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E60 M5
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  BMW E60 M5

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:2005 - 2010
Numbers built:20548
Internal name:E60
Successor:BMW M5
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe ultimate in sports saloon motoring has got a name: M5. This finest 5 Series vehicle is the most powerful of all time: five litres of cubic capacity, ten cylinders, a maximum output of 507 bhp, a peak torque of 520 Newton metres and engine speeds redlining at 8,000 rpm, these are figures that speak for themselves. In an unprecedented way, these figures blur the lines between a car for everyday use and a vehicle for ambitious motor sport racing.

With its performance figures, the fourth-generation M5 once again sets the benchmark in the segment of powerful sports saloons, a niche which the first M5 carved for itself back in 1984. During the last 20 years, this first M5 and all its successors have made their mark, always setting the standard as a perfect symbiosis of a comfortable, elegant saloon for everyday use, abundant output delivered by a powerful engine and ultimate sportiness. With sales figures exceeding 20,000, the M5 has proved to be an economically successful concept which combines prodigious performance with understatement, a basic feature of all M automobiles.

The V10 is the only high-revving power unit to be featured in a series-production car. Featured in the most powerful production car within the BMW model family, this new engine once again sets the benchmark in its class. For the BMW M engineers the compact, high-revving normally aspirated engine was the ideal choice. With a red line of 8,250 rpm, the ten-cylinder engine has ventured into terrain which has so far been reserved for red-blooded racing cars. Compared to the previous M5 eight-cylinder engine, performance has increased by more than 25 percent. The M5 has also surpassed the magical 100 bhp per litre limit, its specific output being on par with that of racing cars.

The two five-cylinder banks of the V10 are arranged at an angle of 90° to achieve a mass balance of the crankshaft drive, which is optimised for low vibration and increased comfort. For reasons of stiffness and due to the high loads resulting from combustion pressure, engine speed and vibrations, a bedplate design has been chosen for the crankcase, the first-ever application in a production V engine by BMW. For an optimum alignment of the crankshaft, grey-cast iron inserts have been integrated into the aluminium bedplate, which also serve to enhance acoustics, increase vibrational comfort and ensure a high oil supply rate. The extremely stiff crankshaft is supported by six bearings. High-pressure bi-VANOS and individual throttle butterflies.

The high-revving concept only succeeds in combination with a gearbox which translates the torque available to the engine, by means of a short overall transmission ratio, into optimised forward thrust. The seven-speed SMG gearbox is precisely the right transmission to ideally convey the V10 engine's power via the drive train to the wheels. BMW M is the first manufacturer worldwide to offer a seven-speed sequential gearbox with drivelogic function. Even more highly perfected than the previous six-speed transmission, the seven-speed SMG gearbox enables manual gear selection with ultra-short shifting times as well as comfortable cruising thanks to automated gear selection. The purpose of the additional seventh gear is to reduce engine speed and torque gaps. New SMG gearbox's speed up by 20 percent.

Thanks to the SMG's drivelogic function, the driver can choose from eleven gear change options, which enable him to adapt the SMG's characteristics to his very own style of motoring. Six of these programs can be pre-selected in the sequential manual gearbox mode (S mode), the spectrum ranging from balanced dynamic to very sporty. With the gearbox in the S mode, the driver always shifts gears manually. Whenever the driver activates the Launch Control function, the SMG Drivelogic shifts gears shortly before the maximum engine speed is reached at precisely the right moment and with optimum slip until the M5 reaches its top speed.

The differences in design versus the basic 5 Series are discreet but consistent, giving the M5 a surprisingly high level of uniqueness in terms of looks, without questioning the common genes with the BMW model series. The modified front and rear aprons are instant eye catchers. Another difference is the modified side sills and the somewhat more prominent wheel arches. Traditionally, the M differs from the 'normal' BMW in its exclusive exterior mirror design, the four tailpipes, which have also become an unmistakable feature of all M vehicles, and the exclusive wheel design. For the first time, the M5 sports very attractive gills which are incorporated into the front side panel.

The M5 comes with a leather interior in three different colours, which makes it look even more sophisticated than the lavishly equipped basic model or - for an extra price - with a full leather interior, which looks absolutely stunning. Further important differences versus the 5 Series are the instrument cluster, the optional M-specific head-up display, the steering wheel with MDrive buttons and the redesigned centre console.

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  Article Image gallery (22) Specifications User Comments (10)