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The "M5 BMW should have built" - A 700 hp Switzer Tuned BMW M5




The "M5 BMW should have built" is what Switzer, the Ohio-based tuner, is calling their P700 BMW M5. The new F10 BMW M5 is far from lacking in the power department, thanks to a twin turbo 4.4 litre V8 making 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. The numbers don't tell the complete story though - judging by acceleration test numbers compared to similar cars in the segment with comparable hp ratings, power-to-weight ratios and even some dyno tests, the hp rating is probably closer to what the car makes at the wheels rather than the crank, which is what many people have come to expect from BMW engines. That was not enough for the folks at Switzer Performance though, so they made a few modifications to bring the numbers up a little.




How much is a little? Well, if Switzer is conservative with their power ratings like BMW, then nearly 140 hp. For $6,995, they will take a stock BMW M5 and turn up the boost with a new engine control unit (ECU), replace the stock exhaust with a Switzer one and put in a high flow air filter. The result is nearly 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque - up 140 hp and 140 lb-ft torque from the stock numbers. Most of the gains are probably due to tuning and the increased boost but Switzer says that the exhaust also has an aural benefit, which is great because the stock exhaust tone is far too docile for a super sedan. All of this sounds good but is it the M5 BMW should have built? I disagree.

In one of Edmunds' reviews, they wrote: "The front end can feel ponderous, and understeer is way too prevalent for an M car." Car and Driver wrote in the Lightning Lap 2013 feature: "Whether the M5 is braking or turning, this car weighs 4425 pounds. There is only so much you can ask of its Michelin Pilot Super Sports - maybe a few laps of good grip, but then the rubber greases up and the understeer sets in fully," and added about the steering: "Little is communicated up the column from the contact patches and the weighting seems pointlessly hefty." According to the specs page on BMW's website (BMW M5 Sedan - Features & Specs - Specifications), the curb weight is 4,387 lb. when equipped with the auto transmission and 4,354 lb. with the manual transmission. In fact, when Road & Track tested one with the manual, it weighed a whopping 4,525 lb. It weighs and understeers too much and lacks steering feedback and braking consistency. Did BMW ruin this M5?

The answer is yes, in a way. This M5 is really not as bad as it sounds. The M5's biggest problem is its badge - the M5 badge. It is a great car but it's not a great M5. BMW softened the car to appeal to a larger market and increase sales. From a business perspective, they've done a great job and I'm sure it will sell more. They have made it a better everyday car and it is still a very fast midsize luxury sedan with great limits and handling abilities, especially for a 4,400+ lb. car. It's not a great M car, though. A great M car does not need excuses. You shouldn't need to say it's great, considering how much it weighs, how quiet it is, etc. You should be able to say it's great, period.

The M5 BMW should have built isn't the current one with more power, regardless of how much power that is. The M5 BMW should have built weighs less than 3,800 lb. and feels more at home on a track than on the road, rather than the other way around, without having a punishing ride. Are you listening, BMW?

Source: Motor Trend


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