The V-10 M5 is dead – long live the turbo V8. Or something to that effect. The glorious S85 5 liter V10, that rev’d to 8250 RPM is no more. The E60 M5 was the first production sedan to utilize a V10. And as good as the E39 M5 was, the E60 was an order of magnitude better. In fact it was really too powerful and capable for most drivers. However, BMW has moved on with the new F10 M5 and in the process they’ve replaced the high revving V10 with a turbo V8.

So is the new engine better than the V10. Well, it’s certainly more powerful and has gobs more torque available right off idle. If numbers mean anything then it’s better because it’s quicker to 100 kmh than the E60 M5 (by about 10%). But that won’t stop the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the loss of another naturally aspirated engine from BMW’s lineup.

Just how much more torque does the new engine have than the V10, well how about 160 Nm more (that difference is more torque than the 1.6L engine in the Hyundai Accent produces for goodness sake). Plus, as we’ve said time and time again, ‘HP sells cars, torque wins races’. And what BMW has done with their turbo motors is to arrange the torque to be delivered in a broad mesa from almost idle to 5,750 RPM. And the newest turbo V8 doesn’t disappoint, delivering all of its torque from 1500 to 5750 RPM. And when you calculate peak HP, it comes in at 560. Yes, that’s only about 10% more than the S85 produced, but the new V8 doesn’t rev as high (if it did, the HP figure would be off-the-charts).

Regardless, here are some of the highlights of the new F10 M5:

  • DCT gearbox, not an SMG, and potentially a manual for the US market (and for this one I’d opt for a DCT – yes, this manual tranny bigot believes that this engine is better served with a DCT). Oh and don’t forget to engage launch control!
  • The press release mentions M car thrust – boy howdy do they have that right, the car weighs just under two metric tons and the HP to weight figure comes out around 7.64 lbs per HP, and I always believe cars come alive at 10 lbs per HP, and then they get very dangerous for the inept soon after that.
  • This is the fifth generation M5 and you’d think the planets would align knowing it’s the fifth 5er. (The right mojo?)
  • As quick as the new 5er is, it gets a combined 9.9L/100 km mileage in the EU test cycle. (Suspect it will be in the low 20s MPG combined in the US test cycle.)
  • It’s gets all the mod cons (a UK’ism for modern conveniences) for the chassis, M-specific suspension (front and rear axle kinematics), M Servotronic steering, Dynamic Damper Control, DSC stability control system including M Dynamic Mode, and of course that wonderful active M rear diff.
  • The interior has been tweaked to provide the aggressive sportiness needed for an M car combined with the luxury buyers of the sedan will expect.
  • There is a wide range of driver assistance systems and mobility services available, from BMW ConnectedDrive, M-specific Head-Up Display (standard), Adaptive Headlights for standard xenon light, High-Beam Assistant, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, Surround View, Speed Limit Info, internet usage, extended integration of smartphones and music players, real-time traffic information and apps for receiving Web Radio and using Facebook and Twitter. And it’s the last feature that our M5manny will be lusting after. <VBG>
  • There is a button in the center console that’s a three way switch between, ‘Efficient, Sport, and Sport Plus’, what’s the likelihood that for most US M5 drivers that will never be more than a two way switch?
  • More on the DCT tranny, it has three ‘D’ modes, from normal to ultra-sport and three manual modes, the ‘S’ modes, from comfort to the “you can’t shift this fast” (and you need to select S3 with stability control off to access ‘Launch Control Mode’).
  • Good golly, it just hit me, the bare chassis (suspension on a jig) I saw undergoing testing at the FIZ in April was probably the M5 chassis. It was the peculiar non-strut front setup 7er/5er chassis but it had hydraulically assisted power steering, not electrically assisted. That puzzled me at the time. So, yes, EPS is not ready for prime time according to M engineers, because the F10 M5 uses a hydraulically assisted rack!
  • Brakes are fixed six piston calipers – and they’re surrounded by 19 inch rims (a standard 265/40 up front and 295/40 rear).
  • And best of all – it doesn’t look like Dame Edna on steroids!

There’s a lot of additional material in the press release, but my first reaction is this is going to be one incredible driving machine. When do we get our hands on one?