2012 BMW M5 Preview

Photo Courtesy of BMW USA
The leaks are finally over, and the official details and images are here. The 2012 BMW M5 is real, and it's pretty impressive on paper. Power comes, as expected, from BMW's twin-turbo V-8 M TwinPower engine, rated at 560 horsepower at 6,000-7,000 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 rpm. BMW calls the power delivery "lag free."

All that power equates to acceleration of 4.4 seconds to 60 mph, 13.0 seconds to 124 mph, an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (or 190 mph with the M Driver's Package), and combined EU fuel economy of 23.7 U.S. mpg. Solid stats across the board.

The suspension is upgraded for M Division use, with different front and rear geometry, stiffer springs and dampers, and dynamic damper control, plus M Dynamic Mode and M-tuned DSC to help the driver make the most of the car. The limited-slip differential is electronically controlled, with the amount of lock variable from 0 percent to 100 percent depending on the situation.

Not mentioned, despite rumors of its existence, is a manual transmission. The official documentation only notes a seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch transmission with launch control and paddle shifters. Perhaps the manual option will surface when U.S.-specific specs are released.

Subtle differences in appearance also mark the M5 out from the standard 5-Series, with a new front bumper hosting large air intakes for the engine and brakes, flared wheel arches, quad exhaust pipes, trunk lid spoiler, 19-inch M-light wheels, and a more aerodynamic rear bumper with integrated diffuser.

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Nelson Ireson

Having earned a bachelor&aposs degree in Speech Communication followed by a Juris Doctorate and a law license, I spent a year practicing law on my own. Before long I found myself spending all of my spare time deep in the automotive news world, and have since made it my full-time career. I am now the Reviews Editor for MotorAuthority, where I focus on covering breaking news, building industry rela...(Read More)

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