While it is still held in high regard, the current generation BMW M5 is nearing the end of the 5-Series’ life cycle, meaning that the M division is already working hard with the next iteration of the performance saloon. Talking to Autocar, the development director of the M division, Albert Biermann, revealed quite a lot of interesting details.
First off, as you might have guessed, the biggest change is dropping from a naturally aspirated V10 to a turbocharged V8 engine, already employed on the M-badged models of the X5 and X6 SUVs. The reasoning behind this “blasphemy” is the new strategy to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Efficient Dynamics one.
“We’ve been forced to switch to an engine offering greater low-end torque than the naturally aspirated engine to ensure it can cope with the longer axle ratio,” Biermann said. “It’s the only real way we can balance achieving the environmental improvements we want while retaining similar levels of performance to today’s car.”
Don’t go thinking that this will mean a drop in performance for the new M5, codenamed F10M, as the engine develops on the SUVs around 555 HP, and according to Biermann, the torque will increase from the current generation’s 383 lb-ft (at 6,100 rpm) to almost 500 lb-ft at just 1,500 rpm.
Besides the new engine, the new M5 will also get a new cooling system, in order to dissipate the heat from the new power unit, but also the M3’s 7-speed DCT dual clutch automatic transmission and many weight saving solutions, including a carbon fiber roof and bootlid.
A plethora of many other changes are also prepared, according to Biermann, but we’ll have to wait until the end of 2010/beginning of 2011 to see a production-ready model of the next generation M5. Are you excited about it? Leave a comment below.