The fastest, most powerful, and furthest advanced M5 will also be the most expensive.
All that tossing and turning during those sleepless nights spent wondering if the new BMW M5 would somehow be better than the Mercedes-AMG E63 S have been worth it. Today, just after the Z4 mania has calmed a slight bit, BMW released an attack on the competition using a bludgeon that can be used for outright brutality or scalpel-like precision. That’s right, it’s now time to welcome the new BMW M5 to the world. Without a doubt, that umbilical cord needed no snipping because this Bimmer can do the job itself.
With magnificent technology applied and the impeccable 5 Series as a base car, snipping umbilical cords isn’t the only job this sedan can tackle. From the get-go, the hardware allows for the M5’s limits to be placed somewhere among the clouds. Sending power to an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that pumps out an alarming 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Getting off the line requires no time, with 62 mph being attained only 3.4 seconds after launching from a standstill. 11.1 seconds into the stampede and the Bimmer is already at 124 mph and only runs out of steam at 155 mph or, if the M Driver’s Package is added, 189 mph.
So it has what it takes to beat the old M5 in a straight line, but what about the corners, where BMWs are really supposed to come alive? Somewhere along the line, BMW realized the previous M5 didn’t really do the trick. To keep the M5 on par with the impressive AMG E63 S as well as open up the performance sedan to a market plagued by snow, BMW gave thisM5 both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive at the same time. The highly sophisticated M xDrive system pulls this off by using a central transfer case with a multi-plate clutch that can fully vary how the power is split between the front and rear wheels. This means that drivers can select between all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive using only a button.
Drivers are left in full control with five configurations based on variations of the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) modes and the M xDrive modes. DSC modes include DSC On, M Dynamic Mode (MDM), and DSC off. M xDrive modes are 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. With DSC on and 4WD active, the 5 Series is allowed only mild tire slip at the rear wheels when exiting corners. MDM mode with 4WD Sport selected allows for controlled drifts while the computer makes sure the situation doesn’t turn into “Mustang leaving Cars and Coffee.” With DSC fully off, a driver can progress through the M xDrive modes to find a perfect level of aggression.
Selecting 4WD Sport is likely the optimal choice for professional drivers at track days and 2WD with DSC off best suits the hooligans who want to hoon and experience the rawness of the platform without a silicon impediment. When 2WD is active, the rear Active M Differential helps send power to whichever wheel on the rear axle can use it best. Of course, the suspension had to be upgraded to keep up with the performance. Variable Damper Control systems offer Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus. Engine character can be tailored with Efficient, Sport, and Sport Plus modes while steering wheel-mounted M1 and M2 buttons allow drivers to program different engine, transmission, M xDrive, and suspension modes for quick setup.
No need to shell out extra dough for special brakes as the weight-reducing M compound brakes come standard, which cuts a total of 50 pounds off of the M5’s package and helps make this generation lighter than its predecessor. If unsprung mass is of no concern, feel free to swap out the standard 19-inch light-alloy wheels for a set of 20-inchers. Of course interior and exterior options will be aplenty, but thanks to standard Merino leather and M seats inside as well as a redesigned exterior with broader front panels and bumper trim to allow for larger intakes, a diffuser at the rear, an adjustable rear quad exhaust, aluminum hood, and carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof, not many options will be needed.
Unfortunately, the M5 will be priced as if it were fully loaded, with dealers asking for no less than €117,900 ($139,224) when ordering opens up in September of 2017. Recently won the lottery? Then the M5 First Edition, which costs an extra €19,500 ($23,026) over the base model may be of interest. Not like you could go wrong with either model.