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BMW is launching the sixth-generation of what it describes as the world’s most successful high-performance sedan, the M5.
The company says the new model will have more power, be quicker and is lighter than the current model.
It is not known when the 4.4-litre, V8-powered luxury sports sedan will be available in New Zealand or how much it will cost.
It will be equipped with the M xDrive drivetrain system which, the company says, combines the hallmark M agility and precision provided by standard rear-wheel-drive, with the benefits of all-wheel-drive.
“The core component of M xDrive is a central intelligence unit with M-specific software delivering integrated control of longitudinal and lateral dynamics.
"The new drivetrain technology – making its debut on the new BMW M5 – combines all of the agility and precision of standard rear-wheel drive with the supreme poise and traction of the all-wheel-drive system,” said Frank van Meel, chairman of the board of BMW.
The M xDrive system enables a rear-biased set-up by only bringing the front wheels into play when the rear wheels aren’t able to transmit more power to the road and additional tractive force is required.
The company says the result is, even when the M5 is unleashing high levels of power, the car behaves predictably and can be controlled easily by the driver.
Drivers can choose from five configurations based on combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD).
The configurations allow the drive system’s characteristics to be tailored to the driver’s personal preferences and the nature of the journey.
Traditional rear-wheel drive purists can opt for classical rear-wheel drive by deactivating the all-wheel-drive system.
BMW says the new model combines class-leading handling dynamics along with unrestricted everyday usability in a sports-focused luxury four-door sedan.
The M5 has an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, with short shift times and smooth start-off characteristics.
BMW says this helps make manoeuvring easier, while a wide ratio spread helps to keep fuel consumption low.
The driver has the choice of three shift programmes, as well as the option of changing gear manually using shift paddles on the steering wheel and even performing sporty multiple downshifts.
Under the bonnet is the latest version of the 4.4-litre V8 engine featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology.
The improved high- revving engine outperforms its predecessor in terms of power output and torque.
The improvements include higher injection pressure, new turbochargers, more powerful lubrication and cooling systems, plus a modified, lighter exhaust system, which BMW says generates an even clearer rendition of the iconic M soundtrack.