Video: BMW has unveiled its new 2012 M5, with a new engine that pumps out 552hp
Gone is the V10 engine of old - the new BMW M5 features a twin turbo 4.4-litre V8 with a 10% improvement on peak power and 30% increase in torque.
Along with a cross-bank exhaust manifold, the engine produces 412kW (552hp) and 680Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque. It is paired to a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission that enables the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds, 0-200km/h in 13 seconds and hit a top speed of 250km/h - or 305km/h with M Driver's Package.
Despite the impressive performance figures, the car is relatively frugal as it has an average fuel consumption of 9.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 232g/km.
On the handling front, the M5 has electronically controlled dampers (with Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes), an M-specific Servotronic steering system, high-performance compound brakes and an Active M Differential. The rear differential "is connected with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system, via FlexRay high-speed data transfer technology, and constantly cross-checks the data collected by its sensors with the feedback from DSC. It then uses this information to calculate the locking force required to deliver optimum traction and stability".
Lookswise, the M5 is distinguished by an aggressive front fascia, aerodynamic side skirts and a modest rear diffuser. Other highlights include a grille with black slates, front fender vents, adaptive xenon headlights (with LED rings), a four-tailpipe exhaust system and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Interior changes include Merino leather sport seats, a revised instrument cluster and an M steering wheel with two buttons that offer pre-selected engine, transmission and suspension setups. Elsewhere, there's aluminium trace trim, an Anthracite headliner and a 10.2-inch iDrive display.
In the tech department, the M5 offers a head-up display, night vision technology (with pedestrian recognition), a lane change/departure warning system, a surround view camera and internet connectivity.
The new BMW M5 is expected to go on sale early next year.