Each generation of BMW M5 represents the cutting edge when it comes to modern sports sedans and serves as the gold standard against which all other pretenders to the throne are measured. The 2013 BMW M5 represents the pinnacle of the German brand's performance sedan development, but it also acts as a bridge between previous models that used their own unique drivetrains and suspension setups and the modern realities of cross-platform development. The 2013 M5 makes use of forced induction for the very first time in the model's history - a move that has some purists wagging their tongues - but it is hard to argue with the mind-blowing end result of this particular design decision.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 BMW M5
The 2013 BMW M5 shares absolutely nothing with the model that came before it, and this is perhaps most noticeable in terms of styling. The 2013 BMW M5 is sleeker and less busy-looking than older editions of the sedan, and while it still manages to portray a muscular image it fits into the crowd in a way the previous generation of the car did not. The BMW M5 also features an extensively re-tooled suspension setup and countless components that have been upgraded or replaced in order to lift the handling, straight-line speed and stability of the automobile above that of its standard counterpart. Although they might share some of the same DNA, there is no question that the M5 and the 5 Series sedan are entirely different animals.
02. The 2013 BMW M5 Sports A Fresh Power Plant
The 2013 BMW M5 moves away from the ten-cylinder mill that rested under the hood of its predecessor and instead embraces the brand's recent move towards turbocharging that has resulted in more efficient engines that still produce impressive amounts of horsepower. The new BMW M5 is motivated by a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine that delivers 560 ponies and 502 lb-ft of torque. This engine should not confused with the 4.4-liter unit found in other BMW models, as the automaker has made extensive changes to its oiling system, turbo size, intercooler design and other features in order to reduce lag and squeeze out as many horses as possible. The new motor also features nine pounds less mass than the high-revving V-10 that it replaces.
03. The 2013 BMW M5 Comes With Two Transmission Options
The 2013 BMW M5 at first courted controversy with American buyers not just due to its turbocharged engine but also because it seemed poised to be the first M5 model to completely forgo the offering of a manual transmission. That oversight was eventually corrected, and the BMW M5 does feature a six-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option for 2013. The M5 is also available with a seven-speed twin-clutch automated manual that allows for lightning fast shifts using steering-wheel mounted paddles. The twin-clutch unit is a huge improvement over the SMG semi-auto transmission offered with the V-10 powered M5 and eliminates much of the jerkiness at low speeds associated with that particular tranny.
04. The 2013 BMW M5 Offers The Active M Differential
The 2013 BMW M5 plants its prodigious power down to the ground by way of the Active M Differential. This rear diff features an electronically-controlled multi-plate system that prevents wheel spin when accelerating hard, and also helps to maintain stability when applying power through a corner. The M Differential works together with the vehicle's dynamic stability control in order to provide the best balance between safety, traction and performance at all times, and it can lock up to 100 percent for the ultimate in parking lot hooliganism or not at all in order to preserve a smooth ride when puttering around town at low speeds.
05. The 2013 BMW M5 Features The M Drive System
The BMW M Drive system - standard on the 2013 BMW M5 - is designed to allow individual drivers to store a host of different vehicle settings in the sedan's memory and then call them up at the touch of a steering wheel-mounted button. The M Drive feature is most useful for customizing the car's performance, providing complete control over the automobile's characteristics at speed through the judicious refinement of steering response, engine parameters, stability control and even suspension firmness. By offering more than one preset, the car can be swapped from track-ready to boulevard friendly in seconds without forcing owners to step through menu after menu of individual settings.
06. The 2013 BMW M5 Is Loaded With Luxury
As would be expected in one the brand's most popular models, the 2013 BMW M5 maintains the standard 5 Series' reputation for providing an excess of comfort and convenience equipment. Sport seats, extensive leather trim, aluminum accents and four zones of automatic climate control are all standard, as are HID headlights. The vehicle can also be equipped with automatically closing doors, a glass roof, a head-up display, a navigation system, 'active' seats that grip the body even tighter than the standard buckets, internet access and a host of specially-designed apps that are intended to help owners integrate their mobile devices into the vehicle's infotainment system.
07. The 2013 BMW M5 Pipes In It's Own Soundtrack
One of the more unusual aspects of the 2013 BMW M5 is a feature that sweetens the interior soundtrack of the sedan by way of an artificial engine note that is played through the M5's stereo system. Concerned that the vehicle's turbocharged V-8 might sound too muffled to please the ears of dedicated performance fanatics, and conscious of the effects that the luxury car's sound insulation would have on the tone of the vehicle's exhaust within the passenger compartment, BMW developed a system that plays a pre-recorded track of the engine's rising and falling sounds in concert with pedal application. This unique feature can be turned off by owners interested in a quieter - or more pure - driving experience.
08. The 2013 BMW M5 Drives Like A Sports Car
The 2013 BMW M5 is a big, comfortable and luxurious daily driver. When pushed, however, the M5 reveals its true colors as a legitimate high performance machine. BMW claims that the hot rod edition of the 5 Series can hit 60-mph from a standing start in just 4.4 seconds on its way to an eventual top speed of 155-mph (electronically limited). The M5 additionally offers a level of cornering capability that masks its weight, length and width quite effectively, making it a pleasure to toss through the turns and a fun option for an afternoon of track driving. A standard launch control system is also present to help even the most amateur pilot rip off consistently blazing drag strip starts.
09. The 2013 BMW M5 Is Very Safe
Not only does the 2013 BMW M5 feature a complement of airbags that do an excellent job of protecting vehicle occupants from injury in the event of a crash, it also comes with a host of electronic systems that are designed to help prevent an accident from ever occurring in the first place. The M5 can be had with a night vision system that detects pedestrians, animals and other obstacles obscured by darkness, lane change and lane departure warning systems that help to keep the sedan between the lines, surround view cameras that provide a 360-degree picture of the area around the car when parking and cameras that can automatically scan road signs for speed limit information and then alert the driver to the maximum posted velocity for a given stretch of road.
10. The 2013 BMW M5 Is Priced At Below $100K
The 2013 BMW M5 comes with an MSRP of $90,695. This is certainly not an inexpensive price tag, but compared to some of its competitors the M5 is in the right ball park. The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG checks in at an MSRP of $88,900 and offers similar levels of performance, and the Cadillac CTS-V (MSRP $64,515) matches the M5 around the track while presenting much stronger value, but the Porsche Panamera Turbo blows past its all comers with an MSRP of just under $140,000 ($35,000 more for the Turbo S edition, which offers M5-like horsepower). It would be inaccurate to label the BMW M5 a bargain, but in the lofty world of range-topping sports sedans it certainly doesn't hold take the title for the most expensive model on the block.