BMW says that the previous generation M5 did well with consumers with its manual trans, so they will continue with that trend. This is in keeping with the general view of the Beamer in America, where we view it as a German performance vehicle rather than an everyday family car as they do on the other side of the Atlantic.
To compensate for the loss of a gear, the German automaker adjusted gear ratios to optimize for acceleration, flexibility and fuel economy. They keep the special M differential in place along with the signature BMW short shift linkage and black leather shifter knob.
Under the hood of the BMW M5 is the company's latest V8 engine putting out a respectable 560 horsepower at 6,000-7,000rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque from 1,500rpm. This makes for an impressive 7:1 pounds to horsepower ratio for the car – something only German engineering would pull off. This translates to some powerful performance figures.
BMW has not released any numbers specific to the U.S. version of the M5, but estimates based on its European cousin are not difficult. A 0-60mph acceleration under 5 seconds is likely (4.4 seconds for EU) and top speed is expected to be about 185mph (versus 190mph, EU). It's European fuel economy is equivalent to 23.7 U.S. and will likely remain about the same, perhaps edging closer to 24mpg combined.
Other improvements come with the suspension, including different front and rear geometry, stiffer springs and dampers (including dynamic damper control), and two driver-selectable modes for optimized driving: M Dynamic and M-tuned DSC. The limited-slip differential is electronically controlled, allowing lock variations from 0 to 100% for maximum grip and stability.
Body style changes include a more aggressive front bumper with larger air intakes for engine and brakes, nicely flared wheel arches, a trunk lid spoiler, and a more aerodynamic rear bumper with diffuser. Quad exhaust pipes and 19-inch M-light wheels finish it off.
The interior sees some light upgrades from the previous model, the most obvious being the M-specific instrument cluster and sport seats. Merino leather upholstery is standard and bright aluminum trim accents the entire feel. Standard 5-series options such as an electric glass roof, active or multi-function seats, etc. are also available.
More information will be forthcoming from BMW as we get closer to the car's sale date later this summer.