Now half finished: the report from Paris with pics:
What a day. Story will be written on Sunday.
Mr Brunke -the director of BMW and ex-Mercedes AMG director- was in a hurry but I got some great pics with him in front of the M5 engine and the Sepang Bronze M5. He really was proud and happy of the new M5.
Mr Bangle was very friendly as well. I started to give him a compliment that the M5 E60 and the 5-series is in my view the most beautiful of his designs. But he had to go when I mentioned that my site started the "Fire Chris Bangle Poll"
. Not so smart move of me telling him that. But I have a nice pic of him in front of the M5
even though he didnt design the M5.
Also I asked alot of questions to the BMW M guys that by this time recognize me and asked me if I didnt know everything since Geneva this March
Anyway, I have alot of detailed pics of the two M5s. The Silver was to illustrate a M5 with a "Sporty" theme and the Sepang Bronze the more "Luxury" choise. Sepang looked alot lighter in real life and alot nicer than on pictures.
Some short notes on some of my questions: brakes are the same story, they have to work for comfort, the pads should be able to work in everyday use, rain, witner etc. Cant be compared to Porsche since they have different weight distribution. Mercedes-AMG might have big brakes but the M5 will leave any AMG on any track in any weather
BMW M cars are made for enthusiasts and not for straight line racing. ACC (Active Cruise Control) is not an option and it would not fir the typical M driver. Also the sensor would take up alot of space (see the M Sport Package for the 5 series and if it has ACC it looks like a big hole in the spoiler. Very ugly.) The different rear plate holder is for enhancing the looks of the M5 and does not have a purpose. Front wheel arches are of aluminum and are widened 10 mm on each side. Rear is not widened. "Power Bulge" on the hood as the M3 is not needed since the E60 can "swallow" the engine with no problems. The M3 needs that space.
The black inserts on the exterior mirrors were inspired from racing where you put different colours on the rearview mirrors in order to differentiate and easier spot cars in your team. So that is race inspire then
A SMGIII clutch wil last alot longer than a manual, even when driven by proffesionals. Extensive studies on the M3 E46 have shown that. Chrome Shadow on the wheels where discontinued since chrome shadow is hard to replicate when shratcing the wheels (E39 M5 owner now kidding...)
I have alot of detailed pics on the BMW M specific I-Drive meny, M unique options and details. Sitting in the M5 and gripping the steering wheel felt very good. I can imagine the feeling when you start that engine and drive away, which must be an awesome experience. There is a choise of P400
and P500 Sport
in the I-Drive meny. However this can all be saved along with the three settings for EDC and if you choose to have DSC active or semi-active through MDM ( M Dynamic Mode) so they are all activated by pressing the M-Drive button. The M-Drive configured settings are saved in the key, which you will have three of. P500 Sport
has stiffer steering and more sensitive gas pedal, more or less like the old M5. You cannot change ride height, but the different EDC settings are adjusting all the time due to external variables.
Good news from BMW Individual: all Individual colours are available for the M5, even for US customers. Its all a question of what you pay and when you order it. Good communication and alot mor ehassle with your local dealer, but BMW Individual definetly confirmed that any Individual colour was OK for the new M5. Waiting time for Individual could if the planning from al parties are optimal (consumer, dealer etc) an extra two weeks as opposed to standard M5. But sometimes depending on how rare the options are it could take more time if for example the wood-panels are rare and takes time to manufacture.
Also: one source told me that USA will
get the M5 before 2006. Set sights on autumn 2005 for US launch. First Euro versions, then right hand drive then USA.
You can ask some questions in this thread and Ill try to answer some of them.