The M5 is no more. BMW has confirmed that the M5 and Z8 are being dropped because of the new 5-Series due this year. Will they be missed?

The M5 is no more. BMW has confirmed that the M5 and Z8 are being dropped because of the new 5-Series due this year.

According to , production of the two models will stop at the end of June. The Z8 is being killed off after not being a huge success globally, but the high-performance M5 did not have an image problem. It is highly regarded in terms of power and performance, but is being dropped because the new 5-Series will not use the 5,0-litre V8 that powers these two cars.

However, the 5-Series is getting an M variant in the next few years and it is likely to be powered by a 5,5-litre V10. It will be mated to a beefier, third-generation version of BMW’s SMG gearbox. Expected performance figures are zero to 100 km/h in 4,6 seconds and a top speed limited to 250 km/h. It will have a far more menacing look than the standard 5-Series models.

The 5-Series, due in Europe in July, will have 2,0-litre petrol and 3,0-litre petrol and diesel engines at launch. They will be followed by the 2,5-litre 525i and the 4,4-litre V8 545i later in the year. All engines come with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed Steptronic automatic.

The 520i produces 125 kW and 210 N.m of torque, the 530i 170 kW and 300 N.m, while the 530d has figures of 160 kW and 500 N.m.

CARtoday.com also reported recently that an M version of the Z4 was photographed in Europe. Featuring noticeable facia modifications and a redesigned front apron and rear bumper, it’s expected to house the same 3,2-litre straight six and six-speed transmission that powers the 252 kW M3.

The production model will début next year, just in time to bolster sagging M production numbers. Although BMW’s performance division sold 27 000 units worldwide in 2002, the manufacturer said it expects a significant slowdown in M production for 2003, “due to a gloomy economy, war concerns and model changeovers”.

Original article from Car