BMW M5 Ends Production as Best Selling, Least Loved, Version Yet

BMW M5 Ends Production as Best Selling, Least Loved, Version Yet

Easily the first BMW M car that wasn’t universally loved, as of today the current M5 has become the old M5, with production of the V10-powered monster selling 20,548 worldwide. That number includes 1,025 Touring (wagon) models sold in Europe. As the most successful M5 yet, the U.S. market played a huge role in its success with 8,800 M5s sold over six years, compared to just 1,647 units in the car’s second largest market, Germany.

The M5 gained fame for its high-revving but torqueless and gas-hungry 500+ horsepower V10 engine, 7-speed sequential transmission, launch control, excessively complex electronics and an M button that brought power from just 400-hp to its full 500+ potential.

And yet for all the car’s successes, BMW will move in a distinctly different direction with the next M5 rather than build on what the current model offers – an indication of its inherent weaknesses. The next M5 will do away with a low torque V10 in favor of a more efficient and more powerful twin-turbo V8 engine. It will also dump the sequential transmission for a dual-clutch unit. And based on the current 5 Series it will also seek to move past a much derided Chris Bangle design era.

Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

The BMW M5 ends its production lifespan with a new record high.

Information from editor: The BMW Group The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 24 production facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries. The BMW Group achieved a global sales volume of approximately 1.29 million automobiles and over 87,000 motorcycles for the 2009 financial year. The pre-tax profit for 2009 was euro 413 million, revenues totalled euro 50.68 billion. At 31 December 2009, the company employed a global workforce of approximately 96,000 associates. The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years.

Munich. After being on sale on the global automotive market for five successful years, the BMW M5 has ended its production lifespan with a new record high. The BMW M GmbH produced a total of 20,548 of the charismatic high-performance sports car featuring a V 10-cylinder power unit. The BMW M5 Saloon is accountable for 19,523 of these, with the BMW M5 Touring, which was first launched in 2007, contributing a further 1025 units towards the overall result. This means that even the production figures of the predecessor model, which was manufactured for a period of six years, have been surpassed. The BMW M GmbH sees this record result as a further chapter in the success story of a remarkable automobile, which reaches back as far as the year 1984. 26 years ago we saw the launch of the first BMW M5 – this also marking the birth of the high-performance saloon segment.

Drive and suspension technology inspired by motor sports combined with the spaciousness and travelling comfort of a midrange saloon car: When the first BMW M5 was launched, this concept brought about an entirely new vehicle category. With M-specific aesthetics and thanks to uncompromising premium quality, the new model was at the same time the first high-performance sports car designed for use in everyday traffic conditions. With the fifth generation of the BMW M5, this combination achieved a level of fascination it had never reached before. A V10 high-revving 373 kW/507 bhp engine, sequential M transmission Drivelogic with seven gears and Launch Control for maximum acceleration from a standstill, variable, engine speed-dependent M differential lock as well as model-specific suspension technology, including Electronic Damper Control (EDC) and a compound brake unit, guarantee the BMW M5’s outstanding performance characteristics. High-quality equipment features, which include innovative driver assistance systems such as Adaptive Headlights and M-specific Head-up Display, underline its premium character.

As an all-round athlete, dominating both the highly dynamic sprint and longer distances, the latest generation, too, is capturing a unique position within the competitive environment. In 2007, the saloon, which was also dubbed by the media as a “businessman’s express”, was joined by the BMW M5 Touring. This model offered a second body variant that enriched the character of the sports car, which was unrestrictedly suitable for everyday use, with additional facets.

The USA also proved to be the most crucial sales market for the fifth generation of the BMW M Saloon. 8,800 vehicles were sold in the United States. Ahead of the German market (1,647 units), Great Britain and Ireland developed the greatest demand on the European continent with 1,776 vehicles sold. Japan (1,357 units) takes fourth place among the most significant markets for the BMW M5 Saloon, followed by Italy (512). The BMW M5 Touring enjoyed the greatest popularity in Germany (302 units), Great Britain and Ireland (208) and in Italy (184).

A distinctive feature of both models is the 5-litre, ten-cylinder engine with a high-revving concept. The power unit, which was conceived using comprehensive expertise derived from motor sports, develops maximum output at an engine speed of 7,750 rpm, disclosing its unique character in particular through enormous pulling power that remains available across a remarkably broad speed range. Its exceptional position has been underlined by numerous awards. For example, in the years 2005 and 2006, the V10 engine seized overall victory twice in succession at the “Engine of the Year Awards” as well as first place during each of the two following years in the engine category exceeding a cubic capacity of 4 litres. Even after completion of the BMW M5’s production lifespan, the 10-cylinder engine continues to fascinate in a very special way. The exceptional power unit with identical power output and performance characteristics is currently featured in both the BMW M6 Coupe and the BMW M6 Convertible. The limited BMW M6 Competition Edition offers a particularly elegant way of expressing the high-performance coupe’s superior dynamics. A unique BMW Individual Frozen Grey paint finish and an individual interior design provide the coupe with an exclusive high-quality ambience. The BMW Individual full Merino leather trim is available either in black with light grey contrast seams or in the bi-colour version Silverstone/Black with light grey and black contrast seams. In both cases, the coupe’s individual character is underlined by doorsill trims boasting the “M6 Competition” logo.

The coupe’s high performance oriented profile is additionally enhanced by modifications to the suspension. Revised tuning of springs, dampers and stabilisers, lowering of the suspension by 12 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear in conjunction with M forged alloy wheels featuring a double spoke design and a special combination of tyres, result in noticeably optimised lateral and longitudinal dynamics. Management of the suspension systems, the EDC Electronic Damper Control, the track and camber values as well as the characteristic map of the variable M differential lock have been perfectly adapted to match the suspension modifications.