Few cars get us excited around here as a new BMW M5. In the past, just a glimpse of this awesome 4-door made us positively giddy. But ultimate sport sedans aren’t as single minded as they used to be. Now, more efficiency for better fuel economy, and more comfort for everyday use are just as important as corner shaving and 0-60 times. So just how does the new M5 score in this altered uber-performance universe?
Few cars have ever been able to come close to the M5’s “luxury sport sedan with supercar performance” formula. And after 5 generations there are no signs of that changing, as the 2013 BMW M5 packs the most horsepower of any M5, yet. That’s despite a smaller engine, which drops from a 5.0-liter V10 to an updated version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 used in the X5M. Horsepower numbers however, jump to 560 thanks to BMW’s TwinPower twin-scroll turbo chargers, which are truly a force to be reckoned with, pushing torque to 500 lb-ft.
With M-performance comes M-specific exterior enhancements starting with the customary twin kidneys and a revised “double-up” placement of the black, vertical slats. While the lower fascia, with enlarged intakes and “shark teeth” air-channeling flaps looks all business. Standard Adaptive Xenon headlights feature familiar BMW LED light rings. While, down the sides, a lowered stance is obvious, as are extended side skirts, and the fender’s new take on the M gills. 19-inch light-alloy wheels are standard, but why not go all the way and upgrade to the forged split-spoke 20’s. All the better to see the high performance brake discs with 6-piston clampers.
In the rear, LED tail lights are set wide above a rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips, while up top there’s a slim rear spoiler. Sunroof, soft close doors, and chrome trim on the door handles are nice touches that remind you it’s not all about tackling the tarmac with this new M5.
But, that’s what we’re most interested in, and the M5 does indeed have plenty of power to spare. It jumps off the line with the help of the 7-speed M-DCT’s launch control for a 0-60 of 4.1-seconds; three ticks faster than our last 2006 M5 test. The 4.4-liter 8 wastes little time in building power or hitting the redline. Shifts are violently quick and once you get going, it’s like a high velocity roller coaster, as you feel like you’re just along for the ride. A ride that runs the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds and 117 miles-per-hour.
Our first drive of the M5 was at Laguna Seca raceway. While impressed, our time was too limited to get a real feel for the car. But, two weeks at home base, and we still came up with nothing serious to complain about, though the M5 does rip through here with an “all business” approach, that makes it not quite as much fun as expected.
Oh, and we hate that the shifter has no dedicated “park” position. Braking doesn’t get much better, however, hauling us down from 60 in an average of only 108-feet, and they got better the more we used them.
The M5’s interior is all business too, a little sterile, but loaded with the luxury features that you expect in car with a near 6-figure price. That includes a power tilt/telescope wheel, full color Head-up display, knee airbags, sunshades, as well as both back-up and front mounted cameras. There are enough adjustments for power, shifts, traction, and chassis dynamics to make even a Beemerphile confused. Fortunately, there is a pair of M buttons on the wheel to quickly recall your favorites.
Perforated leather seats are cushier than expected, yet still provide good bolstering support. As for everyday usefulness, under a power lid, there’s a sizable trunk with flat floor and storage nooks on both sides, while rear seats fold almost flat.
Indeed, on the street, the new M5 is truly in step with modern performance cars, as it feels down right sedate when cruising around town. Get out of town and find some serious switchbacks however, and you’ll find the M5 remains incredibly quiet and stable.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are the only disappointing numbers you’ll find with the M5, 14-City, 20-Highway, and 16-Combined. We averaged 17.3 miles-per-gallon of Premium. And that’ll get you a gas guzzler tax added to the M5’s base price for a total of $92,095.
In the rarified sphere of ultra-high performance cars, we’ve seem to have reached a level where adding more horsepower is almost a non-event. These days, improvements in daily livability are where high dollar hot rods are making their biggest strides, and on that note, the 2013 BMW M5 fits right in. It packs more performance than ever in a much friendlier package. Now we want one even more!
Engine: 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8
Torque: 500 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.1-seconds
1/4 mile: 12.3 seconds @ 117 mph
EPA: 14 mpg city/ 20 mpg highway