World Premiere Of The New BMW M5 | Part Six

New BMW M5

BMW 5 Series

Many detail solutions and changes turn the 5 Series into an M5

Consequently, the suspension and its electronic assistants have been either exclusively developed for the new M5, undergone extensive modifications or adapted to the special M performance. For example, the M5's running gear is by no means a lowered 5 Series suspension. Instead, it is an optimised design created from scratch. The suspension assisting systems, some of which have the same name as those of the 5 Series, have been optimised for this vehicle. On the one hand, this suspension contributes greatly to the M5 being the technological culmination of the successful BMW 5 Series. On the other hand, it clearly demonstrates that the M5 is a unique model with a distinctive appearance.

Variable M differential lock

The M5 has a variable, torque-sensing differential lock bestowing the vehicle with a high level of driving stability and optimum traction, above all when accelerating out of bends. Even in extremely demanding driving situations, i.e. when there are major differences in the coefficients of friction at the driven wheels, it offers a decisive advantage in terms of traction. A further advantage is that it instantly builds up an increasing locking power if the speed difference between the driven wheels rises, thus guaranteeing optimum forward progress at all times.

Only featured in the M5: DSC with two selectable driving dynamics programs

A new generation of the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) has been especially developed for the M5. The DSC system can be deactivated by pressing a button on the selector lever cover. The driving dynamics programs are pre-selected in the so-called MDrive and can be called up using the MDrive button on the steering wheel. Whilst the first DSC mode by and large corresponds to that of the 5 Series, the second mode - the M Dynamic Mode - is highly appreciated by sports-minded drivers.

EDC: the spectrum ranges from sportingly firm to comfortable

The M5's Electronic Damper Control (EDC) enables the driver to choose from three programs (comfort, normal and sport), thereby adjusting the suspension characteristics accordingly. The driver can operate the EDC function via the MDrive button on the steering wheel or the push button next to the SMG selector lever.

Power button activates engine characteristics 'on demand'

The driver often does not need the M5's full performance and maximum agility, for example in city traffic. This is why the markedly comfortable P400 performance program with an engine output of 400 bhp is automatically activated whenever the engine is started. At the push of a button (the so-called Power button on the selector lever cover), the ten-cylinder powerplant's full power is at the driver's disposal. The accelerator pedal kinematics adopt spontaneous characteristics, giving free rein, in the P500 program, to the sporty driver and eliciting, in the P500 sport program, uncompromising racing pleasure.

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

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