BMW M5 2011-2016 review

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The latest BMW M5 gets twin-turbocharged V8 engine

Valance diffuser panel smoothes underbody airflow

Vast air intakes feed ten individual oil and water coolers

Front gills are functional and vent hot air from engine bay

These 19in alloys are standard; lighter 20in options are available

Cabin features M5-exclusive textured aluminium trim

Boot space is 520 litres – fine by class standards

Instruments feature red needles with white illumination

Driving position is excellent and seats offer plenty of adjustment

Steering wheel has two M Drive preset buttons

Rear will accommodate three in more-than-adequate space

M5 features less chassis gadgetry than regular 5-series

Twin-turbocharged V8 serves up 502lb ft of torque

New car has 10 per cent more power than previous V10

Dual-clutch M DCT transmission is a delight to use

Active differential transmits power to the road effectively

Steering has a fundemental shortage of communicative subtlety

The BMW M5 offers class-leading performance

Close by Matt Burt 27 August 2013 Follow @@Matt_Burt_ Share

How we test cars

Since its debut at the 1984 Amsterdam motor show, the BMW M5 has become the yardstick against which all other supersaloons are judged. The F10 generation, then, has much to live up to.

The idea of regression may be disagreeable, but it applies to the F10-generation BMW M5 whether its maker likes it or not. Never before has its Motorsport division replaced a go-faster saloon with one packing fewer cylinders than its direct antecedent.

BMW has ‘downsized’ the engine of its go-faster saloonMatt BurtExecutive Editor, Autocar

And never before has it shunned a bigger, clean-revving, normally aspirated lump for ‘downsized’ turbocharging in one of its ‘blue chip’ performance saloons. Until now.

Because like it or lump it, as much as cars like the M5 represent an inconsequential drain on global resources compared to a big-selling family hatch, BMW has an environmental consciousness. And the days of tyre-shredding V10s are gone. A smaller cylinder count and turbocharging is the future, and we better get used to it.

Even so, one could imaging that BMW had to make the smaller-engined F10 M5 work that little bit harder to appeal to Top Trump-wielding car enthusiasts. And by heck, they’ve done a good job.

It’s not enough to turn the wick up on a turbocharger to deliver the big power and torque figures expected of an M5. It must be as easy to drive as a 520d at low speeds, and as sublimely controlled as a mid-engined sports car. Such a high benchmark is also burdening the 2017 M5, which will be available in both four-wheel and rear-wheel drive configurations.

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And so to the $64,000 – or rather, seventy-odd thousand pound – question: is this BMW M5 good enough? Is it a worthy inheritor of such an impeccable lineage?

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The most thorough independent assessment in the business is about to supply some answers.


The latest BMW M5 gets twin-turbocharged V8 engine

Model tested: Rating: 9

BMW M5 2011-2016

GoodThrilling performanceCabin feels exquisitely builtWill drift all dayBadFeels its weightLess engaging than some of its rivalsFade-prone brakes

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