Starting at $230,000 (plus on-roads), the 2012 M5 enters as the flagship in the new 5 Series line-up, which first hit Australia back in 2010.
Doing away with the V10 mill of its predecessor, the new M5 is driven by BMW's 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8, delivering a huge 412kW at 6000rpm and 680Nm of torque from 1500rpm. If you're a Bimmer fan, you'll know this engine from the big X5 M and X6 M SUVs.
Unlike its SUV stablemates, which feature a six-speed auto, the new M5 gets a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission, belting the big sedan to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds.
Like most performance dual-clutch units, the automated manual gearbox offers manual and automatic shift options. Each offers three programs in giving you a choice of sporty, relaxed or efficiency-focused driving styles.
Depending on the setting, the system will tweak accelerator and steering response, Drivelogic shift program, Dynamic Damper Control and Dynamic Stability modes.
An electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h is listed, and BMW says you'll hit the 200km/h mark in just 13 seconds.
Fuel consumption is listed at 9.9 l/100km, a 30 percent improvement over the old 'E60' M5.
Standard specs for the 2012 M5 include the M division's sports suspension package, lightweight compound brakes and M servotronic electric steering.
BMW's Active M electronic multi-plate limited-slip diff is also featured, working with the Dynamic Stability Control system and monitoring accelerator position, wheel speed and yaw rate to determine the amount of locking force needed.
The DSC system is also connected to a slew of other magic bits, including Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Assistant, Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Dying function and Start-off Assistant.
Pushing the DSC button allows you to select M Dynamic Mode, raising the threshold before the system will kick in. The same button will also allow you to switch the DSC system off (or as "off" a the car will allow).
The new M5 gets chunky six-piston brake calipers and 400x36mm compound discs up front, along with single-piston calipers and 396x24mm compound discs at the rear.
In front of the brakes are forged 20-inch M Double Spoke alloy wheels, wrapped in 265/35 R20 tyres at the front and 295/30 R20s at the rear.
In Australia, the new M5's standard features include the Professional navigation package, rear view camera and surround view (with top and side cameras), head-up display, Park Distance Control, four-zone climate control, adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights, high-beam assistant, and heated and ventilated front seats.
BMW's Hi-Fi System Professional is standard, offering Dolby Pro Logic sound processor, surround mode, digital 600 watt amplifier and 16 speakers. Bluetooth audio streaming, USB, DVD and internet connectivity is also featured.
Lastly, there's a sunroof, automatic boot lid, M multi-function seats, lane change and lane departure warnings and BMW night vision.
The 2012 BMW M5 is on sale this month, priced from $230,000 - plus on-road costs.
Note: overseas left-hand-drive interior shown.
- Interested in buying BMW M5? Visit our BMW M5 showroom for more information.