Automakers are often conservative when it comes to performance numbers.
Horsepower and torque are significant numbers when discussing a performance car. It’s often the end-all-be-all in forum fights across the internet as to which car is better than the rest. So, when IND Distribution, an Illinois-based tuner, received its new BMW M5, the company took it straight to the dyno (after completing the required break-in procedures, of course). What the company discovered was a four-door performance sedan making more power than the automaker claims.
BMW says the new BMW M5 makes 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque from its 4.4-liter biturbocharged V8 engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels, allowing the hefty sedan to sprint to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 3.4 seconds.
However, when IND tested its M5 on the dyno, the results crushed BMW’s claimed output numbers. For IND, the M5 produced 625 horsepower at the wheel and 608 pound-feet of torque. IND’s best run was with the M5 in fifth gear, with all-wheel drive and Sport Plus mode engaged. A run in sixth gear with rear-wheel drive engaged and Sport Plus mode returned a max power output of 593 hp and 578 lb-ft of torque. During the sixth-gear run, the M5 hit the speed limiter at about 152 mph (244 kph). IND also noted that when put into Efficiency mode, the M5 only loses about 15 horsepower. Those are some impressive numbers from an otherwise stock performance sedan.
If BMW is fudging the M5’s power output numbers, then that can only mean the automaker’s Competition Package for the M5 should produce more than the claimed 625 horsepower in the rear world. That’d be great news for enthusiasts.
This isn’t something new. Automakers are known for making conservative claims when it comes to horsepower and torque numbers. The last thing they want to do is over estimate power output and under estimate a sprint to 60 mph. There’d be mountains of bad press, and that’s the last thing any automaker would want to deal with. And, oftentimes, the power differences aren’t that different. Sometimes, automakers like a buffer just to be safe.