As BMW’s super saloon rolls into Singapore, new dealer Performance Munich Autos is holding special sneak previews
SINGAPORE — The new BMW M5 won’t be hitting our roads until early next year, but prospective buyers are getting an up-close look at it good and early. That’s because selected guests have been invited to special closed-door viewings of the car by the new BMW M agent, Performance Munich Autos (PMA).
This new company was incorporated in February by Sime Darby, which also owns main BMW dealer Performance Motors. CarBuyer understands that talks are being finalised for it to be structured as a joint venture with BMW M’s former dealer, Munich Automobiles.
Meanwhile, the new dealership arrangement sees the relocation of the BMW M showroom from Teban Gardens to the previous BMW showroom at 315 Alexandra Rd, next to Ikea.
The new place has floor space for five cars, a new Delivery Suite that can play a personalised multimedia presentation during the handover process, as well as an Individual Lounge replete with BMW M Geniuses and Virtual Product Presentation tablets for customers to visualise and spec their custom options.
The M Genius is a world first; their job is to explain the cars and help customers configure them, but they’re not allowed to do any actual selling, so they don’t add any pressure to the experience.
Also on the cards for PMA early in the year is the X3 M40i (part of the M Performance range, a stepping stone between the M range and regular BMWs), but it’s the M5 we’re most excited about.
The 540i M Sport we drove early this year impressed us deeply with how polished the new 5 Series platform is, leaving high hopes for what the M5 version would bring to the table. And on paper at least, it doesn’t disappoint.
Headline figures for the new M5 are thus: 600hp, 750Nm, 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 305km/h with the optional M Driver’s Pack (otherwise it’s limited to 250km/h). Those power and acceleration figures put the M5 directly on par with its arch-rival from Stuttgart, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S, which was launched here during the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix weekend.
It’s powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine, a development of the 4.4-litre unit found in the previous M5 (and M6, X5 M and X6 M), with new turbos and improvements to the oil, cooling and exhaust systems. The gearbox is now an eight-speed automatic, as opposed to the dual-clutch transmission of before.
And just as the E 63 has gone all-wheel drive to help the driver corral all those horses under the bonnet, so too has the M5, which a first for a full-fat M sedan. The xDrive system here is rear-biased most of the time, only sending power to the front when traction is limited; engaging 4WD Sport mode sends even more power to the rear, allowing for a bit of tail-out fun with the 4WD acting as a safety net. True to historical M car form however, there remains the possibility of tyre-slaying antics on demand, as the xDrive system also has a dedicated 2WD setting.
Hooray for rear wheel drive!
German super saloons have traditionally been regarded as wolves in sheeps’ clothing – totally unremarkable to the casual observer. But for those in the know, the M5’s distinguishing features are easy to spot: gaping air intakes for the radiator and brakes in front, quad tailpipes at the back, standard 19” rims (or optional 20”s, as seen here), massive brakes with six-pot calipers (painted blue for the standard iron discs; gold for the optional carbon ceramics), and a carbonfibre roof.
The coolest thing that makes the new M5 unique though, is its signature launch colour, for it has a special Singaporean connection. The paintjob you see here is Marina Bay Blue, named after the Marina Bay Street Circuit, and it joins an extensive list of other iconic racetrack-inspired hues, such as Interlagos Blue, Imola Red, Le Mans Blue and Yas Marina Blue.
We’re not entirely sure why BMW thinks a dark blue would be the characteristic colour of Marina Bay, but it’s a striking yet refined shade nonetheless. Now the only thing is to actually photograph it at Marina Bay when we get our eager paws on it after it’s officially launched in the first half of next year.
Even if the M5 itself isn’t officially ready for launch, though, the new BMW M dealership certainly is.
Want to sit here? Speak to the new dealer
WATCH AND LISTEN
New BMW M dealer Performance Munich Autos is kicking things off with a sneak preview of the new BMW ///M5 for VIP customers. One unit is in town for a month to let buyers kick its tyres at closed-door sessions, but we snuck a camera phone in. Have listen to its V8 bark, then click here: http://bit.ly/2jao2fc
Posted by CarBuyer Magazine on Friday, 8 December 2017