BMW Concept M5
Precisely 20 years have already passed since the BMW M5 established a new segment, which has in the meantime also been discovered by other car manufacturers. And that car – the original – is still by far the most successful player in the high performance sedan segment. Spread over three generations of production, more than 35,000 units were built – initially manually at the BMW M plant in Munich and later at the 5 Series assembly line in Dingolfing. These units were then sold worldwide.
The secret of the BMW M5’s popularity has always been the successful synthesis of unobtrusive yet powerful appearance, combined with a high-performance power unit – a sports car featuring Formula 1 technology and at the same time a sedan offering premium comfort.
In terms of driving dynamics, the BMW M5 had always set standards in its segment. It not only excelled due to its high performance, but due to the way in which M power was produced and developed. It appeared as if this first-rate car’s inexhaustible power reserves had created a totally new dimension in effortlessness.
Due to the change of model within the 5 Series, the BMW M product portfolio is currently presented without a BMW M5, even though the demand for such a car has never diminished. For this reason, BMW M designers have begun designing a possible successor based on the new BMW 5 Series. This car is a far-reaching concept on an appealing subject: the BMW Concept M5. Such a car could undoubtedly serve as a stimulus and offer solutions for a future series-production vehicle.
Totally in keeping with the high demands of our clientele, whose main reasons for purchasing a car are performance, style and driving fun, the BMW M5 Concept makes its living out of contrasts: the principle of optimal performance wrapped in a discreet but, by comparison with the 5 Series, distinctive body design.
When seen alongside the new 5 Series, the exterior design of the BMW Concept M5 has its very own uniqueness. Modified front and rear air dams and side sills, a slightly lower body, side air vents, an exclusive wheel design as well as the four M-type tailpipes, visually accentuate the vehicle’s claim to being a sports car.
The heart of every M automobile, and that includes the BMW Concept M5, must be its exclusive high-performance power unit with high-revving air intake technology, an engine which sets a benchmark in this field. With this engine, BMW M is presenting a masterpiece in power unit technology that undoubtedly has just what it takes: the figure 5 is predominant with a 5.0-litre capacity producing around 500 bhp (368 kW) and a maximum torque of at least 500 Nm, these being the kind of figures BMW M considers worthy of a possible new M5.
And the figure ten will also gain in significance, as, for the first time in BMW history, a series-production sedan is to be powered by a ten-cylinder internal combustion engine, the sound and power of which is closely related to the engine currently providing monstrous power to the BMW Williams Formula 1 racing car, without a doubt the most powerful car on the starting grid.
The engine powering the BMW Concept M5 should be in a position to mobilize the enormous power reserves required to assist this unique sports sedan in achieving a remarkable driving performance. Engineers at BMW M envisage the car accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) over the classic distance in well under 5 seconds, the 200 km/h (125 mph) mark being reached in just 13 seconds.
It is not power alone that makes an M power unit so unique. The technology of this newly-developed ten-cylinder engine should not be perceivable by single-dimensional power or sheer performance alone, but first and foremost by the method of achieving such performance. M power featured in the new BMW Concept M5 will once again rise to the occasion and become a perfect example of what is technically feasible and appropriate.
This is evident not only in the extremely appealing design of a BMW high-performance engine. Needless to say, this specially developed BMW M engine incorporates typical features such as high-pressure VANOS, individual throttle butterflies, engine electronics designed by our own engineers and based on knowledge gained from Formula 1 racing as well as traverse force-regulated oil supply.
Moreover, the BMW Concept M5 stands out from others by having the most innovative drive concept in its class. Thanks to a superior gearbox solution, the driver can benefit from a completely new 7-speed SMG, a rapid manual gear-shift and, if required, comfortable cruising. This piece of technical mastery also has its origins in Formula 1 synergism.
The designers of the BMW Concept M5 were, of course, eager to succeed against competition in building the lightest car, as BMW wishes to continue pursuing the concept of intelligent lightweight construction in order to achieve a high level of longitudinal and lateral dynamics. As seen on the new 5 and 6 Series, BMW has already presented an innovative example of a lightweight front end construction. BMW M engineers aspired to achieve the best power-to-weight ratio in this market segment, thereby fully utilizing their abundant experience in suspension design.
Based on the excellent all-aluminium suspension of the new BMW 5 Series, with the addition of some elements from the new BMW 7 Series, they have designed the BMW Concept M5 for maximum comfort when driving for longer periods on highways or in stop-and-go city traffic, as well as for putting on a good show when racing round the north loop of the Nürburgring. In addition to a specially tuned Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a variable M-type limited-slip differential, which we are already familiar with from the BMW M3, ensures optimum driving behavior in all situations.
The 9½ inch light-alloy rear wheels, manufactured especially for the BMW Concept M5, boast specially designed, extra wide 285/35 ZR 19 tires. At the front there are 255/40 ZR 19 tires on 8½ inch wheels, controlled by a newly designed Servotronic steering which is fitted as standard. A reinforced braking system developed especially for the BMW Concept M5 enables the driver to fully control the engine’s exceptional performance.
Needless to say, the BMW Concept M5 also offers scores of ideas for equipping the car with particularly exclusive and sporty options. Without going into detail right now, it can be said that the special solutions required to satisfy the demanding customer’s preferences in this particular market segment have been realized.
When exactly the concept of a series-produced M5 will be realized cannot be confirmed at the present time. However, it can be assumed that a successor to the extremely popular BMW M5, based on the BMW Concept M5 now being exhibited, could possibly go on sale during the course of the year 2004.
Source: BMW press