Like the Saloon, the new M5 Touring features a three-stage DSC+ traction control system. The default mode offers drivers high levels of performance and stability. M Dynamic Mode allows an enthusiastic driver the ability to push the M5 Touring to, and beyond, the absolute limits of traction, permitting some sideslip and countersteering before the system cuts in and is selected in the M Drive Manager. If the DSC button is pressed, DSC+ is completely disengaged.
BMW M's variable M differential also offers the highest levels of driving stability and traction, especially when accelerating out of high-speed corners, with up to 100 per cent of drive being transferred to the rear wheel with most traction. Finally, the Electronic Damper Control (EDC) system offers three suspension settings to complement the prevailing driving conditions.
M Drive Manager packages these programmable settings, so that the touch of a single button sets the car up as required. Like a boy visiting his favourite sweet shop, the M5 driver can select his preferred settings for power, gearbox, EDC and DSC modes, Head-up Display and the degree of Active Seat bolster support, via the iDrive menu. One touch of the M Drive button on the steering wheel then selects the desired combination and instantly changes the character of the car. One moment the M5 Touring is a placid and practical family car, the next it's more akin to a track day special.
Exterior DesignVisually, the new M5 Touring follows BMW M's philosophy of high performance shrouded in the body of a standard car with discreet styling enhancements that highlight the potential under the skin. The larger front air dam, side sills, monikered side gills and a rear valance with BMW M's quad tailpipes protruding all hint at the performance of the world's most dynamic estate car.
InteriorInternally the new M5 Touring features the same enhancements as the 'standard' 5 Series as well as offering the Active Seat bolsters from the M5 Saloon. In addition, the Touring variant comes with BMW's innovative iDrive control system with new short cuts - eight freely programmable buttons for instant programme selection. Finally, music aficionados can now specify the BMW Individual High End Audio system that uses 16 loud speakers to generate an ear-ringing 825 watts.
The new BMW M5 Touring starts production in March 2007 and will be priced at £67,075 on the road.
The new BMW 5 Series Saloon and Touring
A mid-life 'refresh' programme with new engines and technologies
The new BMW 5 Series range features a host of innovative technologies that make the world's best Executive car even better. Engine innovations such as High Precision Direct Injection and twin-turbocharging improve performance and economy alongside class-leading comfort technologies such as Lane Departure Warning System and Head-up Display.
Starting production in March 2007, the new BMW 5 Series range strives for the holy grail of more power, better economy and lower emissions. Delivering power and torque increases by up to 20hp and 20Nm as well as improvements in fuel economy by up to 25 per cent, it appears to have succeeded. All nine power units in the 5 Series Saloon and Touring ranges are either entirely new to the car, or have been significantly revised over the previous model. The dramatic increases in performance and economy come courtesy of a number of new technologies that combine to provide significant and noticeable driver benefits.
High Precision Fuel Injection is offered for the first time on all six-cylinder petrol-powered 5 Series models. Piezo crystal injectors that deliver a precise amount of fuel mixture, exactly when required, offer a significant increase in performance and economy. This is complemented by a BMW first - Brake Energy Regeneration.