BMW has unveiled the M5 safety car for the 2018/19 MotoGP season, spelling the end for the current hotted-up M2 safety car.
Power in the safety car comes from the same twin-turbo V8 as the standard road car, with 441kW and 750Nm channeled to all four wheels through a clever M xDrive all-wheel drive system.
Although it defaults to a rear-biased all-wheel drive setup, the system is able to accomodate a bit of sideways action in its looser all-wheel drive setting or, if the driver is feeling particularly brave, can be locked into rear-wheel drive.
In news that will shock no-one, the E63 AMG is capable of the same. Strange how the German manufacturers seem to stumble across the same solutions at the same time, isn't it?
The 0-100km/h sprint takes just 3.4 seconds – 0.8 seconds faster than the outgoing M5 in standard trim – and derestricted top speed is 305km/h (189 mph). Base dealer cars are restricted to 250km/h, as is standard practice among most German manufacturers.
In MotoGP trim, the M5 wears a smattering of M Performance parts designed to make it look (and go, in some cases) faster. The pouting front splitter is a prototype, developed specifically for the MotoGP, while the bucket seats have been lifted from the M4 GTS.
With flashing LED lights on the roof and unique headlamp flashers, you certainly won't miss it on track. We'd like to see the light system added to the options list, perhaps as an autobahn-blast package, designed to stop diesel Passats from pulling into the left lane when you're on a top speed run. Somehow, it seems unlikely.
Carbon-fibre exhaust tips and a mean-looking diffuser, along with a carbon lip spoiler, round out the rear end. As you'd expect of a safety car, the body is finished in a lairy – and achingly pretty – paint job, offset by copper-coloured wheels. Say what you will about the fact it's a turbocharged, all-wheel drive take on the classic BMW M formula, the new M5 is a real looker.