BMW reveal 2018 M5 sedan with AWD and 441kW
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BMW has officially revealed the sixth-generation of the world’s most successful high-performance sedan, and the first M5 sedan to feature all-wheel-drive.
The new M5 is propelled by a heavily revised 4.4-litre twin-turbo engine, identical in capacity its predecessor, producing 441kW of power and 750Nm of torque. Coupled to the back is an eight-speed M Steptronic double clutch transmission.
However, the real talking point how all that power will now be delivered to the tarmac. The new M5 debuts the first M-specific all-wheel-drive system, dubbed M xDrive.
M xDrive has various selectable modes, including 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. In its most potent setting, BMW say the new M5 will accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in a claimed 3.4 seconds, and from 0 – 200 in 11.1 seconds.
The top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, but with the limiter removed BMW say the four-door sedan is capable of hitting 305km/h.
"Thanks to M xDrive, the new BMW M5 can be piloted with the familiar blend of sportiness and unerring accuracy both on the race track and out on the open road,” said Frank van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW.
“When the engine is first started, the new BMW M5 will be in all-wheel-drive mode (4WD) with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) switched on. The driver is then able to vary the handling characteristics of the M5 by activating various driving dynamics modes.”
For those who only appreciate a M5 that can go sideways, never fear, BMW’s flagship sedan hasn't lost any of its tyre-killing capabilities. Meel goes on to assure customers that: “In this 2WD mode, the new BMW M5 allows accomplished drivers to enjoy a purebred form of driving pleasure” – i.e. it’ll still go sideways all day.
The traditional double-wishbone suspension setup at the front axle has been reworked to accommodate the new xDrive system, as has the five-link setup in the rear.
Due to the new demands all-wheel-drive will place on the chassis, the electronic steering has been recalibrated and the anti-roll bars have been firmed up.
Yet, despite the addition of the xDrive system, the 2018 M5 weights 15kg less than the previous model (1930kg including driver). This was achieved with the use of new lightweight parts littered around all four corners of the car.
The front side panels and bonnet is made from aluminium and the roof is from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic.
The body of the new M5 has also been redesigned. A new front bumper houses larger air inlets to cool the engine, transmission and brakes, and from the back you’ll find a new diffuser, side skirts and M badging on the rear apron and spoiler.
As standard, the M5 will sit on polished 19-inch five-double-spoke wheels and M compound brakes with blue six-piston callipers at the front, and a single-piston setup in the rear. M carbon brakes callipers can be selected, an option that will provide an impressive 23-kilogram weight saving.
BMW say the centre piece of the new M5’s interior is the driver’s seat, from which all the switches and buttons can be operated. A full leather upholstery is standard with and M seats for front passengers.
The large digital instrument cluster features M-specific design that displays all the driving information and system modes. Sporty drivers can opt to have speed and shift lights appear on a head-up-display.
"The BMW M5 has always embodied the perfect blend of mature business sedan and high-performance components," said Domagoj Dukec, Vice Presiden of Design for BMW's M devision."
"So you can think of the BMW M5 as the world’s fastest-moving tailored suit.”
The new BMW M5 is due to go on sale in in the first quarter of 2018. Local pricing is yet to be announced.
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