Spy Photos: 2012 BMW M5 “Up close and personal “

The F10 BMW M5 continues its winter testing sessions and new spy photos have surfaced. For the first time, we have a chance to see …

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The F10 BMW M5 continues its winter testing sessions and new spy photos have surfaced. For the first time, we have a chance to see more details on an M5 test mule. The 2012 BMW M5 is rumored to be unveiled later this year with a world premiere scheduled at this moment for Geneva Motor Show 2011.

According to previous reports, including some clues dropped by BMW M boss, the new M5 is said to be one of the best M vehicles to date. Aside from the rumored 580 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque coming from a modified 4.4-liter V8 twin-scroll powerplant, the F10 M5 will also make use of several EfficientDynamics technology, such as a KERS system.

If the final horsepower numbers will stand, then the new M5 will have 60 horsepower more than the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and similar output as the Audi RS6.

The transmission of choice seems to be the M3’s M-DCT system, but a second transmission option might be offered as well.

Back in November, a report published by Autocar UK and citing Albert Biermann, head of development at M Division, said that the decision to replace the naturally aspirated engine with a turbo powerplant was influenced by BMW’s aggressive plans to cut fuel consumption as part of the EfficientDynamics program.

“We’ve been forced to switch to an engine offering greater low-end torque than the naturally aspirated engine to ensure it can cope with the longer axle ratio,” Biermann said. “It’s the only real way we can balance achieving the environmental improvements we want while retaining similar levels of performance to today’s car.”

The increased power and V8 turbocharged engine requires additional cooling capacity and current test mules, seen in previous spy photos, are focusing on cooling solutions.

The F10 M5 will continue to feature different levels of ride comfort, leaving the choice to the driver. Another new technology to make its way into the F10 M5 is a new fully electric power steering that offers similar levels of response and feedback to today’s hydraulic set-up.

For the first time, the 2012 BMW M5 will sport a carbon-fiber roof. To keep the weight down in this slightly larger model, BMW will make extensive use of carbon-fiber and aluminum parts. The car’s construction will be a hybrid of an aluminum spaceframe for the front section and a traditional steel monocoque for the passenger compartment and rear.

The newly unveiled wind tunnel in Munich will play an important role in the aerodynamics of the new M5.  The car will get Active Aerodynamics, which blanks off parts of the grille and cooling intakes during warm-up and under light throttle load.

Even though a hybrid model of the 5 Series was recently unveiled, the M5 will not be featuring any sort of hybrid system due to the extra weight would add to the car.

[Photos: SecretNewCars ]