Dearly beloved, we are gathered together to celebrate BMW’s M5, the latest in an enduring lineup that’s prospered since 1984. More specifically, we honor the family’s sixth generation, the all-new 2018 BMW M5. It’s their best yet.
First of all, it’s badder than its predecessor. With 600-hp and 553 lb-ft of torque – an increase of 40 hp and 53 lb-ft, respectively – the new M5 roars from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. That’s significantly faster (0.9 seconds) than the outgoing model.
Second, and more importantly, it’s also the first M sedan with all-wheel drive. Drivers can switch between 2WD and 4WD while also taking advantage of M x-Drive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system, which has been specifically tuned for the M5.
Even in the default setting (both Dynamic Stability Control and 4WD activated), the M5 allows a bit of rear wheel slip when hauling out of corners, delivering the trademark M agility drivers want. If you’re a skilled driver, switch it all off and take your chances. Just make sure your insurance is paid up, since all that electronic wizardry is there to protect you from yourself.
Say Goodbye to Manual Shifting
Thinking it all sounds great with a manual shifter? It probably would but there’s no such thing. Gearheads will shout “heresy.” But the fact is that the new 8-speed M Steptronic transmission is sublime. With three Drivelogic modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus – the transmission is lightning fast, geared to high-performance duty, fuel efficiency and instantaneous response.
Purists can console themselves with sequential gearshifts via the new short gear selector or by flapping the steering wheel paddles. Or just let the M5 handle it all, since that’s what it’s designed to do anyway, and it’s better than you could ever be.
A new steel X-brace, revised double-A-arm front suspension and five-link rear suspension, plus thicker anti-roll bars and stiffer rubber mounts, work in harmony with the AWD system to keep the M5 firmly planted yet allow for huge amounts of agility.
Want more customization options for greater agility? An available Variable Damper Control system adds electronically controlled shocks, and an available speed-sensitive M Servotronic Steering system gives drivers the option to adjust steering effort.
How’s it different than a standard 5?
Also setting the M5 apart from its 5-series sibling – wider wheel arches, a new front end, fancy rear diffuser and available carbon-fiber roof. The interior, however, is everything you’d expect from the 5 series, graced with M-styled upgrades in leather seating, side bolsters, steering wheel, color, trim options and a head-up display that projects a shift light and other performance data. And the M exhaust system belts out a satisfying symphony up and down the power band.
Bringing all that go to a whoa – M compound brakes and perforated, vented 15.5-inch front steel rotors and 15-inch discs in the rear. Six-piston front brake calipers, painted blue and emblazoned with the M logo, are also standard. Not enough? Try the optional carbon ceramic brakes with gold-finished calipers and larger front rotors.
Speaking of options, two packages available
For $1,700, the Driving Assistance Plus Package includes active cruise control with stop-and-go, a lane keeping function with side collision avoidance, traffic jam assistant and other safety goodies.
For $4,000, the Executive Package includes soft-close automatic doors, power rear sunshade with manual rear side window shades, front ventilated and massaging seats, front and rear heated seats, parking assistant, wireless charging and WiFi hotspot.
Back in the 80s, did BMW suspect that joining together their executive sedan with M, their motorsport division, would yield such long-term bliss? We don’t know, but that which BMW hath joined together, let no one put asunder.
BMW M5 By the Numbers
- All-new 4.4-Liter twin-turbo V8 S63 engine
- 600 hp @ 5,700 rpm
- 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
- 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds
- 8-speed M Steptronic Transmission with 3 Stage Drivelogic
- 4,370 pounds
- $102,600 plus $995 destination and handling.
- Arrives spring 2018
Our thanks to Brian Hodge, Autobahn BMW’s Certified M Client Advisor, for sharing his knowledge about BMW’s latest and greatest.
Freelance writer Brian Melton inherited his love of cars from his mom: She drove, with an unrepentant lead foot, several T-Birds, a black Jag MK-2 and a much-loved silver Mercedes 450SL.
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