A new super sedan from Bavaria is upon us in the form of the 2018 BMW M5. Yes, it has all-wheel drive, but it also goes 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Now that’s a fast four-door.
Digging deeper into the all-wheel-drive system should quell most enthusiasts’ fears: A simple flip of a switch turns the M5 into the rear-drive-only car it was meant to be. We’re guessing leaving it in all-wheel drive would yield the best acceleration times, even if it isn’t quite as fun. It’s good to hear the new M xDrive system is rear-biased though, so only when needed will the power be directed up to the front wheels. An M Dynamic mode will provide the most consistent and fast lap times while directing torque to all four wheels but still allowing a fair amount of rear wheel slip as well.
The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 from before gets overhauled for this F90 generation M5, now producing a staggering 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That twist is delivered as low as 1,800 rpm and as high as 5,700 rpm. BMW has hit the magical 600 number through new turbochargers delivering over 24 psi of boost. A new exhaust system featuring a Helmholtz resonator saves 11 pounds from before, while the amount of sound you actually hear is still controlled by an active flap. Something called an M Sound Control button allows “further acoustic customization” — or in non-marketing terms: Artificial engine sound.
A torque converter eight-speed automatic transmission is the only option available. The software has been strictly tuned for high-performance duty and BMW promises “lightning-fast” gear changes.
Every suspension component from the normal 5-Series has been reworked for the M5, to make sure it feels like an M car should. The track width has been increased, stiffer anti-roll bars and more hardcore rubber mounts abound. A steel X-brace and aluminum transverse strut increase rear suspension rigidity, and plenty other braces and stiffeners combine to try and make this big sedan handle its weight — all 4,254 pounds of it. Either 19- or 20-inch wheels are available, shod with 275 front and 285 rear width tires rated for the M5’s 189-mph top speed.
Hauling this freight train of a sedan to a stop are either high-po M brakes or some optional M carbon-ceramic brakes. Both setups feature six-piston calipers up front and single-piston calipers in the rear. The carbon brakes reduce unsprung weight by 50.7 pounds according to BMW.
Every possible thing from the throttle to the suspension to the transmission can be adjusted in the cabin through individual switches and all-encompassing drive modes. This will no doubt be the most tech-filled M5 ever built — if that’s your style of car.
Finally, BMW is hopping into the special-edition game early with what it calls the “First Edition.” Fifty copies will make their way to the U.S. with 400 total worldwide; the First Edition has a special Frozen Dark red paint job with lots of high gloss pieces everywhere.
Pricing will be announced at a later date, but expect the first 2018 M5s to be rolling into dealerships in spring of 2018.