BMW will unveil a concept version of the new M5 performance sedan at the Shanghai Motor Show. As with prior cars wearing the vaunted M5 badge, it will be the highest-performing variant of the 5-series lineup.
As was widely expected, the new M5 will have a twin-turbo V-8 engine, although any more detail on the engine’s output are scarce. The company says power will be “typical” of other M products and “worthy” of a sports car -- we expect an engine similar to the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the X5 M and X6 M, which produces 550 horsepower. The last BMW M5 had a 5.0-liter V-10 producing 500 horsepower, and the company will almost certainly try to trump that number with the new car. Currently, the most powerful factory 5-series is the 400-horsepower 550i.
Channeling the power to the rear wheels is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which has stop-start functionality to save fuel at traffic lights. Also present is an Active M rear differential, which uses clutch plates to shuffle torque between the left and right wheels for optimal traction when cornering. Large cross-drilled brakes are visible on the concept, a necessity with this much power. As for suspension upgrades, BMW simply says the car was tested on the Nürburgring and offers “responsive” handling.
While we’ve seen a camouflaged M5 in a tunnel and blasting through snowy landscapes, this is our first look at an undisguised model. Distinguishing features for the M5 begin with black 20-inch wheels, larger front air intakes, and a subtle trunk lid spoiler. Other touches include enlarged fender vents with “M5” badges, a subtle “power bulge” in the hood, and M division’s signature quad exhaust tips positioned beneath a more aggressive rear diffuser. The bodywork is all said to be functional -- the fascia feeds cooling air the engine, and the rear diffuser and spoiler help produce downforce at speed.
We’re looking forward to finding out the engine’s exact output figures, and for a glimpse at what, if any, changes have been made the car’s interior. Will the latest BMW performance sedan live up to its quarter-century of history?