10 January 2007

Real estate

New BMW M5 packs 507bhp through 5.0-litre V10

BMW M5 Touring

Speed-hungry hounds will soon be having their noses pressed to the rear screen of BMW's new M5 Touring, which comes to the UK officially for the first time from March this year.

The super estate packs the same 5.0-litre V10 with 507bhp as the saloon and is only 0.1 second slower from 0-62mph, taking 4.8 seconds.

Top speed remains limited to 155mph, but if the limiter was removed the car would be capable of 200mph. Just think how much quicker that would make the weekly supermarket run.

The M5 Touring is otherwise much the same as the saloon model, but with a price tag of £67,075.

Both M5 models gain a few tweaks in line with revisions for the entire 5-Series range.

The most important part of this refresh for standard Fives is the introduction of revised engines, upping power of the 530i to 272bhp and the 535d to 286bhp.

The 530d now boasts 235bhp, and the 525i gains a little mid-rev muscle, while the 523i is up 13bhp to 190bhp.

BMW has also introduced Brake Energy Regeneration, which charges the battery by using the over-run of the engine when the driver applies the brakes. This energy would otherwise be wasted, and BMW says it helps improve fuel economy by placing less of a strain on the engine.

Buyers of the larger petrol- and diesel-engined 5-Series models will be able to opt for a new Automatic Sports Transmission, which allows gearshifts through steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Keeping everything on the straight and narrow, a Lane Departure Warning System will be offered with the revised Five, which alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel.

And keeping the Five on the move, a new version of BMW's Active Cruise Control can now keep the car moving in stop-start traffic without the driver touching the pedals.

Spotting the revised Five will require keen eyes to note the kidney grilles that now sit flush with the bumper, the restyled air duct in the front valance or the additional contour line in the side sills.

Inside, the door panels have been restyled and there are eight programmable buttons on the dash for the most frequently used features.

Prices for the refreshed 5-Series range go from £26,980 to £49,805.

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