2012 BMW F10 M5 – Pros and Cons

BMW M5 | June 17th, 2011 by 42
2012 bmw m5 pictures 821 750x500

First off: No, I have not driven the new M5, but I would gladly pay a king’s ransom to get behind the wheel of one. …

First off: No, I have not driven the new M5, but I would gladly pay a king’s ransom to get behind the wheel of one. If BMW is reading this, I’ll gladly wash every car in the press fleet by hand for a weekend in an F10 M5, and I promise to bring it back in one piece.

“Oh, sorry, weren’t those rear tires like that when I received it??” – practicing my apology.

Without sounding like a BMW fanboy, allow me to give you a quick review of the 2012 BMW M5, outlining some of the pros and cons.


I have driven enough X5M and X6M models to know that the S63 engine is a beast. Developing 552 bhp from 5,750-7,000rpm, the TwinPower V8 unit is one of the most potent production engine ever to emerge from BMW’s high-performance M division. It has all the thrust of a locomotive and enough horsepower to scare even the bravest track junkies, and when the aftermarket tuning wizards get a hold of one, it will be a matter of time before we see 700+ horsepower figures. Furthermore, with fuel consumption rated lower than the outgoing E60 equipped S85, the F10 M5 promises to be a car one can live with day-in and day-out.

2012 bmw m5 pictures 211 655x434No complaints so far.

The F10 M5 will come equipped with the M-DCT and a manual transmission for US customers and enthusiasts. Having spent lots of time behind the wheel of E92 M3 models, both on and off track, I can tell you that this transmission is near perfection and faultless. Without having much of a business case to support it, the manual box will be offered for US customers that continue to scream “Save the manuals.”  I say to them, go for it, but in the end, I may be the one with a big grin on my face as I lap around the track.

The S63 power is so brutal and the torque so sobering that a manual transmission will have a hard time doing justice to that chassis. This is one of those cases where BMW should have just said ” No” to a manual option and move on. Ferrari did exactly the same and it’s been working out for them ever since.


Here’s where I’m going to get flamed in the comment section. I love the look of the new F10 M5! This latest M5 gets me riled up in much the same way the E39 M5 did when I first saw it at the New York Auto Show in 2000. I love the aggressive front end, the 20 inch wheels, the gauge cluster and color schemes. I’m not crazy about the rear bumper and the areas surrounding the mufflers, but I can live with it. What I absolutely adore are the new 6-piston color-coded brakes. Finally BMW puts proper brakes on an M car.

2012 bmw m5 pictures 521 655x436

The interior is a step up from previous generation and more luxurious, yet sporty than ever. The M Sport comfort seats have always been supportive and comfortable, and with a touch of a button you can adjust them to a level of desired comfort only found in a 7 Series.

That new gauge cluster is a beauty with a color scheme pleasing to the eyes. The tachometer and speedometer are easy to read with polarized sunglasses and once the LCD cluster is deployed, I can see a whole new arena in data metrics. Wouldn’t it be cool if once you press the “M” mode button, all the gauges would fad to a smaller ancillary positions while a large tachometer with color coded rev matched graphics appeared so when you’re on track, only the tach and other important data was at hand? Hint, Hint BMW!

Now, let’s have a look at some cons and things to look forward in the future. There are rumors of Carbon Ceramic brakes being deployed into production. I personally don’t believe these will make it to the US since we rarely drive at speeds that are able to sustain the heat necessary to keep ceramic brakes operating at peak performance.

If some of the rumors come true, then the next generation 2012 BMW M6 will get more horsepower than the M5. On the same note, I would like to see an optional “tuning” program available through BMW’s center network to upgrade those customers to the higher horsepower figures.

While we’re on this subject, here is to hope that BMW will offer a true competition package for the M5 much like the Nurburgring package once available on the E34 M5: stiffer springs, retuned shock calibrations in the EDC settings, and thicker sway bars for those of us that think tracking a two ton sedan is fun.

In conclusion, the pros seem to offset the cons, and I feel comfortable saying that this new M5 will set a new benchmark for BMW, and why not, for the super sporty sedan segment.

42 responses to “2012 BMW F10 M5 – Pros and Cons”

  1. Scotty says:

    Great article, enjoyed reading it thank you :D

  2. Milliemiglia says:

    Great article.

    BTW i love the way the new F10M looks. The E60 was great but in some ways it was too much flash. M cars, particularly the M5, are supposed to be subtle beasts giving only hints at their real potential. Can’t wait to drive the F10!

  3. Milliemiglia says:

    Great article.

    BTW i love the way the new F10M looks. The E60 was great but in some ways it was too much flash. M cars, particularly the M5, are supposed to be subtle beasts giving only hints at their real potential. Can’t wait to drive the F10!

  4. goran says:

    What a car!!! The granddaddy is back!
    But lets split hair a little bit :) 
    The engine, it’s a monster no question about it. But, why it does not have, let’s say 20+ hp more that the one in  X5M / X6M just because this car is that much more special. (IMO)
    As for the design, spot on… wolf in sheep’s clothing. But again, as the article says, the rear bumper design around the exhausts and diffuser, kind a looks unfinished to me…kind a rough! And also the wheels, they are OK, not bad but i miss the design of the E39 wheels or Z3 M / Z3 M coupe.
    Cant wait for the first reviews to come in :)      

  5. K Hysenaj says:

    everything is OK only acceleration would be faster than 4.4s

  6. La Ma says:

    my only con is the rear muffler tailpipe diameter.  looks more like a pea-shooter… it needs a slightly bigger to look the part. the whole rear muffler/bumper area is a little too conservative but not too bad.

    lottery stand here I come… I need 100grand asap !

  7. Bmwtechsam says:

    And we care about a car salesman’s opinion why? Keep blowing that hot air to customers.

  8. Heung Wing says:

    Actually, I flame you on the Cons.  Your cons are not exactly cons.  You are simply judging if ceramic brakes would be in US or is it necessary.  It is not a con of the M5 design.  Same as if few years down the road if BMW would offer competitive package.  So where are the cons of this M5 design??

    • Manny Antunes says:

      Bringing Carbon Ceramic brakes to the US would only serve to enrage the clients who buy them. I can see it now, they would be in here every other day complaining their brakes squeal!

      To me, other than the area around the mufflers, I see no flaws with the F10 M5 design. I think it’s perfect!

  9. MPower says:

    The old E60 M5 looks beautiful. I see enough styling cues from the E60 M5 to like this one too.
    Its good. Needs more power though. Doesnt look like it will be top dog compared to Panamera and AMG 63s with power packs but it will handle better.

  10. LexusLVR says:

    -Good handling

    -It’s a BMW (unreliable, poor build quality, overpriced, cheap interior, expensive maintenance costs, snobby owners etc.)

    • LexusLVRSucksCock says:

      -Not a Lexus or Toyota

      -LexusLVR is nose is still up Toyota’s butt crack.

      • LexusLVR says:

        Any Toyota (or Lexus for that matter) eclipses any BMW ever made in terms of build quality.

        Around the world you can still see tons of older Toyotas transporting their occupants in safety and comfort. The only place where one can see older BMWs is in BMWs museum in Munich.

        • LexusLVRSucksCock says:

          I totally agree, anything Toyota (or Lexus for that matter) builds eclipses anything that God created in terms of build quality.

          Around the universe we can still see tons of Toyotas bring joy and peace to all the planets. The only place where one can see LexusLVR smoking his crack is in his supercar Toyota Fit in his mother’s garage.

          LexusLVR is a prophet sent from Toyota!!!!

    • Milliemiglia says:

      I know freedom of speech is a right but some people should just shut up.

      BTW Toyotas are like white goods. Great for getting from point A to point B and about as fun to drive as a washing machine. Sounds like one too.

      This is a BMW blog, for real car enthusiasts. Lexus is an oxygen tank.


      lexus , RELIABLE !!!!  WHERE you been the past 2 years with all the recalls on Lexus Toyota , maybe in a cave ?  you are just jealous Lexus will never be BMW!!!!!!


      lexus , RELIABLE !!!!  WHERE you been the past 2 years with all the recalls on Lexus Toyota , maybe in a cave ?  you are just jealous Lexus will never be BMW!!!!!!

    • wazon8 says:

      If Toyota provides reliable and high quality products, please explain me why they recall their cars almost every single month: http://www.lemonauto.com/complaints/1_toyota_recalls.htm 

  11. Althanika says:

    Manny. Why do you think they used the old AMG air intake on the front bumper?
    Personally it is the only down side of the car so far. Couldnt they choose another design?

    • Manny Antunes says:

      BMW has been using the “Open Mouth” intake in the lower bumper since the E39. It’s now a design feature of all M cars including now most “M Sport” models.

  12. Philly_Jeff says:

    Cons: 100k and maybe 11/17mpg

  13. Manchester Man says:

    You need to put the pros and cons in a summary at the end. Makte it clear with some points e.g.



  14. Alex says:


    How does a manual transmission not go with the chassis? I’m no engineer but I really don’t see why it would matter that much.

    • Manny Antunes says:

      Great question. The E63 engine is too powerful to make use of through a manual. The torque curve and power delivery is indicative of needing more gears than just 6.

      • alex says:

        This is true. I’m fully aware of the benefits of a dual clutch transmission as well. However, over the years we have gone from “four on the floor,” to five speeds, and now six speeds, so what is limiting a seven or even eight speed manual? I can see material qualities (torque capacity), costs, size (of the trans case) and overall R&D.

        Then again, speed is speed. I would gladly drive a DCT equipped M5 simply because you can’t argue with the advantages other than it may be “boring.” Plus, you’ll blow all of the stick shift drivers away. I just wish to play devils advocate on this one.

        • Manny Antunes says:

          Great rebutle Alex. I love stimulated minds. Thanks for replying with eloquent and meaningful purpose.

          Yes, you can have 7 and 8 speed manuals i guess but then how many gears could you possibly row through during a HPDE school? 8 gears is a lot of leg work and right arm movement(or left arm for our friends in the UK)

          At the end of the day, BMW knows that the DCT are much more efficient than the manuals. Moreover, since they’re only offered here in the states, I’d bet that if the US doesn’t muster up enough demand on this run of the M5, we won’t see another such offering the next time around.

          As for being “boring”, having a DCT at track events makes it far more exciting when all you have to concentrate on are Brake, Apex, Accelerate.

          Thanks for being part of the BMWBlog community Alex, you’re all very much a part of our family, and we thank you all.

          • Why thank you. I enjoy being able to put in my input with other people.

            Not sure how much further I can go with this (that and it’s almost 3:30AM here) but I’d just like to say I can agree on the excitement of a DCT. I haven’t driven a BMW model with one yet (trying to get in to STEP) but I drove a VW GTI with one, and I thought it was incredible. So smooth, in every situation. What I thought was really cool though was when I drove it up to my bay door, and you could actually feel the “clutch” engage slightly and the PCM up the engine RPM to climb over the little incline at the edge of the bay. If these are what are going to replace standard transmissions, I’ll gladly embrace it.

  15. kolbasz says:

    What the hell is going on at BMW’s design section? An ‘M’ model should be something special i think… and than they came out with this. I’m not saying it’s ugly or bad looking, but look at those bumpers… a 5 yo kid could draw those things…
    And of course there’s the F20… Now that’s one ugly motherfucker.

    Yeah, sure I’m a stupid fanboy, but those german engineers could not make more than 560 hp?? Sure they could, but at the headquarters they said 560’s enough.
    Not good enough! (We’ll see what will RS6 be…)
    1M is good too in its category, but not the best! And that was why I started love BMW, because BMW was on the top.. but now….
    Ehh…. money kills fun.

  16. Gary says:

    Love the looks especially compared to the E60.  This new car reminds me of a beefed up E38 sport when it comes to the style.  It feels lower and wider than the outgoing E60.  But I have to say, as a purist it hurts to see a turbo motor in there even if it makes 550 or 700hp it will never sound like a NA high revving powerplant and it won’t have the peaky power and rush to redline like the 4 valve normally aspirated cars.  Mid range will be incredible but mid range is boring. 
    As for Manny, the guy knows his stuff.  He’s not only a salesman but a real enthusiast. 

  17. sodomite says:

    Heard F10 is in fact inferior to its predecessor..especially handling!! Handling is pretty much all characterises BMW and they stuffed up in that department?That is a serious no no..what a shame. The only improvement is design as E60’s exterior design was by far the worst of all in BMW history along with F20.

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