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BMW says the public has responded positively to the first all-wheel drive M5, which lands in Q2 this year.

Speaking to CarAdvice at the Bathurst 12 Hour, Lenore Fletcher, communications boss for BMW Australia, said initial signs were good for the twin-turbo super-sedan.

“It’s probably the most positive response to a vehicle that I’ve ever seen,” Fletcher said.

“It doesn’t seem to be simply from the BMW engineers and designers – it’s from the team drivers, it’s from everybody involved in testing the vehicle right through to the media that have driven it.”

Our own Tony Crawford was certainly glowing in his praise of the car, describing it as a “genuine tour de force in every respect” at launch.

Power comes from a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, making 441kW and 750Nm. It’s put to the road through a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, capable of putting 100 per cent of power to the rear wheels when the driver is feeling brave.

There’s also an M Differential on the rear axle, distributing torque between the wheels to make for “traction, agility and directional stability” when running flat-out on the track.

BMW has sold its allocation of five First Edition cars, priced at $229,900 before on-road costs, and preorders for the $199,900 Launch Edition stretch into October. Adam Davis, product communications manager for BMW Australia, says the company will “look to push for more volume in the second half of the year”.

With its sub-$200k starting price, the Launch Edition is almost $10,000 cheaper than the Mercedes-AMG E63, and a whopping $40,000 less expensive than the top-spec AMG E63 S which, despite the huge price gulf, offers near-identical performance.

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