Unlike the M5 E60, which had an outstanding engine/exhaust sound produced by one of the best BMW engines ever, the famous 5.0 liters V10 naturally aspirated engine, the 2012 M5 F10 has under the bonnet a 4.4 liters turbocharged smaller unit. In terms of performance this new block, has immense power and torque output, and it’s a high revving block with linear and instaneous acceleration, with most of the 680 NM of torque available from just 1500 rpm. But it lacks the sporty feeling when being floored. Most of the M5 fans seem to be upset about the fact that the sound feeling has been almost completely ignored by the BMW engineers.
In this direction, the BMW M division engineers, have developed a new technology for the M5, to produce a louder and sportier engine sound in the cabin, by adding a new sound layer in the car’s audio system. This technology is called Active sound, and tries to enhance the sound, by giving a more burble V8 feeling.
BMW claims the system provides an “extremely accurate impression of current engine load” and that the sound has been optimized to spread across the entire cabin. Not only that, but when Sport or Sport+ is engaged, the sound inside the M5 is enhanced and perfectly sequenced with induction, engine and exhaust noises
The Active Sound Design technology specially developed for the new BMW M5 takes its cues from the driving situation at any one time to deliver an accurate reproduction of the engine’s sound through the car’s audio system. The system’s digital signal processing exchanges data directly with the engine management, allowing it to reflect the engine’s revs and torque, and the car’s speed over the road. The result over a smoothly driven journey is a discreet soundtrack in keeping with the harmonious and assured characteristics of the V8 powerplant. A stamp on the accelerator, meanwhile, prompts an immediate audible response to match the instantaneous – and typically M – burst of power from beneath the bonnet.
One of the BMW M5 F10 owners has decided to check, what would be the difference in the cabin, if the active sound is disabled by pulling the Fuse #200 rated 40 amps, from the fuses box, located in the right side of the trunk, near the battery.
The question remains, how can mercedes AMG and Porsche models manage to produce great engine/exhaust sounds, using similar turbocharged V8 units, while the M5 is quite left behind at this chapter.