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The 2012 BMW M5 is Ready to Blow You Away

This car blows…hard.

Nearly a year before it hits the street in the U.S., BMW has released photos of its replacement for the currently out of production M5 sports sedan.

The entire car is all-new, but the biggest change is the switch from a high-revving V10 engine to a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that pumps out 552 hp in European trim, making the M5 the most powerful production sedan ever created by BMW’s M division. The motor is shared by the X6M and X5M high-performance SUVs.

Mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (rumor has it a manual is on the way, too) the M5 is good for a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds, thanks to a healthy 502 lb-ft of torque.

The new bodywork has the kind of subtle sportiness BMW’s uber-sedan is known for, with big engine-feeding air intakes in the front fascia, signature “M-gills” on the fenders, bulging wheel arches and quad exhaust pipes.

An M-steering wheel and aluminum trim give the interior a more aggressive look than its 5-Series siblings, while a full suite of M-controls can be used to modify the car’s driving dynamics through an active suspension and electronic rear differential.

Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, but an optional M Driver’s Package unlocks the governor and allows the M5 to reach 190 mph.

Pricing has not been announced, but the 2010 M5 started at around $85,000. The new model is set to hit showrooms in spring 2012.