After 5 generations of rear wheel drive M5s, BMW’s heavy hitting sport sedan will drive all 4 wheels for the first time ever for 2018. New model is quicker and more powerful, but it is also more refined than car it replaces. The 2018 BMW M5 gets the latest version of automaker’s twin turbo 4,4 liter V8 tuned to 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, up 40 horsepower and 53 lb-ft from the last-gen M5. Peak power is reached between 5’700-6’600 rpm, and peak torque is available from 1’800-5’700 rpm. The improvements are achieved in part because of redesigned twin-scroll turbochargers capable of delivering 24,46 psi of boost. Injection pressure has also been raised from 200 bar to 350 bar for a more efficient burn. The lubrication and cooling systems have been redesigned and cross bank exhaust manifolds have been optimized for more even exhaust pulses to turbos. Engine is mated to a performance oriented 8 speed automatic transmission. BMW estimates that the 2018 M5 can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3,2 seconds and 124 mph in 11,1 seconds. Top speed is capped at 189 mph (305 kph) when equipped with optional M Driver’s Package.

But the big news is that the M5’s new M xDrive all wheel drive system with two wheel drive mode. System defaults to all wheel drive with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) turned on, but a rear biased 2WD mode with no DSC is selectable. In this mode, front wheels are only powered when traction is limited and rear wheels can’t effectively put power down by themselves. All other times, transfer case routes all power to rear and Active M Differential manages torque between rear wheels. BMW’s M Division had a good starting point in the G30 generation 5 Series, but a number of changes were made to M5’s chassis. The double A arm front suspension and 5 link rear suspension have been revised and track has been widened for better directional stability. The M5 gets thicker anti roll bars and stiffer rubber mounts, along with a new steel X-brace. An available Variable Damper Control system adds electronically controlled shocks with 3 modes and an available speed sensitive M Servotronic Steering system gives drivers more options to adjust steering effort. The M5 rides on standard 19 inch wheels fitted with 275/40s in front and 285/40s in rear. A set of 20 inch alloys wrapped in 275/35s in front and 285/35 in back is available.

M compound brakes come standard and clamp down on perforated, vented 15,5 inch steel rotors in the front and 15 inch discs in rear. Blue painted 6 piston front brake calipers emblazoned with M logo are also standard. If that is not enough stopping power for you, M carbon ceramic brakes with gold finished calipers and larger front rotors are available too. This option reduces unsprung weight by 50,7 pounds. Other weight saving measures include a weight optimized active exhaust, an aluminum hood and a roof that uses carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). If you have seen new 5 Series’ interior, then you have seen 90 percent of M5’s interior too. The M5 receives heated M Multifunction front seats with illuminated M5 logos and thicker side bolsters, a M Sports Steering Wheel, a red ignition switch and red accents on gear selector and paddle shifters. Like 5 Series, M5 features a wide central screen with gesture control. M5 does get a unique head up display that can project a shift light and other performance data in the driver’s line of sight. The addition of all wheel drive might upset some purists, but it marks a big step forward for BMW’s performance sedan. Will it be enough to take on Mercedes AMG’s 603 horsepower E63 S, which has already had one generation to work out  all wheeldrive bugs? We can not wait to find out. The 2018 BMW M5 arrives in spring 2018, starting with limited production First Edition models. New BMW M5 is priced from £89,640.

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