The new 2018 BMW M5 has been officially revealed, with the Bavarian super sedan bringing all-wheel drive, supercar-like acceleration and a limited-run First Edition variant.
First things first, let’s talk numbers: 441kW of power, 750Nm of torque, and 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds. BMW had previously said to expect “at least 450kW”, and while the missing killerwasps are a curious matter, the official numbers are nothing to shrug at.
The new M5’s power and acceleration figures are delivered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, sending grunt to all four wheels via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission.
Handily, the big M executive hauler’s leap matches the 0-100km/h claim of Mercedes-AMG’s heroic E63 S, despite falling short of the 450kW and 850Nm its 4.0-litre turbo V8 offers.
With the first 100km/h down, the new BMW M5 will also claim a 0-200km/h time of 11.1 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. However, “if desired”, the M5 can go all the way to a whopping 305km/h (189mph).
Peak power of 441kW (600hp) is available from 5600 to 6700rpm, while all 750Nm of torque comes on at 1800rpm through 5600rpm – the latter representing a 70Nm increase over the outgoing car.
As previously reported, the M5’s M xDrive all-wheel drive system features a rear-biased setup, with the option to go rear-wheel drive only. The rear axle also features an Active M Differential, distributing torque between the rear wheels actively to improve “traction, agility and directional stability” when driven “in a very sporty manner”. As you do.
Meanwhile, the eight-speed M Steptronic torque-converter auto features paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel, along with a manual mode. Drivers can select a trio of modes for the transmission; one for efficient driving, one fo quick driving, and one optimised for sporty driving on the track.
Each mode varies the shift times, while the additional full manual mode doesn’t automatically shift up when the engine hits the redline.
Up front is a double-wishbone suspension system, while the rear features a five-link set-up that has been specifically tuned for the M5. BMW says the inclusion of an additional steel X-brace and aluminium transverse strut at the rear help to improve handling response.
Filling the arches are standard 19-inch five-double-spoke alloy wheels in polished Orbit Grey, wrapped in 275/40 rubber at the front and 285/40 at the rear. Buyers can opt for larger 20-inch seven-double spoke rims in black or polished black, both coupled with 275/35 front and 285/35 rear tyres.
All tyres for the new M5 are ‘ZR’ speed rated, meaning they are capable of handling the claimed 305km/h top speed when the vehicle is optioned with the M Driver’s Package.
Helping stop the beast are M compound brakes as standard, with six-piston calipers up front and single-piston stoppers at the rear – both painted in blue. M carbon-ceramic discs are available as an option, distinguished by their gold-painted calipers.
Compared to the standard braking system, the carbon-ceramic units are 23 kilograms lighter all up, while also providing better brake performance and improved fade resistance.
Numerous weight-saving measures have been used to make the M5 lighter than its predecessor, despite the addition of all-wheel drive, including a roof fashioned from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), along with aluminium front side panels and bonnet.
The digital instrument cluster has a unique look and feel to the M5, also providing information on the drive mode selected, the M xDrive all-wheel drive system’s setting and Drivelogic transmission mode enabled. There’s also an rpm pre-warning field, along with shift lights when using manual mode to indicate the best time to shift gears. Similar data is reflected in the M5’s head-up display (HUD).
Occupants are treated to Merino leather upholstery, with the driver and front passenger getting M sports seats with electric adjustment, heating, and embossed M logos on the head restraints.
Available as an option are M multifunction seats with integral head restraints, which BMW claims will better support in the shoulder area. The cost-option bucket-style pews also get an illuminated M5 logo and thicker side bolsters.
Carbon-fibre and aluminium trim highlights complete the sporty cabin treatments.
Finally, the M5 First Edition (above, top) has been detailed for the first time, after being teased in a short video clip last week.
Limited to just 400 units globally, the special launch model gets an exclusive Frozen Dark Red Metallic paint finish with high-gloss Shadow Line dark trim highlights – meaning the double kidney grille, M side gills and quad tailpipes are all finished in glossy black.
The M5 First Edition also gets the larger 20-inch seven-double-spoke alloy wheels as standard, finished in black.
Inside, the launch special gets piano black finishes throughout the cabin, along with a plaque on the centre console indicating the vehicle’s production number out of 400.
The M5 First Edition also comes with the M multifunction seats as standard, along with Smoke White full-leather upholstery with contrasting red stitching.
In Europe, the ‘standard’ M5 will be priced at 117,900 euros ($174,869), going on sale from March 2018. The First Edition will also be available from launch, however demanding an extra 19,500 euros ($28,922), bringing the list price to 137,400 euros ($203,792).
The new-generation 2018 BMW M5 will be making its way to our shores, although not until the first quarter of next year. Adam Davis, manager for product communications at BMW Group Australia, said a March launch is likely at this point – meaning Aussies get the M5 around the same time as Europe.
Local pricing and specifications are currently unavailable, however, with Davis telling CarAdvice that the Australian arm is still finalising those details.
“The intent is to have this new M5 – which is packed with new tech, all-wheel drive, semi-autonomous functions and more – for less outlay than the predecessor model,” he said.
BMW Australia will also offer the First Edition – though local allocation is still to be confirmed.
As a guide, the previous M5 Pure kicked off at $184,715 before on-road costs, while the full-fat M5 started at a more substantial $230,615.
Stay tuned for an update in the lead-up to the M5’s launch early next year.
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