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Words: Shubham Choukse
BMW has finally taken the wraps-off of the new BMW M5, this is the sixth generation of the performance saloon and it is now more powerful than ever. BMW claims that this is the most powerful and the fastest M car ever produced. It can accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in a staggering 3.4 seconds while 0 to 200kmph takes only 11.1 seconds.
Under the hood is a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 motor mated to an eight-speed M Steptronic torque converter transmission pumping out 591bhp of power and 750Nm of torque. This is the same engine that was used in the previous generation model but it has been heavily reworked here: it gets new turbochargers, a fully variable oil pump, indirect charge air cooling and increased fuel-injection pressure.
More importantly though, for the first time in M5 history does the car get ‘M xDrive’: an all-wheel drive system. The torque is fed to all four wheels via a fully-variable transfer case. The car is primarily rear-wheel drive, with torque being sent to the front wheels when there is spli detected at the rear. The transfer case can however lock the car in 2WD mode, and send 100 per cent of the torque to the rear-wheels for that real M5 experience. you get five different set up combinations for this all-wheel drive system — combining the M xDrive’s three modes (4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD) with different levels of DSC intervention (on, off or M Dynamic Mode). According to BMW, the first mode where the DSC is turned on and 4WD is selected the system allows limited slip through the rear wheels when accelerating out of corners, but once the settings are changed to MDM and 4WD Sport mode controlled drifts can be performed very easily. On the other hand more ambitious drivers can turn the DSC totally off and choose the M xDrive mode from 4WD, 4WD Sport or 2WD (where 2WD represents pure rear-wheel drive mode). And to enhance the driving experience even further the new M5 gets a lightweight sport exhaust system producing symphony through a quad-pipe setup.
The damper settings can also be changed to Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus mode via the Variable Damper Control (VDC) system and the engine characteristics can be altered according to the drivers need via Efficient, Sport and Sport Plus modes. The car can even memorise mode preferences for two different drivers and which can be selected via the M1 and M2 buttons present on the steering wheel.
Stopping power on the new M5 has been enhanced with M compound brakes (M compound brakes are lighter than the regular grey cast iron brakes) with six-piston fixed callipers at the front and single-piston floating callipers at the rear and perforated, inner-vented brake discs all round, while carbon ceramic brakes are optional. Polished 19-inch alloy wheels are standard on the new M5, while 20-inch wheels are optional.
The new BMW M5 is based on the new 5 Series, but gets revised bodywork to suit its performance characteristics. It gets larger air dams for enhanced air intake and better cooling of brakes, a new rear diffuser, new aluminium bonnet and a new lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof.
On the inside the new M5 features Merino leather and M seats with electric adjustment. The options list includes newly developed M multifunction seats, which stand out with their bucket-seat-style construction. The new M5 will also be made in a special edition named ‘First Edition’ version with Frozen Dark Red Metallic paintwork, and will be exclusive to only 400 units.