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Mike Stevens | Sep 28, 2009

REPORTS OF THE next-generation BMW M5 swapping V10 power for a twin-turbo V8 have been circulating since last year, but speaking with BMW this week, US news site Edmunds reports that the move is a virtual certainty.

The most likely powerplant is the 4.4 litre V8 featured in the recently revealed X5 M and X6 M performance SUVs. If it makes it into the 2011 BMW M5, output will likely be up around 420kW and 670Nm.

The current 5.0 litre V10-powered M5 produces a very respectable 373kW and 520Nm of torque.

While it may not appear at launch, a KERS (for Kinetic Energy Recovery System) for the M5 is rumoured to also be in the works.

Of course, the complexity and cost of the hybrid system, which would boost the M5’s already formidable acceleration, may yet be a stumbling-block for BMW.

BMW is not alone in its quest for the ultimate combination of high power and optimum efficiency, with fellow German carmaker Audi expected to drop a pair of cylinders from the RS6 in favour of a lighter, more efficient and powerful twin-turbo V8.

Whether Audi can match the output of its current Gallardo V10-powered RS6 is a question for which an answer may be some time away, with 433kW and 650Nm the figures to beat.

[Edmunds]
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