BMW has just released UK specific information on its new F10 M5 and there are some rather nice surprises when we dig into the details. Firstly the price, which at £73,040 on-the-road undercuts the X5 M and X6 M by £7,755 and £9,150 respectively, but perhaps more importantly pitches the M5 some £400 below the less powerful 517 bhp Mercedes E63.

The fifth-generation M5 has further redeeming qualities when compared with it’s key rivals – CO2 emissions of just 232g/km seems almost prius-like when compared with the 295g/km of the E63 or the 292g/km of Jaguar’s 503 bhp XFR. Did we mention that whilst emitting 20% less CO2 emissions than its peers, the M5 also comes with 552 bhp? (7-10% more power)

BMW F10 M5

So what other tricks does the New M5 have up its sleeve?

How about the first ever M car to use an Active M differential. This is a further advancement of the specially developed differential that allows M drivers to enjoy the benefits of high-powered rear-wheel-drive cars with maximum safety. Called Active M, it’s an electronically controlled multi-plate limited slip diff that intervenes rapidly and precisely at an early stage to control wheelspin and keep the car stable.

Its control unit is connected via FlexRay high-speed data transfer to the Dynamic Stability (DSC) control system to calculate the locking force needed – anywhere between 0% and 100%. It also takes into account the position of the accelerator, the rotational speed of the wheels and the car’s yaw rate.

As well as this clever new differential, the M5 has a bespoke M-specific suspension with specially developed axle kinematics honed not only on the race track but also through extensive testing at the Nurburgring. As a result, the chassis components are both light and strong. The new M5 comes as standard with electronically controlled dampers that allow drivers to select from three settings – Comfort for normal road use, Sport when a more dynamic driving style is preferred and Sport Plus for the most extreme driving, such as on a race track

The driver can also choose between three settings for the M-tuned Servotronic power assisted steering. Comfort requires only a small amount of steering effort when manoeuvring or parking, but still allows the instant changes of direction expected of an M car at higher speeds. Sport delivers more intensive feedback while Sport Plus requires greater force on the wheel so that the driver gets precisely the response that is intended from every steering input.

BMW M5's six-piston fixed caliper braking system

For the first time (after many years of customer requests) the new M5 has six-piston caliper brakes featuring a further development of BMW’s remarkable compound construction so that they resist fade even under repeated heavy loads and deliver an exceptional degree of feel. They are mounted within 19-inch M light alloy wheels with 265/40 R19 tyres at the front and 295/35 R19 tyres at the rear. Forged 20-inch alloys can be specified as an option.

But let’s get back to that remarkable engine..

The heart of any BMW M car is its engine, and never more so than with the new M5. For the first time an M5 features a turbocharged power unit ­– a high-revving 4.4-litre (4395cc) V8, here making its world premiere, despite seeming at first glance quite similar to the unit already introduced in the X5 M and X6 M.

Developing 552 bhp from 5750-7000rpm, it is the most potent production engine ever to emerge from BMW’s high-performance M division. Incorporating the company’s M TwinPower Turbo technology, twin-scroll turbochargers, high-precision direct fuel injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and a cross-bank exhaust manifold, it guarantees the legendary BMW M-car thrust with seamless lag-free delivery from little more than tickover speed thanks to 680Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque from only 1500rpm.

Compared with the previous V10-engined M5, maximum power is up by around 10 per cent and peak torque by more than 30 per cent. As a result, the latest M5 can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds, and 0-124mph in only 13 seconds. Top speed is between 155 mph and 189 mph, when fitted with the M Driver pack.

BMW F10 M5

Some enthusiasts will be saddened to hear that the M5 comes with BMW’s seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission as standard, although cars fitted with a manual stick shift have been spotted during development testing. BMW’s Drivelogic and Efficient Dynamics technology, including engine Auto Start-Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration, contribute towards the M5’s fuel consumption which has been reduced by more than 30 per cent to 28.5mpg, while CO2 emissions tumble to 232g/km.

Anyone familiar with the E60 M5’s consumate thirst will be delighted in this turnaround in form. Even when fuel prices were cheaper it remained a frustrating experience when forced to refuel the previous M5 (or M6) after less than 200 miles…


With the introduction of the F10 M5, BMW’s stealthy supercar has gained a litte more attitude than its predecessor. The wide-spread M black slats in the grille and the three air intakes in the low front apron provide that instantly recognisable M car look. Standard bi-xenon front light clusters contain visually unique LED light rings and indicator lights which consist of 10 LED units.

BMW F10 M5

Flared wheel arches embracing 19 or 20-inch wheels and a lowered M suspension ensure the car’s sporting characteristics are unmistakable, whilst the open design of the wheels give a clear view of the M5’s new six-piston fixed caliper braking system.

The front side sections have a fresh interpretation of the hallmark M gills within a chrome frame adorned with the BMW M logo, while the mirror casings – in body colour with high-gloss black lower edges and bases ­ – are aerodynamically shaped, emphasised by their horizontal crease line.

The rear view contains the familiar quad exhausts, incorporated either side of the diffuser, whilst a subtle Gurney flap on the rear edge of the boot lid provides additional downforce at high speed. L-shaped rear light units contain LED strips, indicators and brake lamps and are clearly identifiable at night as belonging to a BMW.

The new M5 Saloon will go on sale the UK in November 2011, priced at £73,040 on-the-road.

At a Glance




Torque   Nm

0 – 62mph Seconds

Top Speed



CO2 Emissions g/km

BMW M5 Saloon







*  Electronically limited 

F10 M5 vs E60 M5

Perhaps the most interesting comparison between old and new M5 shows itself in the behaviour of their torque curves. The E60 M5 produced its peak power of 507 bhp at 7,750 rpm compared to the new F10 M5, which delivers its maximum power of 552 bhp at between 6000 – 7000 rpm, however despite the perception of BMW having moved from a high-revving engine to one a lot less frenetic, the steepness of their power curves look quite similar.

Where the two engines diverge in character is in the way torque is delivered. Bearing in mind that power is a calculated value from torque and RPM, it’s the torque of an engine (it’s pulling power) that you really feel. From the diagram we can see that the new F10 M5 delivers more torque at 1,000 rpm than the E60 M5 delivered at its peak..

Just dwell on that fact for a moment and consider what it will feel like on the road.

F10 M5 compared against E60 M5 - Torque curves

The one fly-in-the-ointment is the new car’s weight – at 1870 kg (DIN) the F10 M5 weighs in 115 kg heavier than the 1755 kg E60 M5. However given that the new car is 5 cm longer, 4.5 cm wider and just over 1 cm lower, we doubt the additional weight will be noticeable on the road.