The ultimate in sports estate motoring has a new name: BMW M5 Touring. This finest 5-Series Touring will be the most powerful production estate of all time: 305 cui, ten cylinders, a maximum output of 507 bhp, a peak torque of 383 lbs/ft and engine speeds redlining at 9,000 rpm, these are figures that speak for themselves and blur the lines between a car for the whole family and a vehicle for ambitious motor sport racing.
After the major success of the M5 sedan BMW looks to expand M division sales further with the return of the M5 Touring. BMW fans may criticize that the M brand will lose its exclusivity because of this expanded product plan and that the Motorsport technology doesn’t apply to body styles like estates. However, BMW management is confident that M Division can be successful if they stay true to their current philosophy.
The M5 Touring is ment to counter the market loses of customers wanting a high performance wagon that wander over to the competition. BMW, who have the ultimate performance sedan in the M5 can no longer stand by and watch the loss of customers, especially when a solution is relatively "easy" to achieve by blending the 5-Series Touring with M5 technology.
An M5 Touring seems to be a very logical step to regain some sort of power control of the high performance luxury sedan and wagon market when Audi made a success of their high-performance Avants (the RS4 and the RS6) and Mercedes-Benz is about to release their new E65AMG E-Klasse.
The M5 Touring will be significantly heavier because of its purpose but BMW i s working to make this a benefit to the overall handling. That can be achieved by distributing more weight towards the rear of the car (the M5 is rear wheel drive) which will allow the driving dynamics to be set for sharper handling than its competitors. The Touring practicality can be attained without a major sacrifice of the sedan’s abilities.
Engine & transmission
The M5 Touring will benefit from the technical features of the best sedan in the world. It will equip the only V10 high-revving power unit to be featured in a series-production car and once again set the benchmark in its class.
Other than that for M automobiles more important than pure performance are acceleration and driving dynamics, the latter being dependent on the actual forward thrust and the vehicle’s weight. The drive forces at the rear wheels are significantly influenced by the engine torque. The high-revving concept engine mated with an optimum transmission and rear-axle ratio guarantees an impressive forward thrust.
The M5 V10 splits the five-cylinder banks at an angle of 90° to achieve a mass balance of the crankshaft drive, which is optimized for low vibration and increased comfort. Due to stiffness reasons of high loads resulting from combustion pressure a bedplate design was used for the crankcase, the first-ever application in a production V engine by BMW. Optimum alignment of the crankshaft, enhance acoustics, increase vibrational comfort and high oil supply rate were achieved by using grey-cast iron inserts into the aluminum bedplate. The very stiff engine crankshaft is supported by six bearings.
The high-revving concept of the Motorsport division only succeeds in combination with a gearbox which translates all of the available torque to the engine, by means of a short overall transmission ratio, into optimized forward thrust.
For this purposes will serve the first production seven-speed SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) also known from the M5 sedan. This is precisely the right transmission to ideally convey the V10 engine’s power via the drive train to the wheels. Equiped with drivelogic function and further perfected than the previous six-speed transmission, the seven-speed SMG gearbox enables manual gear selection with close to F1 shifting times as well as comfortable cruising thanks to automated gear selection. The additional’s seventh gear purpose is to reduce engine speed and torque gaps.
The suspension and its electronic assistants will be exclusively tuned for the heavier M5 Touring and adapted to the special M performance. The drive-train will be an optimized design created from scratch as Motorsport engineers brag. Suspension assisting systems, will be optimized for this vehicle. On one hand, the suspension will contribute greatly to the M5 Touring being the technological culmination of the successful BMW 5 Series Touring. On the other hand, it will clearly demonstrates that the M5 Touring will be a unique model with a distinctive appearance.
To complement the immense power output, the M5 Touring will be equipped with the same generously sized high-performance braking system with perforated, weight-optimized compound brake discs, as the sedan is. The aluminum twin-piston sliding calipers optimized for minimum weight and maximum stiffness will help the M5 to achieve stopping distances similar to those of red-blooded sports cars: deceleration from 62 mph to 0 will be accomplished in under 36 meters, the braking distance from 124 mph to a standstill being less than 140 meters.
Being equipped with large-diameter brake discs the car will need to wear accordingly dimensioned wheels. The 8½ and 9½ inch wide and 18 inch high cast-aluminum rims already known from the sedan will visually emphasize the Touring’s dynamic appearance.
The wheels will also fit the sedan 255/40 ZR 19 tires at the front and 285/35 ZR 19 tires at the rear. Devel oped exclusively for the M5, this tires have undergone very stringent testing. The rubber compound and the dimensions of these tires were designed for precise transfer of lateral and longitudinal forces in both dry and wet road conditions without sacrificing all the comfort.
As the sedan is, the M5 estate will come with a leather interior, which will make it look even more sophisticated than the lavishly equipped basic model or – for an extra price – with a full leather interior. As in other M models there will be available instrument the optional M-specific head-up display, the steering wheel with M-Drive buttons and redesigned centre console.
All vehicles built by BMW M are very convenient for everyday driving. But this will apply to the highest level to the M5 Touring. Despite the awe-inspiring performance, reminiscent of that of a racing car, the estate will remain an elegant and comfortable wagon perfectly suitable for longer journeys, an integral characteristic of BMW 5 Series Touring. The M5’s racing ambitions are expected not to impair driving comfort, active and passive safety or reduce the space available for passengers and luggage.
At the rear two passengers will be offered a centre armrest with storage compartment and cup-holder. If needed, that will function as a backrest for the middle seat, which can also provides seating for a third passenger during short journeys. A 60:40 split through-loading backrest as well as a ski bag and seat heating will be available in standard to further increase practicality.
The M5 Touring will probably be bought by those people who really want a BMW first and foremost, but have to opt for an estate for practical reasons. It’s definitely not going to be the first choice of the dedicated load-luggers - that will rather like an E-Class AMG, or Volvo ’s V70R, still the obvious choices in this class for the pragmatically-minded. But for those looking for stunning performance in a true M BMW without compromises the M5 Touring will be the only option in mind. Look for public debut at Frankfurt Motor Show this September.