BMW’s next generation of the M5 sport saloon will be powered by a V10 derived from the engine currently used by the BMW Williams F1 team.
In a classic example of racing improving the breed, BMW says it plans to install a Formula 1-inspired V10 engine in the next generation M5.
The current M5, arguably the most prestigious sports saloon in the world, turns out 294 kW from its 5-litre V8. However, the new car, codenamed E60, will get a five-litre, 10 cylinder engine able to rev to a spine-tingling 9 000 rpm.
It is expected that a six-speed sequential gearbox will be fitted to the four-valves per cylinder V10 engine.
The new engine will also be offered in the proposed new 6-series coupe, the M6, which is also due to debut in 2003, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport magazine reports.
A BMW V-10 is at the heart of the successful BMW Williams F1 car, which has scored two Grand Prix victories at the hands of Ralf Schumacher this season.
This news follows an announcement this week that BMW had achieved its highest ever number of new car sales in the first half of this year.
Even amid a sluggish economic environment, worldwide deliveries of its cars reached 459 800 from January to June, an increase of nine per cent from the figure for the corresponding period a year earlier and a new half-year record.
“Our successful sales reflect the high level of acceptance of BMW cars on world markets,” a BMW spokesman said. “We could even report positive developments in markets where the economic outlook remains sluggish.”
In Germany, for example, where the overall market shrank by 3,7 per cent, BMW was able to report a one per cent increase in deliveries to 130 400 cars.
In the rest of western Europe, unit sales were up five per cent at 151 700 cars. In the United States, BMW handed over some 107 300 cars to customers, an increase of just under 21 per cent.
And in South Africa, BMW’s 3-series remains particularly popular. Despite being an upmarket car priced from R165 000 upwards, the BMW 3-series recorded the third highest new car sales figures in June.