In some circles, the M badge that comes along with BMW’s performance models is one of honor and exclusivity. Others seem to think that it’s a license to weave in and out of traffic without caring for fellow drivers. Whatever side you fall on, one thing is clear: the BMW M performance lineup can take on all competitors and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
The 2013 BMW M5, for example, has a 4.4-liter V-8 engine that puts 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque to the unlucky pavement below. To put that into perspective, the Nissan GT-R and its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 lays down 545 hp but costs almost $7,000 more than the challenger from Munich. Even as overpowering and intoxicating to drive as the GT-R is, it still doesn’t have a steering wheel like the BMW M products too.
There are a few features that make the BMW M steering wheel so special including an average fuel consumption read-out, a timer, your average speed, and Efficient Dynamics Index which compares your average speed to how much fuel has been used. Other features include a water and oil temperature read-out, a lateral G meter, and, perhaps the coolest feature; the gear shift indicator. For those who plan on taking their M model to the track, you can view Race mode through the LCD display on the steering wheel include a lap timer, section mode (split lap times), quarter-mile race (with the Christmas tree style drag race lights), your reaction time, a stop watch, start reaction time, total time in quarter mile and different distances as well. It doesn’t hurt that all of these features rest under some Alcantara that coats the steering wheel accented by carbon fiber, either. And it can all be yours for a cool $1,653, not including installation.
Check out a the BMW M steering wheel in action first-hand as demonstrated by motorsports expert and race car driver Tim Schrick. It does help if you’re fluent in German as Schrick walks us through in his native tongue but turning the audio off and just watching works just as well too.