After numerous leaks, the 2018 BMW M5 has officially debuted.
If you’ve been following all the spy photos, teases, and leaks of the new BMW M5, there aren’t very many surprises. As expected, the sports sedan is powered by a 4.4-liter bi-turbo V8 engine delivering 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to go zero-to-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds, on its way to an electronically limited 155-mph top speed. There will be however an optional M Driver’s Package that raises top speed to 189 mph.
It’s also the first BMW M5 to ever come standard with xDrive all-wheel drive, which BMW promises to be “the most emotionally engaging all-wheel-drive system yet to grace the high-performance segment.” By working with a central transfer case with a multi-plate clutch, the all-wheel-drive system can distribute drive fully variably between the front and rear axle as required. The Active M Differential at the rear axle also works fully variably, and has a locking effect between 0 and 100 percent.
As a result, drivers have access to 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). That means owners can switch to a pure rear-wheel-drive mode.
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Mated to the engine is a specially tuned eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. According to the German automaker, Drivelogic allows the driver to adjust the transmission’s characteristics to their personal preferences, serving up “lightning-fast shift times” for track use. Drivers can also select from three different modes for the Variable Damper Control (VDC) system: Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus. Not surprisingly, the car’s suspension has been tuned on the world famous Nurburgring and two buttons on the steering wheel can be used to store setups combining the driver’s preference of engine, transmission, suspension, and M xDrive modes, the DSC mode and Head-Up-Display settings.
Saving weight was important in the development of the sedan, which is why the new M5 features an aluminum hood and a lightweight carbon fiber roof. Based on European specifications, the M5 weighs 4,090 pounds (1,855 kilograms).
Braking performance comes from standard M compound brakes, six-piston fixed calipers up front, and single-piston floating calipers in the rear. There are optional M carbon ceramic brakes, featuring gold-painted calipers and weigh almost 51 lbs (23 kgs) less. The sports sedan will come standard with a staggered 19-inch wheel setup, with 9.5-inch wide wheels up front and 10.5-inch wide wheels in the rear. Available as an option are larger 20-inch wheels with the same width.
Pricing for the U.S. hasn’t been announced, but in Europe it will start from €117,900 ($139,347 USD) with orders starting September 2017. BMW promises deliveries will begin next spring and the model will be offered in a special M5 First Edition that will be limited to 400 units worldwide. It will be exclusively appointed and features BMW Individual Frozen Dark Red Metallic paintwork (seen in the gallery above) and will cost an additional €19,500 ($23,046 USD) over the standard model.
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