For the first time, BMW plans to produce right-hand drive versions of its high-perfomance estate, the M5 Touring. The new model is part of BMW’s revision of the 5 Series Saloon and Touring range, announced this week.
Powered by the same normally-aspirated 5.0-litre V10 engine as its saloon counterpart, mated to BMW’s seven-speed sequential manual gearbox, the new M5 Touring offers up to 1,650 litres of boot space and exceptional performance. With a red line at 8,250rpm, the Touring’s 500bhp and 520Nm of torque propel the car from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds – a mere 0.1 seconds slower than the saloon. As for top speed, without the 155mph electronic limiter the estate would be capable of 200mph.
The balance of practicality and performance is summed up by Lee Connolly, BMW UK’s Product Manager for the new M5 Touring: “The M5 Touring will be the perfect car for delivering supercar owners’ luggage to their holiday homes in France or Spain. Usefully, their luggage will arrive before they do!”
The car’s performance is in part made possible by the world’s first seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox with Drivelogic in a production car. The gearbox features 11 different change patterns: six settings vary speed and response of gearchange in a manual mode plus there are five automatic modes. A launch control function delivers the fastest possible acceleration from standstill while, as with the saloon, the new M5 Touring features a three-stage DSC+ traction control system (which can be fully disengaged, if desired).
BMW M’s variable M differential optimises driving stability and traction, especially when accelerating out of high-speed corners, with up to 100 per cent of drive transferred to the rear wheel with most traction. Finally, the Electronic Damper Control (EDC) system offers three suspension settings to complement the prevailing driving conditions.
M Drive Manager packages these programmable settings, so that the touch of a single button sets the car up as required. “One moment the M5 Touring is a placid and practical family car, the next it’s more akin to a track-day special,” says BMW.
Visually, the M5 Touring follows BMW M’s philosophy of discreet styling enhancements to the standard model, such as a larger front air dam, side sills, monikered side gills and a rear valance with quad tailpipes. Inside, the Touring model variant comes with BMW’s iDrive control system with new shortcuts – eight freely programmable buttons for instant programme selection. Finally, music aficionados can now specify the BMW Individual High End Audio system which uses 16 loudspeakers to generate 825 Watts.
The new BMW M5 Touring starts production in March 2007 and will be priced at £67,075 on the road.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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