The new car is committed to building on the tradition of a concept – the luxurious four-door business saloon with a taste for the race track – first glimpsed in 1984 with the original BMW M5. The new M xDrive developed by BMW M GmbH is the most emotionally engaging all-wheel-drive system yet to grace the high-performance segment. It works with a central transfer case with multi-plate clutch and distributes drive fully variably between the front and rear axle, as required. Another ingredient in the car’s supreme traction in all road and weather conditions is the Active M Differential at the rear axle, which also works fully variably and has a locking effect between 0 and 100 per cent.
Providing ample power for the new BMW M5 is a 4.4-litre V8 bi-turbo engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology. The M engineers have carried out significant revisions to the outgoing model’s power unit. For example, newly developed turbochargers, ultra-efficient indirect charge air cooling and increased fuel injection pressure together help to raise output and, above all, torque. The engine develops 441 kW/600 hp at 5,600 – 6,700 rpm, while a monumental 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque is placed at the driver’s disposal from as low down as 1,800 rpm and remains there until 5,600 rpm. A map-controlled, fully variable oil pump ensures oil is supplied as and when the new BMW M5 needs it, even on the track. The car’s impressive performance figures speak for themselves: 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.4 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h in 11.1 seconds (124 mph). Top speed, meanwhile, is an electronically limited 250 km/h (155 mph), but the optional M Driver’s Package can keep the fun coming to 305 km/h (189 mph).
The character of M xDrive can be adjusted as desired. The driver has five different configurations to choose from based on combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD). In the basic setting with DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) activated and 4WD, the system permits slight slip through the rear wheels when accelerating out of corners – and therefore plays its part in giving the new BMW M5 its sporting agility. In M Dynamic mode (MDM, 4WD Sport) M xDrive allows easily controlled drifts. The three M xDrive modes with DSC switched off have been conceived to sate the appetites of keen drivers and primarily for use on the track. Here, the driver can choose from three configurations up to and including pure rear-wheel drive (2WD). This mode allows the driver to pick their own drift angle and treats connoisseurs to driving dynamics in their purest form.
The new BMW M5 includes revisions to its bodywork over the regular BMW 5 Series to satisfy its challenging dynamic brief. The M engineers have redesigned the broader front side panels and front bumper trim to include larger apertures for the air feeding the cooling systems and brakes. Also new is the rear diffuser. The exhaust system’s quartet of tailpipes are a visual pointer to the power generated by the BMW M5 and also lay on a suitably sporting soundtrack for the job in hand, courtesy of their flap control system. The driver can use a button to adjust the engine sound as desired.
The new BMW M5 is fitted as standard with M compound brakes, which are lighter than conventional grey cast iron items and therefore also bring down the car’s weight. With blue-painted six-piston fixed callipers at the front and single-piston floating callipers at the rear, plus perforated, inner-vented brake discs all round, the M compound brakes have the speed-shedding power to befit the car’s dynamic potency. The optional M carbon ceramic brakes, which can be identified by callipers painted in a gold colour and shave another 23 kilograms off the M5’s weight, can withstand even greater punishment.
Take a closer look at the new BMW M5 in the video below.
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