2014 BMW M5 takes on the pastWed, 22 May 2013 00:00:00 -0700
The 2014 BMW M5 sedan hits the streets this August. Bimmer says four-door has been the standard for high-performance sedans since its release in 1985. We'd be inclined to agree.
The newest model arrives with a carryover engine from last year, displacing 4.4 liters and using its TwinPower turbo technology to deliver 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch setup sends power to the rear wheels. Luckily North America will also have the option of a six-speed manual. We drove the six-speed-equipped 2013 BMW M5 earlier this year, and decided it was the best one yet.
For 2014 BMW is offering the Competition Package option, which the company says, “distills handling properties under the principle applied to all BMW M automobiles, fine tune the suspension to match the performance of the engine, and achieve responsiveness that makes the car precise and controllable in all driving situations.”
Sounds easy enough.
The Competition Package adds 15 hp, for a total of 575, a retuned suspension with new coilovers and damper calibrations and stiffer antiroll bars. It's lower by about a centimeter, which also lowers the center of gravity and the roll center.
The Active M Differential, which is standard on all Ms, gets tuned even more aggressively with the Competition Package. The new rack-and-pinion steering -- with variable assist -- has more direct programming, resulting in better contact with the road and more agile handling. The DSC (traction control) is also remapped to let drivers slide just a little farther before stepping in with the safety net.
New colors for 2014 include Pyrite Brown Metallic, Frozen Blue Metallic, as well as other “frozen” colors, which is BMW's pseudonym for matte paint.
The 2014 model is the fifth generation of the super sedan, which builds on the traditions of the last quarter century. Here are the old M5s for your comparison.
1985-1988: E28 M5
The first M5 came about in 1985 on a modified 535i chassis with a version of the inline-six engine from the M1. At the time it was the fastest sedan in the world.
3.5-liter, 252 hp I6, RWD, five-speed manual
1989-1995: E34 M5
The second-generation M5 was hand built in Garching, Germany, again using the chassis from the 535i. Power grew twice, on release and during the 1991 refresh. A wagon was also produced, but only 891 cars were made.
3.6-liter, 307-hp I6, RWD five- or six-speed manual
3.8-liter, 335 hp I6, RWD five- or six-speed manual
1998-2005: E39 M5
The next M5 came only after vehicles from Jaguar and Mercedes called the company's street cred into question. BMW responded with a V8 engine and a Getrag six-speed manual.
4.9-liter, 394-hp V8, RWD, six-speed manual
2005-2010: E60 M5
The fourth-generation of the M5 saw a new V10 engine meant to link the car with the BMW-Sauber Formula One team. Again the M5 took honors as the fastest four-door on the planet. For the first time it had the option of a sequential-manual gearbox, as well as a six-speed.
5.0-liter, 500-hp V10, RWD six-speed manual or seven-speed sequential
By Jake Lingeman