Earlier today, BMW M turned a new page in their long and prosperous history. The new F10 BMW M5 was unveiled, first in a concept form. The car is heading to Shanghai Motor Show later this month and by the end of this year, will replace the current generation E60 M5.

The E60 M5 was introduced in 2005, same as the new one, in a concept form first. It was the world’s first production sedan to feature a V10 petrol engine. The 4,999 cc V10 S85 engine was redlining at 8250 rpm, and developing a peak output of 500 horsepower and 520 Nm (380 lb-ft) of torque. The BMW M5, along with the E63/64 BMW M6, were designed to use the new Getrag SMG III single-clutch seven speed semi-automatic transmission. BMW announced in October 2006 that a 6-speed conventional manual transmission would be available in North America, this became the base transmission in these markets while SMG III is an option.

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E60 M5 was built on the controversial 5 Series designed by late BMW designer Davide Arcangeli, under the direction of ex-BMW Chief Designer, Chris Bangle. The bodystyle was controversial due to its unusual proportions. The eyebrow of the front headlights was also frowned upon by car magazines for taking away the aggressive look of its predecessors.

From 2002 until 2010, unofficial reports state that around 19,500 M5 sedans were built at the Dingolfing plant in Germany.

The new F10 M5 launches at the end of this year as a 2012 model year and will follow the same 7-year lifespan. The car is powered by a new TwinPower V8 turbocharged engine that is rumored to produce between 560-565 horsepower. Official figures will be released shortly. Only transmission confirmed at this time is the seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. A manual offering is rumored to be offered only for the North American market.

Design wise, the new M5 builds atop the safer, more appealing design lines of the F10 5 Series. Using softer lines, yet elegant, the new 5 Series has proven to be a success for BMW so far. The F10 M5 delivers what one expects from an M car: aggressiveness, sportiness and elegance. The front spoiler takes the M5 a step further than the 5 Series models with the popular M-package, three large air intakes, blacked out grille and discreet rear spoiler located on the boot lid serves to optimize the car’s aerodynamics.

The M5 Concept will go through minor changes when it goes into production later this summer, the side mirrors will be replaced, just as with the previous M5 Concept, and BMW will also offer different wheels.

As always, BMWBLOG gives you a photo comparison between the “old” and new BMW M5.