Winning formula

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 November, 2011, 12:00am


The BMW M5 has always offered the comfort of a prestigious luxury saloon and the exhilaration of a sports car. When it was first launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1989, the BMW M5 was the fastest production sedan in the world, and proved so popular that the Bavarian marque launched more versions in 1989, 1998 and the popular five-litre, 500hp E60 version in 2005.

Now BMW presents the fifth-generation of the M5, codenamed the F10, a beautifully sculpted four-door, five-seater car that is a joy to admire and fun to drive. Designed and built by BMW M, the marque's specialist makers of modified performance cars, in Dingolfing, Bavaria, and launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the new M5 combines the speed of an athlete and the presence of a top executive, especially in exclusive Monte Carlo Blue metallic M paintwork that highlights the car's sleek silhouette and racing background on a wide track, race-grade M chassis. The model's M rear spoiler and diffuser, sporty twin tailpipes and exposed wheel arches promise fast-lane presence on M light-alloy, double-spoked 19-inch or 20-inch wheels. Striking air inlets cool the M5's high-performance transmission and compound disc brakes, while curved M exterior mirrors improve aerodynamics and distinguish the model, and its owner, at a glance.

'The hallmark M 'kidney-grilles' with integrated indicator bars, the aerodynamically optimised rear apron with diffuser between the right and left-hand pair of twin exhaust tailpipes, as well as the gurney-style rear spoiler on the boot lid leave absolutely no doubt that this car sets its own benchmarks,' says local dealer BMW Concessionaires (HK). 'The interior of the all-new BMW M5 brings together an inimitable combination of sports car cockpit and luxurious ambience.'

The HK$ 1.648 million model's class-leading interior highlights include a roof liner in anthracite, a newly designed leather-covered centre console, an instrument cluster in black-panel technology, M-sports seats with Merino leather upholstery, four-zone automatic climate control and an electrically operated steering column adjustment.

Tested and calibrated on Germany's notoriously demanding Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, the M5 has achieved maximum driving dynamics, agility and control at the limits of driving physics. Fitted with BMW's vaunted M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine with Valvetronic and High Precision Injection, the M5 sets new standards for dynamic driving and precision, the dealer says. 'The new M5 is in fact a super racing car in disguise,' it says. The M5's smooth 4.4-litre, 560hp engine delivers 'a stunning 680Nm of torque from 1500rpm' to reach 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h, the dealer says.

Yet BMW's latest advances in fuel efficiency engineering have lowered the M5's petrol consumption to just 9.9 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions to mere 232 grams per kilometre on combined runs. The model's 7-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic changes gears immediately via paddles, the shift lever or automatic mode, while the intelligent M Servotronic system adapts the steering power and resistance according to your speed.

As a result, the M5's power-to-weight ratio has been improved to a staggering 3.3kg per horsepower, the dealer says. The car is solid on the road, thanks to M-specific suspension, the latest M Servotronic steering, DSC stability control system including M Dynamic Mode, and a lightweight compound high-performance braking system.

The Active M Differential gives the new M5 more traction when accelerating out of corners or manoeuvring on slippery surfaces. The marque's Auto Start Stop function reduces unnecessary idling and wasteful fuel expenditure in traffic while the Brake Energy Regeneration converts the kinetic energy of deceleration or braking into electricity, recharges the battery and reduces strain on the engine.

Two M Drive buttons on the steering wheel can help the driver customise the model's engine and M Servotronic responses, the Drivelogic shift program, dynamic stability and damper controls and the Head-Up Display's information.