World Premiere Of The New BMW M5 | Part Five

New BMW M5

BMW 5 Series

SMG for increased safety and comfort

The seven-speed SMG gearbox not only supports the driver in achieving motor sports performance, but also offers scores of safety features. In critical situations, when the driver shifts down on a slippery surface, for example, the gearbox opens the clutch in the fraction of a second in order to prevent the M5 from swerving out of control in the event of excessive drag torque at the driven wheels. Further functions are the climbing, which prevents the car from rolling backwards during hill starts as well as the hill detection, which adjusts the shift points on gradients and descents. This prevents gear hunting when going uphill. When driving downhill, the hill detection holds the lower gears for longer in order to make effective use of the engine's braking power.

Maximum driving pleasure

The interaction of the V10 engine and the seven-speed SMG gearbox results in a level of performance, which has so far been inconceivable for series-production saloons. Above all, there is one thing the M5 gives to its driver: driving pleasure at its best. Compared to the previous M5, the current model comes up trumps in all performance and fun disciplines: it accomplishes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 4,7 seconds and reaches the 200 km/h (124 mph) mark after a mere 15 seconds to go on to the electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). A glance at the speedometer reveals where this power package would head for if maximum speed was not electronically limited: an awe-inspiring 330 km/h (205 mph).

The Nürburgring serves as a test track

Compared to all direct competitors, the interaction of actual forward thrust and a low vehicle weight is a strong argument in favour of the new M5. Also in this respect, the M5 sets the benchmark and leaves its competitors far behind.

An undisputed gauge of driving dynamics is the northern loop of the legendary Nürburgring race track. For decades, the world's most demanding race track has been the perfect place of separating the wheat from the chaff. There is no other place where the interaction of vehicle components when taken to the limits can be observed as well as on the Nürburgring's northern loop. With lap times of approximately eight minutes, the M5 can hold its own and is a worthy competitor of thoroughbred sports cars, leaving its competitors far behind. By the way: traditionally, all M vehicles are tested there.

M suspension based on the 5 Series: the icing on the cake

The aforementioned lap time demonstrates that the M5 can be extremely sporty. Although the suspension of the basic 5 Series model is undoubtedly very good, such a record performance with respect to dynamics would not be possible. This is why the M5 is also totally unique with regard to its suspension.

continues... | Part Six
Published 16 September 2004 Melanie Carter
 
 

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