The American automotive mantra of bigger is better has been a mainstay of the industry since the heyday of Detroit. The more cubic inches crammed under the hood the faster the car and so on and so forth. The very fact that the engineers at German automaker BMW have trimmed back the 2011 motor on the M5 seems to be a step in the wrong direction. Conventional thought tells us here in the States that smaller cannot be better. Boy do we have a lot to learn.
Innovation at Length
Scaling back the M5’s 5.0 liter V-8 must have been hard. The flagship of the BMW fleet, the M5 is billed as the ultimate luxury sport sedan. Performance is, without a doubt, the main draw of the M5 and a reduction in engine size means less performance, right? Well someone forgot to tell that to the guys in the lab coats at BMW. The 2011 M5’s engine is smaller in every respect other than performance.
Two Words: Twin Turbo
Stepping down two cylinders from the previous generation of M5 models, the 2011 m5 will feature a 4.4 liter V-8 twin turbo. The base 4.4 liter engine is shared with two of BMW’s crossover SUVs, however the incarnation found in the 2011 M5 is far from base. Industry experts agree that the 4.4 liter V-8 is rated at close to 600 horsepower, tuned up from the normal low to mid 500 horsepower generated by the baseline engine found in the SUVs. The twin turbos found on the streamlined V-8 help to improve not only top speed, close to 188 mph with the drivers package option, but fuel economy and emissions as well.
The Bottom Line
The 2011 BMW M5 is set to receive the crown of luxury sport sedan from its predecessor. The M5 will be faster, more fuel efficient and more powerful than any previous model in the M series and it will do those things with an engine significantly smaller than any M series in the last three decades.