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BMW M5 Concept

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BMW M5 Concept

BMW gave the world a teaser look at the fourth generation of its ultimate performance sedan at the Geneva Motor Show with the reveal of the Concept M5, which the Munich-based company likes to refer to as the ''businessman's express.''

After 20 years of M5s, BMW is still able to raise the go-fast ante by ''translating Formula 1 technology directly into a road car.'' For the first time, this means the use of a V10 in an M5, an engine that will put out about 500 hp and some 375 lb.-ft. of torque.

That would mean the large sedan would be capable of going from 0 to 100 km/h in ''well under'' five seconds, which is not such a rarity in these performance-oriented days but still fairly unusual.

Such performance levels are made possible by specially modified Bi-VANOS camshaft timing, individual throttle butterflies and engine electronics derived from the BMW Williams F1 car. These are linked to an enhanced traction control system, a variable limited slip differential and adapted brakes to ensure that the Concept M5 offers an ''exhilarating, yet safe, driving experience.''

Along with the engine developments, Formula 1 technology is carried over to the transmission, so the Concept M5 is equipped with a seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox, which is another first for BMW.

Under the sheetmetal, the BMW Concept M5 is based on the 5-series sedan launched in 2003, with both cars using an aluminum chassis and lightweight aluminum front body panels.

Visually, the BMW Concept M5 stands apart from its regular 5-series sibling by the addition of modified front and rear air dams, side sills, side air vents and four exhaust tailpipes. It also has M alloy wheels of an exclusive design measuring 8.5J x 19 on the front and 9.5J x 19 on the rear, with 255 / 40 ZR 19 and 285 / 35 ZR 19 tires, respectively.

BMW coyly notes that the BMW Concept M5 is after all a concept car, but adds that the introduction of this model means that a production version could be available within a year, which probably means a launch in the summer of 2005.