2012 BMW M5 | road test

Posted on May 24, 2012 by

Quick Review

GoodGood Performance, handling, electronics
SpecsSpecs4.4-litre twin-turbo V8; 560bhp, 680Nm
PricePriceAED 599,000
RatingEditors Rating Five Star

Since its inception in 1985, the is heralded as the best super saloon ever built. All it’s competitors have tried to catch up but somehow, no one has succeeded in taking the top spot. The first-gen M5 successfully merged practicality with performance and was the fastest production sedan in the world. You could have four adults sitting comfortably and still go around corners with the same spirit and excitement as smaller sports cars. Back in the day, I remember reading very good things about the M5 in every magazine I could lay my hands on. Every automotive journalist I looked up to praised the M5 and what your heroes like, you do too.

Photographer: Martin Victor Alva

The 2012 BMW M5 is built on a modified F10 5 Series platform introduced 2009. However, unlike the standard 5 Series that reached dealerships in 2010, the M5 went on sale in late 2011. It has the obvious muscular styling when compared to the standard version with its trademark quad-pipe exhaust and the M badging. On the inside, the center console of the BMW M5 is familiar with the standard version with a few extra buttons to that allow you to play with the M drive modes. Going by the product description, the design seems to be the only common factor between the M5 and the standard 5 Series. Everything under the skin is radically different. The engine is different, the suspension is different, the gearbox is modified, the suspension is modified, the steering is modified, and the brakes are different, etc.

The new  2012 BMW M5 is also very different compared to its predecessor with the biggest difference being the engine. A 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine replaces the naturally aspirated 5-litre V10 found on the outgoing version. This new twin-turbo engine is not an all-new engine but an upgraded version of the engine found on the X5 M and the X6M. BMW has tweaked it a bit to increase the output and provide better fuel economy. This new twin-turbo engine, although smaller in size and with lesser cylinders, delivers 60bhp and 160Nm more than the older V10. Maximum power is 560bhp at 6,000-7,000rpm and peak torque is a 680Nm. BMW claims a 30 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. A seven-speed dual clutch box with manual mode handles transmission duties.

The new BMW M5 also comes with enough electronic aids to put my high-end laptop to shame. The steering, engine and the chassis can be set to three different driving modes with each mode bringing about a very noticeable change in driving dynamics. With everything set at Comfort, the car feels very sedate and well-mannered going about its business as a standard 5 Series would. Switch to Sport and the gearbox immediately drops a few cogs, the engine becomes (even) more responsive, the suspension firms up and the steering becoming heavier. For an average driver on a daily commute, every bit of sportiness and performance can be extracted with the car in Sport mode. In the bonkers or the Sport Plus mode, everything turns manic. The gearbox won’t shift unless you tell it to and when you do, it does it with supercar rivaling quickness. The engine will shove every last ounce of torque and horsepower in your face and the chassis will make the handling very exciting for the driver while the passengers beg for mercy.

Toggling the M traction control will let you slide the rear and enjoy the rear-wheel-drive setup to the limit before super-smart computers tell the rear axle differential with its variable locking function to take over and bring everything under control before you end up somewhere you wish you hadn’t. The M5 is undoubtedly the best sedan I’ve driven so far this year and I’m saying this after driving one of its rivals, the Jaguar XFR a few weeks ago. The Jaguar has a sweet engine but lacks the electronics that come in so handy when your inner racer boy takes over. The M5 feels exciting even when you are cruising in a straight line and even while it’s idle. I think I’m beginning to understand why this car is as legendary as it is. It feels so clinical and precise and as an enthusiast, thats what you will love about this car the most.

The M5 has tons and tons of grip for a car its size and lets not forget the ‘speaker-generated’ V8 sound track that changes tone and tempo depending on the instructions of your right foot. BMW engineers have taken their time with this one and it shows. There is nothing lacking with this car. You wont get out of it and go “I wish it had this.” It’s all there. This car leaves its mark everywhere, and the admiring glances at red lights from those occasional drivers who know what this car is makes you smirk at being behind its wheel.


The new 2012 BMW M5 offers familiar sedan-like comfort and space merged with unrivalled sportiness without wanting to suck the fuel pumps dry. What I loved about this car is its ability to switch between characters. This is the car that can take you and your family to the racetrack in the highest of comfort and then allow you to overtake sports cars with just a flick of a few buttons with your family enjoying the ride. With an asking price of AED 599,000 the new BMW M5 is expensive even when you compare it with its nearest rivals but with that amount of money you aren’t just buying any car, you are buying one of the best cars ever made.


Price as tested: AED 599,000

Price range: AED 599,000


Engine: 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Layout: Front engine, rear wheel drive
Max. power: 560bhp @ 6000-7000rpm
Max torque: 680Nm @ 1500-5750rpm
Transmission: 7-speed M DCT with manual over ride

Dimensions (mm)

Length: 4910
Width: 1892
Height: 1451
Wheelbase: 2964
Curb Weight: 1945kg
Fuel tank capacity: 80 litres
Seating capacity: 4/5

Tyre size: (F) 265/40 R19
(R) 295/35 R19


Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, Jaguar XFR, Porsche Panamera Turbo

One Response to 2012 BMW M5 | road test

  1. TD Reply

    September 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

    AED 600,000? What’s up with the dealer in UAE, in Saudi it’s SAR 440,000!

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