The function of the standard fit Head-up Display is also altered when the MDrive button is activated. The default setting sees speed, navigation instructions, check control messages and cruise control settings projected onto the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. However, if MDrive is activated the display changes to a rev counter including vehicle speed that both flash at the driver when the next gear needs to be selected.
While the chassis, suspension and steering of the M5 are based on the design of the 5 Series, almost all components are new. The M5 also features a variable M differential lock that offers a high level of driving stability and traction, especially when accelerating out of high-speed corners. Stopping power in the M5 is also enhanced courtesy of a high performance braking system with cross-drilled ventilated discs and twin-piston callipers. This braking system, in combination with the lightweight materials incorporated in the 1,755kgs car, ensures that the M5 decelerates from 62mph to zero in just 36 metres or 124mph to zero is reached in 140 metres.
Visually, the new M5 takes the distinctive looks of the 5 Series to another level, with modified front and rear aprons and side sills. For the first time on an M5, the front wings now incorporate an air duct, which helps keep the engine bay cool during operation, and a new door mirror design. Wider wheelarches house the exclusive 19-inch M5 wheel design while BMW M’s signature four tailpipes alert drivers behind to the potential of the car in front.
The BMW M5 will be launched in Europe in January 2005, while deliveries of right-hand-drive models in the UK start in spring 2005.Published 3 July 2004