In fact, the performance extracted from them was unfathomable even a generation ago. How did we end up at a 500-horsepower Audi, a 640-horsepower Cadillac and 707-horse Dodge? What were once numbers reserved for otherworldly exotics now are found in a pedestrian nameplate.
But this is no new trend, for while the current power war we’re experiencing has generated outlandish performance numbers for a mere average Joe, the recipe of sticking the most punch possible into a sedan for the masses goes back a long way.
We haven’t had the chance to thrash the newest M5 around a racetrack yet, but Autoblog has been granted the privilege of running “nine-tenths” around both the Ascari course (in the DCT) and Laguna Seca (in the new six-speed manual variant). What do they have to say for themselves?
If you ask a certain segment of the automotive press, it seems that BMW is rapidly losing the plot. While I agree that BMW’s latest wares are bigger, heavier and more leather-clad than ever before, I can’t say thing is a bad thing in my mind. I upset a few people when I reviewed the then-new 335is by saying “BMW is the new Mercedes”. I’m not sure why noses were “rankled”, but there seems to be a large segment of TTAC’s readership that believe BMW has abandoned “sport” for “luxury”. Maybe they are right; the M3 and M5 have been gaining weight an alarming pace and now we have the X5M and X6M, a pair of 5,400lb SUVs wearing full-on M badges. The burning question at TTAC is: should the guy responsible for designing it be committed? Or should the vehicle be put in a straight-jacket for being a totally insane machine?
BMW released the fifth generation of its high-performance M5 sedan. It is also the world premiere of a new high-revving 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo package.(“Twin Scroll Twin Turbo technology, cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control; 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm, maximum torque: 680 Newton metres (502 lb-ft) from 1,500 rpm; maximum speed: 7,200 rpm; wet sump lubrication optimised for high lateral loads, lag-free power delivery, typical M car thrust.”) Yumsville. Loads of pictures after the jump … (Read More…)
Hey Man, I’d like to have your opinion: What do you think of the E39 M5?
Let me rephrase: What would you think about a 98000 miles absolutely mint condition, owned by an older gentleman with 3 or 4 other cars (the E39 not being his daily driver), with VANOS changed, clutch changed, and everything that could break down been changed as a preventive measure, E39 M5? … For $15K?
Wondering if I would treat myself to a potential money pit here buying this beast (that I already test drove, I’m in Love) knowing that I will not be driving it more than…5000 miles a year for the next two years MAX!
The source of today’s Quote Of The Day, a BMW M Division engineer, is clearly not a native English speaker, but he reveals just where performance cars like the new M5 are going when he says:
More and more demand is from our test engineers from the referring(?) departments and they come over and 80%, 90% are only working on the electronic systems. The other 10, 20 percent are working at the car, under the car….
Of course, the M engineers aren’t developing a car from the ground up here, but it’s still amazing that the workload is so unevenly weighted towards electronic rather than, for lack of a better term, “greasy hands” work.
The BMW F10 M5 has been shot at the Nürburgring, shown as a “concept,” and has generally been exposed to expectant fans the world over. But even as it was caught prepping for US market duty in Southern California, the name of the game was “look but don’t talk.” We’ve discussed the anti-social tendencies of test mule drivers before, but for some reason it always seems to surprise the folks who come across a mule on the road. On the other hand, if you saw a brand-new M5 on the road with private plates, would you expect the driver to give you the time of day? I thought not.