Visual modifications to the M car are subtle both inside and out. A lowered suspension means the aforementioned 19- or 20-inch wheels sit flush beneath flared fenders, while gaping lower air intakes emphasize the engine’s performance potential. A subtle trunklid spoiler and diffuser provide more rear downforce, while M Division’s signature quad-tipped exhausts peek from beneath the rear bumper. There are no foglights, as their mounting locations are used for the extra air intakes.
To dress up the cabin, there’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel, red-on-white instrument cluster with M logo, and M5-labeled doorsill plates. Merino leather covers the special sports seats, along with aluminum dashboard trim and a special anthracite black roof liner.
As noted, BMW claims the new M5 will be drastically more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. Brake energy regeneration, engine stop-start, and efficiency-minded transmission programming mean the car sips just 9.9 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers -- about 24 mpg in American terms, though official EPA numbers could be different.
The new M5 will go on sale in the U.S. in spring 2012, although BMW has yet to determine whether it will be badged a 2012 or 2013 model. Pricing also has yet to be determined, but given that the current range-topping 2011 550i xDrive starts at $62,875 (including an $875 destination charge), we’d imagine that the new M5 will sticker between $80,000 and $90,000. Based on what we know so far, the car will be worth the money.