Well, think about it logically. BMW needs to compete with Mercedes who will soon be supercharging their already powerful 5.4 liter V8. This supercharged version of the engine will be going into the next generation E55 AMG. Motorsport likes to stick with normally aspirated engines so in order to keep up with Merc's supercharged 5.4, heading to a V10 seems like the thing to do. One might think that BMW can just tweek the current engine and get it up to a 500 hp 4.9 liter V8, and they can, BUT with that kind of horsepower/liter ratio, the engine would sound like that of the E46 M3 or the Honda S2000, a high, loud, toy-car-like buzz that M5 owners on the whole don't really go for. A V10 would keep the sound harmonious and eloquent, similar to the pleasant ROAR we have now.
My point here is simply that upgrading to a V10 sounds like the nest logical step in M5 evolution. It is controversial for BMW to put a V10 in a 5-series, just like putting a V8 in a 3-series seems to ruin the point (possibly why there only selling about 10 of those and they're only doing that to make the V10 M3 eligible for racing as a production based car), but the alternative, a Cheverolet-like 5.7 liter V8 to get the extra power just seems wierd- 5.7 liters in BMW speak is a V12.
Last point, how do we compete with Merc's wussy supercharging?
I encountered this old generation M6 owner the other day and he was telling me how both the M5 and M6 will share the same V-10 engine but with more horsepower in the M6. If the speculations are true...watch the 360 Modena trying to follow the M5 in straight forward acceleration...that means a new meal for the future beast
What is wrong with supercharging? Actually, I like it a lot, because it lets one burn lots more air and fuel in a piston of a given size and stroke....
Don't fall into the error of saying, "it only pulls at high RPM." Think of it as, "it pulls MORE at high RPM." Way more....
Some people around here claim that the Dinan supercharger will be able to get 550bhp... than will be nice! Would you turn the power down just because it was supercharged? I wouldn't. (Although I'm not sure what I would need more power for, given that the M5 will be plenty strong for drifts and donuts, what I find interesting.)
And why is a V10 so interesting? The only advantage that I can see is that you can split the cylinder volume up in 10ths, which means smaller cylinders, which might mean a higher red line... and that Honda-like sound again. (Personally, I love high RPMs and huge turbo boost, but I wonder how long an engine like that could last before it needs repair?)
Finally, note that you can get a lot more energy per liter out of an engine with boost, which saves you weight!
Actually, I think that Mercedes is doing the right thing. When they replace the slush box with a sequential manual gearbox, I'll suddenly be very interested in a Mercedes.
Mercedes is already supercharging their 5.5L V8. In the new Mercedes SL 55 AMG the equipped the engine with a kompressor and it has now an amazing 476HP(350KW) and 700NM.
This engine makes the SL 55 fly from 0-100kph in only 4.7s and this is with a 5-speed autobox
If the put this engine in the E-Class BMW will definitely have to upgrade the M5. I think they should implant the McLaren F1 V12 with 627HP because with this powerhouse they could kick the SL 55, the new E55 and even the Brabus E V12 7.3L
I believe the McLaren comes with gold foil engine bay insulation and $14,000 servicing costs ... might restrict a few of us from ownership if applied to the next M5. A V-10 will allow BMW to align their production car marketing (and manufacture to some extent) with their F1 program. I'm all eager for a 550 bhp (BMW: please note - this is the magic number required to stay at the top of the heap). I'd expect a larger displacement than the current M5 with an 8-9000 rpm redline. Sound ... I don't care, I'm sure it would be great but a Ferrari scream at high rpm would be ideal.
I do find the idea of a V10 5 series interesting, but personally, what would please me even more would be putting the M5 on a diet. Of course a lighter and more powerfur car I probably wouldn't turn down...
I too have read about the V10 but I doubt it will happen. Unless BMW makes a regular 5 or 7 series with a V10, the cost of this will be too great. Making a whole new engine for a single car will cost too much. The reason the current M5 can be so"affordable" is because it shares many engine components with the 540i, 740i and X5. The next M5 will most likely have an upgraded version of the new Double Vanos V8 or the upcoming V12. The cost of an M5 only V10 could be ridiculous. A V10 would be incredible, but who will pay $90k for an M5.
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