We don’t know if this came as a result of those leaked photos that surfaced a couple of days ago, but we’re certainly not complaining. The BMW M5 Concept will be making its official debut at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month, but BMW is pre-empting the car’s launch by releasing the first set of details of the new M5 Concept, together with a slew of photos and the official preview video.
Despite technically being labeled as a concept car, the 2012 M5 Concept is expected to become the precursor to the production version that will be introduced later in the year, possibly at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
BMW was kind enough to give us a pretty good idea of what to expect with the car’s exterior design language. It would’ve been more awesome if they shared the interior of the car as well as the official performance specs, but then again, what kind of suspense will be left if they tossed all their eggs in the same basket?
At the very least, we’ll have something to look forward to from BMW when the Shanghai Motor Show arrives.
UPDATE 04/12/2011: BMW has unveiled a new video of the M5 Concept that shows one of the six lucky fans selected to see the BMW Concept M5 at the BMW M headquarter discussing the vehicle. The lucky winners also got a chance to take a look in the BMW M garage, together with BMW M president, Dr. Kay Segler.
Details on the BMW M5 Concept after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
In true M aesthetic fashion, the new M5 Concept was designed to express the car’s powerful performance capabilities, developed and fine tuned to enhance high performance and superior handling, even in sub-par conditions.
In the front, the M5 Concept features three large air intakes, the dimensions of which have been carefully measured to ensure maximum cooling efficiency for the engine and all of its ancillary components. The center air intake is larger than the two intakes on either side with its contours curved ever slightly for aesthetic purposes. In addition to the intakes, another highlight of the M5 Concept is the large contoured bonnet that flows directly toward the brand’s iconic kidney grille and complemented by dual round Xenon headlights and an accentuating light at the top to create a design that puts a premium on road-going capabilities, something that’s unmistakably a true characteristic of BMW’s M vehicles.
In the side, dynamically flowing lines continue the inspire uncompromising sportiness with the long wheelbase underpinnings contributing to form a stretched silhouette that looks aggressive and elegant at the same time. This appearance is emphasized more by the flared wheel arches and the gill element that features a high-quality chrome surround that’s horizontally divided by a chrome bar and bearing BMW’s unmistakable M logo.
Over at the rear, the M5 Concept’s unique styling continues with the rear apron, which forms a smooth transition to the vehicle’s wheel arches. In addition to that, the new M5 also has an integrated diffuser at the lower edge of the rear apron. This serves the purpose of effectuating the targeted airflow at the end of the car’s undercarriage. At each side of the diffuser are the double tailpipes, which comes with the double-flow exhaust system, and is surrounded by aerodynamically shaped trims. Over at the bootlid, you’ll also find the car’s rear spoiler, providing even more aerodynamic characteristics and ensuring that there’s additional downforce, especially when the car is traveling at high speeds.
Finally, the M5 Concept rides on a set of M-specific 20" light alloy wheels that boasts of a double-spoke design. The rims are then fitted with 265/35 ZR20 tires at the front and back.
BMW hasn’t released specific details on the M5 Concept’s powertrain other than saying that it will feature a newly-developed V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology. There have been some rumors, though, that this new engine will be along the same lines as the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that’s found in both the X5 and X6 M models. In addition to that, the M5 Concept is also being rumored to have a seven-speed DCT Drivelogic double-clutch transmission.
If you wanted to be really technical about it, you can go ahead and say that since it’s still a ’concept’, there’s no price tag attached to this car. However, look for the production version of this concept to be unveiled later this year, possibly around the time of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Once the production version of the new M5 is released, you can expect it to take on the likes of the Audi S6, the Cadillac CTS-V,, and even the Jaguar XF-R. While the performance numbers of the M5 are still being kept under wraps, we expect nothing short of 580 horsepower, the output the car is rumored to have. While the next-generation S6 is still under the development stages, the M5 still has plenty of reason to worry about with the British car. The latter’s performance numbers - a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 510 horsepower - may not be able to hit the level of the new M5, but BMW prides itself in sportiness mixed with a dash of elegance, but the XF-R is pure luxury, one that likewise comes with a good amount of aggressiveness. Across the Atlantic, the Cadillac CTS-V is beginning to gain a lot of traction, not only for its aesthetic and performance offerings - a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 556 horsepower is nothing to laugh about - but also for the cheaper price tag that it comes with compared to its European competitors.
Those Xenon headlights add a cool mix to the car’s stealth-like looks
Engine should be a barn-burner
It’s a lot more imposing than we initially thought
It’s not going to be cheap
Competitors have equally awesome offerings
Still no interior details