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BMW boosts M5 to 423kW

5 alive: The new upgraded BMW M5 is faster, more powerful and better equipped.

Mid-life upgrade for BMW’s $229,900 M5 flagship, now with 423kW of grunt


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22 Jul 2013

BMW’S upgraded M5 super sedan will touch down in Australia in mid-September, and while it will cost a touch more, it will also be better-equipped and even faster.

Revealed today, the revised Munich monster picks up a handful of tweaks to keep pace with arch-rival Mercedes’ newly-upgraded, more powerful E63 AMG, which arrived here last month.

It costs $400 more than before, at $229,900 plus on-road costs, but BMW counters this by converting a fleet of former extra-cost options to standard equipment.

Some changes to the M5 range are familiar: new adaptive LED headlights that dip the high beams for oncoming traffic, automatic soft-close doors and a hands-free bootlid all feature on upgraded versions of the regular 5 Series unveiled last week.

These familiar tweaks also include standard features such as DAB+ digital radio, and a revised satellite navigation system with a touchpad atop the familiar iDrive dial.

But BMW’s changes to the M5 go above and beyond those dished out to its lesser 5 Series siblings, with a series of performance enhancement thrown into the mix to keep the car sharp against its razor-edge rivals.

The ‘Competition package’, previously available as an option in some markets, is now standard fare. Power from the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine is boosted by 11kW to 423kW, enough to slice one-tenth from the 0-100km/h sprint (now 4.2 seconds).

As such, it draws closer to, but doesn’t overtake, its arch-nemesis from Stuttgart: the 430kW Benz E63 AMG S, which takes 4.1s to sprint from 0-100km/h.

Peak torque remains 680Nm, but its now available across a wider stretch of revs – between 1500 and 6000rpm. The car also sits 10mm lower than before, the stabiliser bars are stiffer, and the active differential and (still hydraulic) steering are sharpened.

The twin-black tailpipes have also been tickled to give off an even angrier howl than before.

Fuel economy is still a claimed 9.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, while power is again sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission only.

As with its more humble siblings, the M5 looks slightly sharper around the signature kidney grilles, and gets a reshaped lower air dam. Down the back, there are new-look tail-lights offset with a new crease in the bumper.

It also gets newly designed 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, while the cabin adds a new M leather steering wheel design, more chrome strips and a bigger centre console. Three new colours are also available, including – wait for it – Pyrite Brown metallic.

For those unfamiliar with the car, carryover standard equipment includes a head-up display, surround view camera, front and rear parking sensors, radar-guided autonomous cruise control, four-zone climate control and heated/cooled seats.

There’s also a 16-speaker, 600W sound system with equalisers, Bluetooth streaming and a central screen home not only to the sat-nav, but also internet browsers and digital TV.

The M5’s alloy wheels, with 265/35 R20 tyres at the front and 295/30 R20s at the rear, again hide massive 400mm compound disc brakes with six-piston callipers up front.

Double wishbone front suspension components are made almost entirely from aluminium and are aided by an extra reinforcement plate. The engine is also mounted 20mm lower than other 5 Series variants.

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