What you see above could almost be called revelation. M’s latest M5 is getting back to basics with an almost fully exposed engine under it’s hood. And while it’s not the entire engine, BMW is showing off a good percentage of the M5′s mill for the first time since the E34 M5. In fact it’s been 15 years since we’ve been able to actually see any details of the M5′s engine at all. But why is this?
BMW has a history of shrouding some of the best engines in the world with copious amounts of black meaningless plastic. Whether it’s in the name of design, marketing or simply sound-proofing we here at BF have long disapproved. And there’s no better example of this than the last two generations of the M5.
But things didn’t start out like that. Behold the glorious M88/3 engine (the US version was known as the S38B35) with it’s internals fully exposed and ready for work. It was perhaps the most pure M engine ever directly derived from the very powertrain that started it all in the M1.
Things didn’t change much with the E34 M5 which featured an improved version of the venerable M88 now known as the S38B36. Once again BMW was proud to show off every detail of the powerplant. And why not? M5′s were defined by their engines and the S38B36 was BMW at it’s best.
Then came the E39. Arguably the best M5 of all time (notwithstanding the F10M which we haven’t driven yet). Everything about the car was an improvement. With one glaring exception: the cheap piece of black plastic hiding the magical 4.9L S63 engine.
Finally we come to the recently departed S85 V10 form the E60 M5. It’s a monster of an engine with 10 individual electronically controlled throttles and a redline of 8250. And yet we couldn’t see a damn thing other than some plastic and an M badge.
The F10M has the makings of an incredible car. Much like the E39 M5 we expect it to be exceptionally flexible (torque-a-plenty) while being incredibly fast. And the engine responsible for all it? Yes you can actually lift the hood and see the plumbing for the first time in over 15 years. Thank you M.