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First look: BMW lifts wraps off M5 Touring

Family fun: The M5 Touring will hit 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.

M5 Touring and revised 5 Series range unveiled

11 Jan 2007

IF you'd just flicked open a car magazine recently, you would be forgiven in thinking that 10-cylinder engines are the minimum expected in a high-performance sedan.

BMW and Audi have set an agenda with performance V10s in their M series and S series cars, leaving Mercedes-Benz trailing in the all-important cubic-capacity race.

Now BMW has upped the ante, revealing its M5 Touring, the hottest way to get to the supermarket and back with the kids and dog in tow.

However, don't rush out to your dealer just yet. BMW Australia says the M5 Touring is not on its radar – at the moment – but if there was enough interest from potential buyers a business case may be put together, according to spokesman, Toni Andreevski.

The M5 Touring develops 373kW/520Nm the same as the M5 sedan, which costs $230,500. A wagon could possibly add $15,000 on top of the sedan's pricing.

It is the first time BMW's M division has put the big donk in a five-door model but Mercedes-Benz is by no means shamed by the V10 wagon. The Merc AMG E63 wagon still manages 378kW/630Nm from its 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8.

Like its sedan sibling the M5 Touring's chassis is optimised for supreme driving dynamics with the addition of programmable electronic damper control, variable M differential Lock and P400 performance program The M5 Touring accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, a fraction behind the sedan while delivering an average combined fuel figure of 15.0L/100km and a highway figure of just 10.6L/100km.

The added versatility of a wagon means this performance wagon has a completely flat rear floor and 60/40 split fold rear seats, enabling luggage capacity from 500 litres up to 1650 litres with both rear seats folded flat.

Visually, the M5 Touring is distinguished from the 530i Touring through its modified front spoiler and side-sills, air intakes on the side panels, a rear spoiler as well as the now trademark M quad exhausts.

14 center imageUnder the metal the suspension, steering and Dynamic Stability Control system have all been optimised for performance.

The wagon's body has also received reinforcements between the side-sills and the floor in the luggage compartment have been specially modified in accordance with the BMW M philosophy.

Like the sedan, the sequential SMG gearbox with Drivelogic enables the driver to shift gears either manually or automatically and is operated via the selector lever on the console or steering wheel paddleshifters.

The SMG system offers 11 driving programs, enabling the driver to adjust the gearshift characteristics to suit their own motoring style.

Using the manual gearshift functions in S-mode (sequential), the driver is also able to pre-select six of the 11 programs. The six gears are supplemented by five automatic driving programs in D-mode (drive), as well as a launch control function.

Gearshifts in the M5 Touring can be executed 20 per cent faster than previous sequential manual gearboxes. Ideally, one gearshift takes only about 65 milliseconds.

Apart from unveiling the M5 Touring, BMW has also reveal details of a facelifted 5 Series due here in May.

Headlining the changes, the 5 Series will offer a wide range of innovations in driver assistance and comfort.

BMW claims it will be the only car in its segment available with night vision, active cruise control featuring a stop & go function and lane change warning along with active steering, high-beam assist, and head-up display.

Visually the 5 Series gets a wider "kidney" grille, more pronounced headlights, revised tail-lights and a redesigned interior with new X5-style electroinc shifter lever for the six-speed transmission, which boasts 40 per cent faster reaction times and swifter gearshifts.

BMW’s petrol and diesel engines, already widely lauded for their superior power and supreme refinement, remain largely unchanged.

Significantly however, the volume selling 530i sedan and Touring gain 10kW power and 15Nm torque with the 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine now boasting 200kW and 315Nm.

Thanks to the faster automatic transmission, 0-100 km/h performance gains are common throughout the range with the V8 powered, 270kW 4.8-litre engine in the 550i leading the charge.

The remaining variants will include the 540i, 530i (in both Sedan and Touring guises), 530d and 525i.

Final pricing and specification for the updated BMW 5 Series range will be announced closer to its arrival in Australia.

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