Last month, we reported that the upcoming F90 BMW M5 would be fitted with a “switchable” version of the brand’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. And now the Munich-based automaker has confirmed it.
Billing it as the “most exciting and emotionally enthralling high-performance sedan from this model range ever released by BMW M”, the German manufacturer says the sixth generation version will be revealed later this year (likely ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September) sporting the new “M xDrive” system.
In addition to its “enhanced performance”, BMW also promises “far greater everyday practicality” from the F90-generation M5.
“The core component of M xDrive is a central intelligence unit with M-specific software delivering integrated control of longitudinal and lateral dynamics. The new drivetrain technology – making its debut on the new BMW M5 – therefore combines all of the agility and precision of standard rear-wheel drive with the supreme poise and traction of the all-wheel-drive system,” said Frank van Meel, chairman of the board of management of BMW M.
“As a result, the new BMW M5 can be piloted with the familiar blend of sportiness and unerring accuracy on both the race track and the open road – and in various weather conditions, too.”
BMW says the new M xDrive system brings the front wheels into play only when the rear wheels “aren’t able to transmit any more power to the road and additional tractive force is required”. Of course, Mercedes-AMG recently introduced a similar, fully variable system on the new E63 S (including a so-called “drift mode”), with which the upcoming M5 will compete.
The driver will be able to choose from five different configurations based on combinations of the dynamic stability control modes (DSC on, M Dynamic Mode, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD). Crucially, BMW says “purists can opt for classical rear-wheel drive by completely deactivating the all-wheel-drive system”.
BMW says selecting M Dynamic Mode and 4WD Sport permits greater wheel slip than the default 4WD mode with DSC on, allowing the “enthusiastic driver to send the sedan into a controlled drift”.
With DSC deactivated and 4WD mode selected, BMW promises a neutral set-up that “lends itself to optimum controllability and outstanding traction”. And 2WD mode? Well, here BMW claims the M5 will offer the “keen driver the experience of driving a high-performance sedan with rear-wheel drive only”.
The Munich-based automaker has also confirmed that the new super-sedan will employ an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission (replacing the previous seven-speed) with “incredibly short shift times and optimal ratio spacing”.
Although it has yet to reveal the official outputs (recent reports suggest somewhere in the region of 450 kW), BMW has furthermore confirmed that the M5 will draw its urge from the latest version of the brand’s turbocharged 4,4‑litre V8 engine, which gains higher injection pressure, new turbochargers, more powerful lubrication and cooling systems, plus a modified, lighter exhaust system.
BMW boasts that the new version of the performance sedan “completes the 0 to 100 km/h or 200 km/h sprints in the sort of times that leave its predecessor trailing in its wake”. So, just how fast will the new model accelerate? Well, we’ve heard something about a claimed 0-100 km/h time of less than 3,5 seconds…