2017 BMW 5-Series
The BMW M5 has been the quality benchmark for high-performance cars since the E39 was released back in 1997. Since then, the model has been refined multiple times, making it one of the most popular and talked about high-end cars on the road.
Unfortunately, the M5 has become increasingly bogged down in technical issues over the last couple of generations. What was once a fun car to drive has, in many people’s opinions, become ugly and weird and now makes a strange V-10 scream that sounds like a banshee.
The question many are asking, therefore, is whether the 2017 version is a return to form and can help reestablish the M5’s place in the annals of history.
Recently, the boss of BMW, Frank van Meel, gave away some information about the upcoming car. He said that the new saloon will get the company’s xDrive four-wheel-drive powertrain and will be able to generate more than 600 bhp – or about as much as the Lamborghini Huracan. He also confirmed at last year’s Paris Motor Show that the new M5 would drive like a current M5, but have better traction and better cornering. Whether this means that the M5 is returning to its roots remains to be seen.
At the moment, BMW is facing some pretty stiff competition from its closest rival, Mercedes, as well as disruption in the marketplace, thanks to new technology. The German carmaker has said that it will not offer hybrid or electric versions of the M5, despite trends in the industry, and that it will not try to compete with 900bhp Mercedes’ upcoming hypercar, announced at the Paris Motor show last year. Instead, according to van Meel, the company will be returning to its roots. They want the new BMWs to have precise steering, responsive engines, and agility – the defining characteristics of the model in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Of course, many former BMW owners often found themselves in garages, like West Leederville Autos, because of the unreliability of the cars. Strangely, though, van Meel didn’t mention this problem, so it is unclear whether the issues that have historically plagued the M5 will be resolved in the upcoming 2017 model. Instead, he wanted to focus on “not ruining the balance” of the car by shoehorning ever larger and more powerful engines under the bonnet.
The new M5, due to be revealed in the coming months, was recently caught taking a lap around the Nurburgring. Although the car was camouflaged, eye-witness observers say that it has a bigger front grille, presumably for the additional cooling needed for its massive engine.
There is also speculation that the propulsion will come from a V8 4.4-liter engine, but many have pointed out that with the ever-growing burden of regulation, BMW might instead opt for a straight-six turbocharged.
What’s interesting about the upcoming BMW M5 is the fact that people are still talking about the car itself, and not the many gadget add-ons that are likely to come with it. In a world full of high technology, that’s quite an accolade in itself.