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Old 03-13-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2013 BMW M5 First Test




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In the beginning, there was nothing. Then there was a big bang. At the time, it wasn't called the Big Bang, as it was the very first bang, so there were no other bangs to compare it with. Eventually, life evolved far enough to create everything from spatulas to literature, and the original M5 was born. The motorsport version of the e28 5 Series was conceived to deliver sports car-like performance with the useability of a four-door sedan. As with that original bang, we didn't have much to compare it with at the time, and it was easy to call it the best ever.

With each generation, BMW continued to add power, first with a bigger inline six-cylinder, then moving up to a V-8, and eventually going full F1-inspired crazy with a 5.0-liter V-10. While the M5 continued its march toward super sedan status, it was waving goodbye to daily driving sensibilities. The large-bore, short-stroke, high-revving V-10 didn't have much in the way of low-end grunt, and the adjustable suspension varied from bouncy to crushing. The single-clutch semi-automatic SMG transmission balked around town and slapped from gear to gear when driven hard. It was a great car to drive like a sports car, but wasn't the easiest to live with on a daily basis.

The latest generation of M5 manages to address the daily driving issues ignored by the e60, while simultaneously blowing it out of the water in performance. Enthusiasts may wax poetic about spinning the V-10's tachometer needle past 8000 rpm, but the rush of torque -- 500 lb-ft, to be exact -- created by the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 launches the big car like a cannonball. We recorded a 0-60-mph time for the previous M5 at 4.1 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 12.5 seconds at 115.3 mph. Those seem like fast numbers until you consider the newer car runs to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and gets through the quarter in 11.9 seconds at 120.3 mph.
For comparison's sake, a Porsche Panamera Turbo we tested recently did the same feats of strength in 3.5 seconds to 60 mph and 11.9 seconds at 114.7 mph through the quarter mile. But all-wheel drive is clearly a big advantage for the Porsche, and its extra 68 lb-ft of torque help the 104-pound-heavier Panamera get out of the hole.








Once the M5's speeds start to rise, the turbos spool and traction becomes less of an issue. The BMW gets from 0 to 100 mph in 8.4 seconds, while it takes the Porsche 8.8 seconds. The disparity in speed at the end of the quarter mile leads us to believe the M5 would keep pulling away at the high end. The Porsche makes a peak 500 hp, while the BMW cranks out a blistering 560 hp. We have tested a Panamera Turbo S rated at 550 hp that bridges the gap matching the 0-100-mph time, but still lags behind the M5's trap speed, coming in at 118.0 mph. It would seem the BMW is either producing a little more power than rated, or more of it is getting to the ground through two wheels once it's securely hooked up.

Around our figure-eight course, the BMW got nipped again by the Panamera Turbo. The M5 turned in a very unsedan-like 24.9 seconds at an average of 0.81 g. The Porsche did it half a second quicker with the same average g. The difference comes down to cornering speeds. The Panamera Turbo can pull a full 1.00 g in lateral acceleration, while the M5 creates 0.94 g of sideways tug.
Whether in a straight line or cornering, the M5 drives like a bigger, heavier M3. The car naturally wants to understeer, but can be rotated with careful throttle application. But all that extra torque isn't nearly as controllable coming from the turbos. This may be the only downside when compared with the V-10. While the naturally aspirated engine seemed to have a direct physical connection from the driver's ankle to the car's 10 individual throttle bodies, the turbocharged V-8 is a little more of a game of telephone. Push down on the throttle pedal, feed the engine a bit more air, wait for the turbos to spool, and then get ready to counter steer. The impatient will quickly find themselves facing the wrong direction if they simply pin the throttle and aren't expecting all 560 lb-ft all at once.


On the road, the new M5 is a huge step forward from the previous car. The SMG transmission is gone, replaced by a thoroughly modern twin-clutch seven-speed semi-automatic transmission. The suspension has a greater range of adjustments from the previous car's, and even the steering assist is surprisingly variable. With all knobs and switches set in Economy or Comfort mode, the M5 is similar in mannerisms to a 528. The freeway ride is comfortable; the steering is light by BMW standards; and the transmission jumps to the highest possible fuel-saving gear as quickly as it can.

We found it completely livable around town and on the highway. We were even surprised by the amount of amenities BMW has chosen for such a sporting car. If you happen to be lapping the Nuerburgring with the kids in the back seat, they can watch the two monitors hanging off the back of each front seat. How many kids have experienced "Yo Gabba Gabba" at 150 mph? The doors also have a self-closing feature like more luxurious cars in this price range. No need to slam the door; just latch it shut and the car takes it the rest of the way. In fact, if you do slam the door closed, the car gently pops it back out and reseats as if to say, "Here, let me show you how this is done."

Once you have finished oohing and aahing over all this luxury, the transmission, suspension and steering can all be prodded into Sport mode either through buttons on the center console or all at once with the programmable M Drive buttons on the steering wheel. Damping rates are increased; steering requires a bit more muscle; and shifts are held until later in the powerband while snapping gear to gear a little faster. This was our preferred mode around town, as comfort makes the M5 lean a little bit too far toward the apathetic. Sport still isn't perfect. The middle mode overshoots the Goldilocks zone, making every trip to the store a qualifying lap, but at least you aren't holding up traffic in one of the world's fastest sedans. Steering is quick and direct. BMW's typical high caster angle on the front suspension provides plenty of feedback through the steering wheel. Holding the gears a little longer means the engine always wants to go and go fast. The one thing that's exactly right is the suspension, at least for the driver. The stiffer damping rates work with a rigidly mounted rear subframe to give the M5 a buttoned-down feel missing in most sedans.

The last choice for aggression on demand is Sport Plus. Either BMW's test routes are perfectly smooth, or the engineers wanted to relive past glory of DTM racers bouncing through the air. Even on our smooth Southern California canyon roads, we found the suspension too stiff in the most aggressive state. Small mid-corner bumps unsettle the chassis, and the unsettling turns to near aerobatics when you press hard on the brakes. The steering effort switches from nicely heavy to something your personal trainer would recommend. Even the throttle response and sportiest shift modes are a little too much for anything other than drag racing. Sport Plus needs to be dialed back a bit more toward the current Sport, and that could be dialed back a little bit as well, to make the car a bit more drivable around town.

If we have any complaint about the new M5, it's that there is just too much gap between comfort and sport. In Comfort, the car feels like a 528 -- not a bad thing, but not the reflexes you want from a six-figure sedan. Obviously, the slower throttle response and short shifting are used to maximize the benefit of forced induction, but we wish there were something like Sport Minus Mode. But on the whole, that's a minor hiccup. From driver feedback to all-out performance, this is probably the best M5 ever.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz1ozy1cEuk
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
the newer car runs to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and gets through the quarter in 11.9 seconds at 120.3 mph.

Woah!
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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11's are the new 13's, didn't you hear?
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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I'm really conflicted about this car. I HATE the fake exhaust generator, as to me it represents the worst possible approach to driving enjoyment. I also hate that it's so much bigger and heavier than before.

On the other hand, it's REALLY hard to argue with the numbers. I still wouldn't buy it even if I had loads of money, as I don't see the point of having a car that big that can also be tracked, but for the type of car that it is, this car again sets the benchmark.

So I don't like the direction that BMW is heading to these days, but I can't deny that they are being very successful at it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
I'm really conflicted about this car. I HATE the fake exhaust generator, as to me it represents the worst possible approach to driving enjoyment. I also hate that it's so much bigger and heavier than before.

On the other hand, it's REALLY hard to argue with the numbers. I still wouldn't buy it even if I had loads of money, as I don't see the point of having a car that big that can also be tracked, but for the type of car that it is, this car again sets the benchmark.

So I don't like the direction that BMW is heading to these days, but I can't deny that they are being very successful at it.
You sir are indeed a conflicted individual. The main thing I'm excited about with this car is the engine and where else it may end up.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
11's are the new 13's, didn't you hear?
cars are crazy fast now.

i think its all in the tranny though.

2012 911 carrera s pdk -> 408hp, 0-60 3.9sec, 1/4 12.0 @ 116.5
2012 tt-rs with dual clutch -> 335hp, 0-60 3.6sec, 1/4 12.1 @ 113

the new 911 carrera s pdk is pretty dam fast without the turbos/awd.

and although we can't get the tt-rs with the dual clutch in the US, it still boggles my mind how it can pull low 12sec 1/4 with 335hp.

i predict the sti's will hit 11's too (i wish LOL).
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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traps 120mph. . . holy.

Nick
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
I'm really conflicted about this car. I HATE the fake exhaust generator, as to me it represents the worst possible approach to driving enjoyment. I also hate that it's so much bigger and heavier than before.

On the other hand, it's REALLY hard to argue with the numbers. I still wouldn't buy it even if I had loads of money, as I don't see the point of having a car that big that can also be tracked, but for the type of car that it is, this car again sets the benchmark.

So I don't like the direction that BMW is heading to these days, but I can't deny that they are being very successful at it.
I'm with you - but will probably get one anyway - tough to beat with 4-doors - still a relative value, and will be even more impressive uncorked. The piped-in exhaust music is disabled by removing a fuse in the trunk BTW...
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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What a beautiful BEAST.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
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2012 911 carrera s pdk -> 408hp, 0-60 3.9sec, 1/4 12.0 @ 116.5
2012 tt-rs with dual clutch -> 335hp, 0-60 3.6sec, 1/4 12.1 @ 113
IIRC the TTRS is a lightweight car compared to a 911

Also VW (and audi) are known to underrate their cars HP figures.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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Look at the mph, the RS was quick to 60 purely because of Quattro. The 911 has the legs on him. The TTRS time was all launch. There is no mysterious power in the TTRS

A 2011 WRX has 265 HP an did 4.7 0-60 (if you do not care about a working transmission)
AWD launches really skew 0-60.

5-60 would be FAR more revealing about power to weight and how that interacts with gear spacing, etc.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #12
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5-60 is also a much more realistic idea of what the car does in a normal driving environment.

So much of 0-60 is driver, surface conditions, RWD vs AWD, etc.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post
5-60 is also a much more realistic idea of what the car does in a normal driving environment.

So much of 0-60 is driver, surface conditions, RWD vs AWD, etc.
yep, thats why around town, my TL-S feels faster (and way more drive-able) than my old [modded] STi.

TL-S 5-60: 5.3s
STi (stock) 5-60: 6.6s
my STi (with upgraded turbo, FMIC, etc) 5-60: probably 7s+
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:46 PM   #14
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I really wish I'd taken video of my '08 WRX and my '08 STI doing 5-60.

Both had simple Stage 1 reflashes and the WRX beat the STI easily... and felt like it, too. The WRX made over 300lb-ft of torque at 2800rpm... the STI had shorter gearing but the turbo was so much slower to spool, it weighed more, lost more power through the drivetrain and the flipside to the gearing was the shift into 3rd in order to hit 60mph.

.. but everyone talks about how much the '08 WRX sucked.. (which, suspension-wise.. it did.. damn Buick-like shocks )... but it was a point & shoot rocket at street speeds.

0-60 the STI was obviously faster.. but you can't get far launching an STI all the time.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Look at the mph, the RS was quick to 60 purely because of Quattro. The 911 has the legs on him. The TTRS time was all launch. There is no mysterious power in the TTRS

A 2011 WRX has 265 HP an did 4.7 0-60 (if you do not care about a working transmission)
AWD launches really skew 0-60.

5-60 would be FAR more revealing about power to weight and how that interacts with gear spacing, etc.
i know its all launch, but an impressive launch it is. the 911 also has a pretty crazy launch considering its 2wd. i just wonder what the new 911 turbo pdk will do.

i still think the tt-rs is pretty dam impressive, atleast with the dual clutch tranny. the tt-rs is about 3300lbs so power to weight should be similar to an sti.compare it to the sti, the eurospec 335hp tt-rs that CnD tested runs 12.1 and traps 113mph vs an sti (only 30hp less) that usually runs ~13.5 @ ~100-102. big difference for 30hp (ok the tt-rs has wide torque band).

i like to row my own gears, but these transmissions are making cars a lot faster than they would be.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:59 AM   #16
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #17
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i like to row my own gears, but these transmissions are making cars a lot faster than they would be.
+1

I've owned 11 or 12 manuals now, and I used to swear by 'em.

I drove a DCT 335i the other week and was extremely impressed. I think my next car will be a DCT. The whole rowing 1-2, 2-3 as a daily has worn out it's welcome. That DCT shifted when I expected and it was very smooth. Just press the pedal and go, lol. What a concept.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:32 PM   #18
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One thing that I do appreciate these about their transmissions is the fact that they will help out with the current trend of cars having more and more gears, for whatever purpose... top speed, mpg, whatever. Obviously more shifting typically means moments of deceleration between shifts, which will get worse with more gears (meaning that you'd lose a few tenths accelerating on your way to whatever speed or experience more jerks in the transmission in daily driving), but with dual clutches being able to shift nearly seamlessly with virtually uninterrupted acceleration, it looks like it wouldn't be a big issue.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brahmzy View Post
+1

I've owned 11 or 12 manuals now, and I used to swear by 'em.

I drove a DCT 335i the other week and was extremely impressed. I think my next car will be a DCT. The whole rowing 1-2, 2-3 as a daily has worn out it's welcome. That DCT shifted when I expected and it was very smooth. Just press the pedal and go, lol. What a concept.
Is there a US spec 335i with a DCT?

EDIT: I got it. I think you meant the 335is.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #20
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Is there a US spec 335i with a DCT?

EDIT: I got it. I think you meant the 335is.
Doh, yep, forgot the s. Small detail.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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"Enthusiasts may wax poetic about spinning the V-10's tachometer needle past 8000 rpm, but the rush of torque -- 500 lb-ft, to be exact -- created by the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 launches the big car like a cannonball."

This gave me goose-bumps
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:43 PM   #22
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IIRC the TTRS is a lightweight car compared to a 911

Also VW (and audi) are known to underrate their cars HP figures.
Lolwat...

TT-RS: 3300 lbs
911: 2920

Also, I wonder if this will give the M3 a run for it's money like the previous incarnations of each. If only they made a coupe M5 (or made the M3 lighter).
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:40 PM   #23
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If only they made a coupe M5
if only...

oh wait.

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Old 03-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #24
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^ I was JUST gonna say that.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:53 AM   #25
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Too bad the M6 looks like ass/is still a fat pig/costs a **** ton more than an M5.
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