We won't see the basic BMW 5-series until the end of 2009, but our nosier observers at the Nurburgring have already captured the top-dog M5 version testing at the Nordschleife. You can watch the spy video in our player below.
The new, sixth-generation Five lands at the 2010 Geneva motor show, and the hot M5 won't be seen until much later in 2010 or early 2011. Big news is here is the dumping of the exotic V10, in favour of a bi-turbo V8. Blame the emissions regs, the ever-increasing scrutiny of largesse under the bonnet and – let's face it – the recession that's totally recalibrating the model line-up of most manufacturers. So out with five litres of screaming magic, in with a direct-injection 4.4-litre V8.
It's not all sensible stuff; with twin blowers pumping up the action quotient, there'll be a fulsome 550bhp to play with, CAR's sources in Munich contend. Out with the jerky seven-speed automated manual, in favour of an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Sounds like a revolution in Munich. The new M5 arrives in early 2011, in saloon only format. There will be no Touring estate M5 this time... See it in our spy video footage below.