessons learned from its last M5, gone back to the drawing board and injected this newest M with the best it has to offer. And we should know if they've succeeded well before you're ready to place your down payment early next year.
The BMW Concept M5.
A glimpse at the 5th generation of a legend
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – Sunday, April 6, 2011...
Nearly 25 years ago, US enthusiasts were introduced to the concept of the true performance/luxury sedan, the veritable "wolf in a business suit". A car which offered the driving comfort experienced in a premium sedan and the handling characteristics of a high-performance sports car that can only be described by one single unmistakable model designation - BMW M5. With the first generation of this model, which arrived on US shores in 1987, BMW M GmbH laid the foundation stone for a completely new vehicle category. The BMW M5 was the first car of its kind to offer racing-oriented high performance in a sedan that could be driven without compromise in everyday traffic. This unique concept developed into a remarkable success story spanning four model generations. BMW M GmbH prepares to draw the attention enthusiasts to a four-door sedan yet again. The BMW Concept M5, which makes its public debut at the Auto Shanghai 2011, represents the latest interpretation of this unmistakable vehicle character.
Uncompromising performance and typical M aesthetics in a BMW 5 Series Sedan provide the basis for the exclusive BMW M5 driving experience. With each model generation, the advancements made in the development of premium sedans in terms of comfort, safety and premium ambience were accompanied by new possibilities to intensify that unsurpassed 'M feeling'. The world premiere of the BMW Concept M5 at the Auto Shanghai 2011 foreshadows the continuation of this tradition. Based on the design vocabulary developed for the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the near-series concept car reflects the characteristic styling features of a BMW M automobile, with which the car's further enhanced dynamic potential is captured.
A new high-revving V8 engine with M twin-turbo technology guarantees typical M power output. The eight-cylinder engine delivers a spontaneous and even acceleration, which remains constant up to the highest load and is characteristic of the M feeling, in a previously unequalled dimension. At the same time, both performance and efficiency have been significantly increased in comparison to the previous engine. Numerous drivetrain innovations and other enhancements have lead to a reduction in fuel consumption and emission levels by more than 25 percent. The new engine and a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic and M-specific suspension and steering create the ideal prerequisites for an unrivalled driving experience.
Typical M aesthetics: performance defines design, aerodynamics optimize performance.
The athletic appearance of the BMW Concept M5 authentically expresses the engine's superior power. The sporty and elegant look of the BMW M5 Sedan has been specifically modified using typical M design vocabulary. All specific design features are directly related to the Sedan's outstanding performance characteristics. They were developed exclusively for the BMW Concept M5 and enhance the vehicle's character, which is marked by high performance and responsive handling even under extreme conditions. Prominent examples of this are the large air intakes, which allow for the engine's higher cooling requirements, as well as optimized aerodynamics thanks to a discreet spoiler located on the trunklid and a diffuser integrated into the rear apron.
The BMW Concept M5 owes its intense emotional impact to the direct relation of each detail with the technical requirements. At the same time, the concise styling of the high-performance car's specific features creates the character of understatement that is typical of a BMW M automobile. The car's superior appearance is underlined by the body color Chrome Shadow. The discreet appearance of this body color distinctively enhances the surface contours of the vehicle's three-dimensionally modeled bodywork.
Front apron: precise airflow optimizes cooling and aerodynamics.
Dynamic lines and large air intakes on the front end of the BMW Concept M5 are a clear indication of the vehicle's exceptionally sport-oriented characteristics and its engine's outstanding power. Like on the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the contour lines on the bonnet of the BMW Concept M5 flow towards the BMW kidney grille. The upright position of the widely stretched kidney grille also reflects dynamic forward movement. The dual round Xenon headlights, which are complemented at the top by an accentuating light, create the road-focused look that is also characteristic of BMW M automobiles.
The front apron, which was designed exclusively for the BMW Concept M5, contributes significantly towards both the car's athletic appearance as well as its dynamic potential. It features three large air intakes, the dimensions of which are precisely oriented towards the high cooling requirement of the engine and its ancillary components. The center opening corresponds to the width of the BMW kidney grille, the side contour lines move away from each other as they continue downwards. This echoes the V shape between the grille and the headlights, thus emphasizing the width of the air intake.
The center air intake protrudes further out than the two outer intakes and its contours are slightly curved. This three-dimensional design and the deeply embedded, black grille sporting a honeycomb design additionally underscore the vehicle's powerful character. With concisely designed so-called flaps on the lower edges of the outer air intakes, the BMW Concept M5 boasts a racing-inspired feature for optimizing airflow. These also emphasize a front apron design that is oriented towards the technical demands.
Side view: dynamically flowing lines, large M light alloy wheels.
With powerfully modeled wheel arches and dynamically flowing lines, the BMW Concept M5 also signals uncompromising sportiness when viewed from the side. The long wheelbase, the set back passenger cabin and the black side window surrounds distinctively underscore the sedan's stretched silhouette. This appearance is even more strongly emphasized through M-specific lowering of the vehicle. The athletically flared wheel arches are complemented by M-specific light alloy wheels sporting a double-spoke design. Due to the vehicle's wide track, they are flush with the car body. The 20-inch forged rims are fitted with tire size 265/35 ZR20 at the front and 265/35 ZR20 at the back.
The M-typical gill element on the front side panel has been reinterpreted on the BMW Concept M5. The gill features a high-quality chrome surround and is horizontally divided by a chrome bar, which in addition to the side indicator also bears the M logo. The gill element is the starting point of the swage line, which during its further course across the door handles stretches back as far as the taillights.
The rear end: athletic styling, targeted airflow.
Unparalleled road holding are effectively symbolized by the BMW Concept M5's rear end design. The emphasis on vehicle width through dominating horizontal lines also featured on the BMW 5 Series Sedan is combined with an athletically shaped rear apron. The vehicle-specific rear apron, which forms a smooth transition to the wide wheel arches, ensures a particularly intensive accentuation of the motive force that is transferred to the rear wheels.
An integrated diffuser at the lower edge of the rear apron effectuates targeted airflow at the end of the undercarriage. As a typical M identifying feature, the BMW Concept M5 is fitted with a double-flow exhaust system, the double tailpipes of which are located far apart at each side of the diffuser and surrounded by aerodynamically shaped trims. Likewise, the discreet rear spoiler located on the boot lid serves to optimize the car's aerodynamic characteristics. It ensures additional downforce above all at high speeds, thus contributing towards supreme handling at all times.
Awe-inspiring power, impressive efficiency: V8 with M TwinPower Turbo.
The BMW Concept M5 gives a starting signal for the venture into a new dimension of motor racing-oriented driving dynamics. The high-performance characteristics reflected in its design are realized through the M-specific drivetrain and suspension technology. Under the concept car's hood is a new, high-revving V8 featuring M TwinPower Turbo Technology. The new engine ensures a new dimension of the linear power development characteristic of BMW M automobiles. Moreover, it embodies the principle of technological advancement within the framework of the BMW Group's Efficient Dynamics strategy. Compared to the fourth generation of the BMW M5's power unit, the newly developed engine has a significantly increased output level, whilst at the same time lowering previous fuel consumption and emission levels by at least 25 percent. With the new eight-cylinder engine, big steps have been taken in the optimization of drivetrain technology. A clear increase in power is accompanied by a remarkable increase in efficiency. This demonstrates the unparalleled effectiveness of this development strategy, which originates from racing, where in addition to the engine's performance capabilities and reliability, as few fuel stops as possible result in a decisive advantage.
The BMW Concept M5's engine power is transferred to the rear wheels by a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. This double-clutch gearbox, which was specifically tuned to the new V8 engine's performance characteristics, offers extremely fast gear shifting, precise gear selection and a high degree of effectiveness that further optimizes the vehicle's efficiency. The combination of the new engine with M Drivelogic is supplemented by an Auto Start Stop function. When halting at road junctions or in a tailback, the high-performance engine is temporarily switched off, thus avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption during idling. To continue the journey it is sufficient to release the footbrake and the V8 engine restarts immediately.
M suspension technology, typical M innovation: active M Differential
The suspension technology especially developed for each model is an equally crucial constituent part of the well-balanced overall concept of any M automobile. It is constructed using comprehensive know-how obtained from years of racing and then tuned during extensive tests carried out on the North Loop of the Nürburgring. The result is an exclusive M suspension set up as well as exceptionally effective and weight-optimized brakes, which also remain stable even under the hard use that a place like the Nürburgring demands.
In addition, the BMW Concept M5 features innovative rear differential technology also developed by BMW M GmbH. The Active M Differential maximizes traction in cornering by using targeted variation of locking torque between the right and left drive wheels.
Active control of the multi-plate lock inside the rear differential is highly accurate and fast. This ensures that wheel spin is prevented even on slippery road surfaces and in the event of differing friction coefficients between the right and left wheels, in narrow bends or during sudden lane changes. Optimized traction thereby facilitates the highest level of vehicle stability and dynamics during acceleration out of bends even under the most demanding conditions.
BMW Concept M5 - the future of the high-performance sports car with four doors and five seats.
The BMW Concept M5 embodies the vision of a premium upper midrange sedan offering the highest degree of comfort for up to five occupants and allowing the driver to follow the ideal racing line both on the racetrack and in everyday road traffic. The BMW Concept M5 combines outstanding performance resulting from racing-inspired drive and suspension technology with typical M aesthetics that authentically express the vehicle's dynamic potential. The concept car visualises the unmistakable characteristics of a BMW M model, which mature from a harmonious overall concept in which engine, suspension and design complement each other perfectly. BMW M GmbH's know-how gained from decades of experience and constantly further developed under racing conditions manifests itself in this combination. Innovative technology derived directly from motor racing provides each new BMW model with unmatched high-performing characteristics.
The BMW Concept M5 reflects a highly advanced stage in the development of a high-performance vehicle based on the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. The specific design features are directly aligned to the technical requirements, the suspension technology is precisely harmonized with the engine's performance characteristics. With this precisely defined development strategy, the latest embodiment of the incomparable M feeling drives steadily towards series reality.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 138 BMW motorcycle retailers, 103 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
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