Is 600 hp enough for a BMW?

BMW M5 | July 6th, 2015 by 5
2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe engine 2 750x500

Recently, BMW M Boss, Frank Van Meel, told Autocar that 600 horsepower would be the limit for the next-gen M5. This has some BMW fans …

Recently, BMW M Boss, Frank Van Meel, told Autocar that 600 horsepower would be the limit for the next-gen M5. This has some BMW fans in a bit of a panic, wondering why Van Meel would intentionally limit the horsepower to BMW’s most famous super-sedan. It’s especially surprising, because talks of adding all-wheel drive to the M5 would mean that it could handle even more power than ever. And BMW even proved that the current M5 could handle that kind of power, with the Jahre Edition. So why limit the next M5 to a level of horsepower that the current model can already handle?

He didn’t give the most informative of answers, simply stating “We’re at the limit.

2014 BMW M5 Competition Package and M6 Competition Package 071 750x510

If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits.” But I think the idea is that simply adding more power, Clarkson style, isn’t the answer to creating a faster, more dynamic and more efficient M5. In fact, it’s actually quite refreshing to hear that Van Meel isn’t interested in just pumping out more horsepower and torque and seems more interested in a more comprehensive approach.

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Firstly, by keeping the next-gen M5 at around 600hp and giving it all-wheel drive the M5 will be able to put its power down excellently already, therefor making it faster. Secondly, the next-gen M5 will be considerably lighter, sharing the same lightweight chassis technology borrowed from the G11 7 Series. So with the lighter weight and better traction, the new M5 will be considerably faster and handle better. The latter being most important. So it seems that instead of Clarkson style, Van Meel wants is more akin to use Colin Chapman’s “simplify and add lightness” style.

The M5 was always the driver’s car in its segment, which consists of the Audi RS6 and Mercedes E63 AMG. Those cars always seemed to be more leather-lined missiles than the canyon carving scalpels that M5’s have always been. So as those other brands add firepower, BMW should be more focused on making the M5 sharper, more agile and ultimately more fun. So, in a way, I’m glad that Van Meel is taking a limited approach to horsepower. Power just for the sake of power doesn’t actually make a better car, or necessarily even a faster one.

We don’t know for sure what Van Meel is actually up to, in creating the upcoming M5. But we do know that just pumping up the horsepower is not his solution. Hopefully, 600hp combined with lighter weight and sharper handling will be sufficient to take on the next RS6 and E63 AMG. If not, there’s always the performance pack.

5 responses to “Is 600 hp enough for a BMW?”

  1. jason bourne says:

    600+bhp was enough for a McLaren F1.

    And it would be more than enough for a BMW if it went on a diet… BMWs have gotten progressively fat and bloated over the years.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      Yeah you’re right, if they lose weight, they’ll still be very competitive, as we saw with the F8x (well the case is not really the same, because they got an impressive torque bump with the Turbo engine).

  2. Johnny says:

    Sorry but i dont think 600hp is the top. A 488GTB has 660hp and is way way lighter than an M5. imagine an M5 with the 488 engine and a 300lbs diet…

  3. Nika Khomasuridze says:

    this engines 4.4 bi turbo is very low effective engine.. what is it? e38 740 -4.4 , 545 e60 4.4 , x5 4.4 , 540 e39 4.4 (1996 – 2016 ) :D f10 bmw m5 4.4 , 4.4 and again 4.4 fucking idiots engineer.. why why not v10 5.0 biturboo in bmw m5 f10 ………………….. fuck you bmw i love this model 5 series but what? this motor engine is nothing..

  4. Nika Khomasuridze says:

    new model 2018—– not enough 600 hp.. need v10 biturbo 660 hp .. 100 hp more.. pllllllllllllllllllllllll

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