2018 BMW M5 fast facts

AFTER a protracted hype campaign, seemingly endless speculation, and secret images leaked on more than one occasion, the next-generation BMW M5 is finally out of the wraps. Here are our favourite Munich muscle morsels:

  • The big news is that the iconic M5 has gone four-wheel drive for the first time in six generations, but an all-paw 5 Series is far from a new concept. The E34 introduced all-wheel drive to the sedan and wagon in the mid-1990s with the 525iX.
  • With the latest incarnation of the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 now pushing out 441kW and 750Nm, the move to four-wheel drive was essential to reign in BMW’s fastest road car to date, but drivers who like a smokescreen to follow them everywhere they go can deactivate the M xDrive all-wheel drive system to revert to a purist rear drive nature.

  • Transmission mechanicals are closely related to the X5M and X6M high-riding twins, including the front open differential which is a carry over.
  • A dual-clutch automatic transmission is no longer offered for the M5. Its transition to a more conventional torque converter also includes a transmission fluid cooler to ensure consistent performance even when being punished on the track.

  • Power is up 29kW and torque is boosted 70Nm thanks to an engine revision that brings higher-pressure fuel injection of 350 bar, new turbochargers, and a higher rev limit of 6700rpm. Essentially though, the new M5 has an upgraded version of the previous M5’s V8.
  • A new exhaust system addresses some criticisms that the previous M5 wasn’t shouty enough. In addition to that it is now also lighter than the outgoing system.

  • Maximum speed is limited to 250km/h, but customers who want the ultimate M5 V-max thrill can opt for the M Driver’s Package, which lets the super sedan stretch its legs all the way to 305km/h.
  • With a little more cash, the iron-rotor brake discs can be upgraded to M carbon-ceramic discs which save 23kg of unsprung weight for improved handling, and delivers racecar stopping power along with adding a gold-coloured set of calipers. The exotic brakes are also another first for a 5 Series.

  • Following the lead of the E46 M3 CSL, E92 M3, and current M3 and M4 twins, the M5 is now available with a carbonfibre roof. The lower weight panel not only reduces overall vehicle mass for improved performance and efficiency, but is also strong and particularly effective at lowering the centre of gravity.
  • Early adopters have the choice of a limited run First Edition M5, which has an unusual satin metallic red paint job, gloss black exterior trims to match its seven-spoke 20-inch wheels, and a number of unique trimmings on its interior as well.
  • Compared with the original 1985 BMW M5, the 2018 version has grown by 345mm in length and 204mm in width, and yet is just 58mm taller.

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