BMW has remained relatively mum regarding the next-generation M5, but reports are now emerging that a concept version of the eagerly-awaited thunder saloon will make an appearance at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show accompanied by the new 6 Series Coupé.
BMW has a habit of unveiling concepts that are pretty much thinly-veiled production models just ahead of the actual production car’s debut. The company took a similar approach with the current M3; showing off a near-production concept at the 2007 Geneva Show before lifting the wraps off the finished product at Frankfurt later the same year.
Given China’s appetite for premium European models and its importance to BMW as a major consumer of its products, it would make sense that the 2011 M5 Concept will make an appearance at Shanghai in April before the production model bows at Frankfurt in September.
The new M5 is expected to be powered by an uprated version of the 4,4-litre twin-turbo V8 currently doing service in the X5 M and X6 M. This unit could develop as much as 433 kW, which will be channelled to the rear wheels via the company’s M-DCT dual-clutch transmission.
The new M5 will likely be joined by an ActiveHybrid 5 Series saloon, as well as the upcoming 6 Series Coupé which was recently captured by spy photographers in Munich. The lightly-camouflaged prototype appears to have adopted a gracefully-sloping rear-end design reminiscent of the Concept 6 Series Coupé from last year’s Paris Show, as well as its panoramic glass roof.
The engine line-up is likely to include a 239 kW 3,0-litre straight-six and a 4,4-litre twin-turbo V8 with 304 kW on tap. Transmission options are said to include a six-speed manual and the recently-introduced 8-speed automatic ‘box.
The Shanghai Motor Show kicks off with press days on the 19-20th of April before opening to the public from 21-28 April.