Is this the sound of a 2012 BMW M5?

When someone says M5 to me, I immediately think of the stonking silver on black E39 in The Hire that works its magic in an awesome driving scene that is somewhere between Ronin and the Blues Brothers on my all-time favourite car chase scenes. What an awesome car – pity about the coffee spill in the back.

M5 for me means man in sync with machine, machine in sync with man, form following function etc. The whole car is setup to connect with every sensory organ in your body. For BMW to achieve this, they spend hundreds of hours tuning the suspension and getting the seat bolster the right height. All this to create a pure driving experience or ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine‘.

So when I learnt that the 2011 model’s audio system plays a tuned recording of the engine in sync with actual engine revs to ‘increase’ driving experience, why didn’t it sit right?

The ‘Active Sound Design’ technology is impressive, and if you watch/listen to the video above, you’ll certainly fall in love with the sound, but knowing it’s been augmented bothers me just a little bit.

I know why BMW has done this, and I get it, I really do. I can imagine the feeling that comes when sitting in an M5 sounding like the twin turbo V8 is sitting right next to you – it would enhance the driving experience for sure.

My question is though, do you need to enhance the M5 driving experience?

Take a listen to the F10 M5 hit 300klm/h in the video – I don’t think you’ll care that some of the sound is coming from the audio system but will you feel a little bit cheated after?

Source:, YouTube

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