The M5 is undoubtedly a highly-tuned performance machine – but is BMW underplaying its real power? That’s the conclusion that Car and Driver reached during extensive testing. Official BMW M5 horsepower is rated at 600 hp (617 hp for the Competition model) and 553 lb/ft of torque – impressive by any standards, especially considering the M5 weighs in at over two tons. But this supercar is capable of even more.
M5 Performance by the Numbers
As mentioned, M5 performance specs put horsepower at 600 at the crank. Drivetrains are not 100% efficient in transferring crank horsepower to wheel hp. A loss of 15 – 20% in an automatic transmission is typical. So, we’d expect a range of between 480 – 510 hp at the wheel for the M5.
Car and Driver conducted a dyno test on the M5 Competition, and guess what? They found it had 617 hp at the wheel – which was its factory rating at the crank. In practical terms: this car is much more powerful than stated. All that power is making it to all four wheels. They also measured torque, which was 606 lb/ft, 10% more than the factory torque rating.
The M5 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just three seconds and makes a quarter mile in a stunning 11 seconds. A real supercar.
Despite higher power-to-weight ratios, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Cadillac CTS-V, and the all-wheel Jaguar XE SV Project 8 are all a full second slower on the zero to 60 and ¼ mile.
BMW M5 Horsepower Is Just the Beginning
The M5 and M5 Competition are stunning to drive. Powerful, certainly, but they are also well-rounded vehicles that combine innovation, performance, and sleek lines that are guaranteed to meet the high expectations of even the most exacting Bimmer fans.
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