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Uh oh. Four-wheel drive? Another turbo engine? Sounds like a stats car
Yes, yes and… no. This new M5 has got ‘xDrive’ all-wheel drive and an uprated adaptation of the 4.4-litre TwinPower turbo V8. And it absolutely has some absorbing statistics, but to abode it off as ‘just another’ fast BMW is … to not accept apprenticed it.
I apperceive I’m abasement the end of this story, but this is a able BMW M super-saloon, and I am acutely blessed that the M Division has begin its canal again. All abstract opinion, but I never absolutely got on with the latest M3/M4 variants – too annoying and incoherent, with little actualization accomplished activity like a added almighty 3- or 4-Series. This I like. A lot.
Do I charge to apprehend any more?Sorry, but yes. There’s a lot activity on here, and it requires a bit of attention. We’ll alpha with the styling. At aboriginal I anticipation the new M5 (‘F90’ in BMW codespeak, the aftermost one actuality F10M in 2011) looked a bit flat.
Once you alpha attractive properly, you apprehension that the new car’s advanced end consists mostly of gap – and it’s not aloof blanked administration exercises, because there’s absolute radiators and oil coolers lurking. This bodes well. There are baby ancillary skirts, four exhausts and a abeyant bootlid lip. All absolutely subtle.
The roof is bald carbon-reinforced plastic, but you don’t absolutely apprehension it with the darker colours, and the aluminium advanced wings and beanie accept brittle affection lines. In fact, the car itself is a appropriate block lighter than it was afore acknowledgment to that roof and a lighter exhaust, although some backpack has been added aback in with the four-wheel drive system. Still, at 1,855kg, it’s not bad for a big controlling saloon.
Does it accept the audacity to be a able sleeper?Bluntly, yes. The 4.4-litre V8 with a brace of turbos is the best accustomed affair about the M5, and it’s a acceptable engine. Not decidedly epic, but a solid, ample powerplant that apparel the car.
Some 749Nm from 1,800rpm all the way to 5,600rpm, about on 600bhp from 5,600 to 6,700rpm. These are beefy but not antic numbers on-par with the appropriate copy Competition Package of the old M5.
It’s a absolute upgrade, mind: new turbos with a college blast burden of 350bar, giving added blast for blade and accepted adeptness (late 8.5 kmpl was accessible aback cruising). Bigger lubrication, cooling and achievement beneath pressure.
The turbos ball bound – article to do with modifications to the two-branch bankrupt assorted that optimises the gas-exchange aeon – and it sounds appealing acceptable too, a affectionate of bassy woofle at slower speeds with a appropriate bite in the high ranges. There’s a quiet active button for the bankrupt for late-night arrivals/early morning starts, and aback you’ve been acute on a bit, it’ll sometimes discharge and burst in a adequately amoebic way – it doesn’t complete ‘engineered in’, admitting it apparently is.
All that gives you 0-100kph in 3.4secs and a bound 248kph top acceleration (302 if you pay added for the ‘Driver’s Package’ aloft limiter), which is plenty. although I’m activity to stick my abutting out actuality and say that I’m not abiding that’s accurate: a bit of abridged dyno assignment had me accepting actual low threes from launch. With best of a catchbasin of fuel.
So it’s fast. But is it fun?
Here’s area it gets interesting. BMW has gone all-wheel drive alone for the M5, with a bluff code. It’s additionally swapped aback from a DCT double-clutch ‘box in the F10 to an eight-speed Steptronic – about a torque advocate auto with consecutive paddle shift. And it’s all good.
The xDrive is a actual rear-biased system, so the M5 about feels annihilation but rear-wheel drive. Push it, and you’ll get a blow of understeer, bound and finer nipped by the advanced arbor affairs the car beeline – all actual natural. Be alike added advancing with the burke and comedy with some of the modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus), and the car will circle a brace of degrees at the rear afore activity actual neutral.
Which feels actual acceptable aback you’re cantering bound bottomward an alien road. Absorption is excellent, council feel analogously transparent, and it all feels like the car is accomplishing all the things you appetite it to. It’s easy, and fun, and makes you feel good. Beware though, because there’s absolutely a lot activity on to accomplish you attending this competent.
While a alteration case punts torque fore-and-aft amid axles, the Active M Differential splits torque amid the two rear auto – acceptation that the M5 doesn’t head-butt the DSC systems all the time. What that agency is that the M5 is eking out best absorption for motive power, rather than ascendant itself in application electronics to clothing the conditions. Which is why it feels added accustomed and fluid. Okay, so there’s a lot activity on, but the acceptable bit is that it doesn’t absolutely feel like it.
How’s the gearbox?
I didn’t absence the twin-clutch DCT one bit. No, this auto hasn’t got the direct acknowledgment of a DCT, but it’s abuse abutting already you’ve anguish up the Drivelogic ambassador (it’s the rocker on the top of the gearstick), and the benefit composure it brings in low-speed manoeuvering and in cartage is account the minute difference. It apparel an M5 as a circadian apprenticed car, and that’s what it needs.
Similarly, beating the car aback into Comfort approach and it makes a abundant case as an alone car. It’s feels a bit beneath urgent, but that’s okay. And the brakes are fade-free and cast-iron reliable, admitting it’s astute to agenda that the cars we collection all had the alternative (and somewhat lighter and added expensive) carbon ceramics. You can acquaint the aberration because ‘standard’ brakes are blue, while the ceramics are gold.
Still, there are still a fair few too abounding modes and settings, acceptation that you accept to acquisition the exact aggregate that you’re best adequate with. Article BMW acutely knows, aback you get a brace of red ‘M1’ and ‘M2’ buttons on the top of the council caster that bethink your favourite brace of setups. Programme them, and you get your best of xDrive, DSC, engine, transmission, damper and council characteristics, as able-bodied as the actualization of M appearance in the head-up display.
Can one of those buttons be rear-wheel-drive only?Ah yes. Hooligan mode. Basically, there are three settings that you can alone admission with the DSC switched off, and the one you appetite is the basal of the three on the menu. It artlessly says ‘2wd’. Press the DSC ‘off’ button for a few seconds, baddest and confirm, and you accept aggregate to the rear. The car additionally won’t auto change up in any of these modes, so you can appropriately amplitude to the limiter.
Suddenly, beef car. Stupidity and pointlessness. And it is glorious. No, you apparently won’t use it much, but the M5 will now bear tyre-destroying walking clip burnouts with ease. And drift? Yeah. It does that.
Full disclosure: I can accomplish a car jerk about a bit, but compared to the absolutely acceptable drivers, I’m debris at drifting. In the M5, I was… better. I alike managed – and added than already – to change up from 3rd to fourth mid-drift. Which is ballistic.
Now allotment of this is bottomward to the actuality that the M5 is authentic and powerful, but additionally mostly due to the actuality that the car is actual aloof and unsnappy – the complete antipode of a mid-engined supercar. The aback end comes about about lazily, and if you’ve got abundant burke engaged, you can authority assimilate it for appealing abundant as continued as you like. Aback off, and it artlessly apprehension itself aback out. Now, in the easily of the ‘proper’ drivers, some of the slides they were managing at the Estoril Circuit in Portugal were ridiculous.
What if I appetite to abode bottomward and drive quickly?Stop showboating, and the M5 feels excellent. No, it’s not absolutely a clue car, no amount what BMW spouts about actuality acid on the Nürburgring, but it can absolutely authority its own and put a large, hard-to-shift smile on your face.
Body ascendancy is fantastic, with that slight weight about-face that allows your instincts to bolt on to what the car is doing, absorption is consistently accessible and adeptness on tap no amount the gear. It’ll convulse beneath adamantine braking, and adeptness out on a division about-face of lock alike in 4WD mode.
Though be warned, you absolutely do accept to about-face off added systems than you think, because the DSC and AWD gets absolutely batty and shuts aggregate bottomward adamantine if they’re on. This is not a criticism as such – I’m abiding I’d be animated of batty all-wheel drive and adherence on a albino autobahn or British B-road appear winter.
This, Audi RS6 or Mercedes E63 AMG?Time to abode the albatross in the room, huh? All these cool saloons are now all-wheel drive, so Audi no best has that in its favour. And to be blunt, the Audi loses early. No, there won’t be an M5 Touring, but the E63 comes as an estate. And both the Merc and the M5 acquiesce you to accomplish choices as to whether you appetite AWD or RWD. And bluntly, they’re both bigger to drive than the Audi, by some margin.
The E63 is a bigger problem. For M5 money, you’re attractive at an E63 S with 604bhp and 850Nm. The stats are all but identical, they advance at the aforementioned rate, counterbalance appealing abundant the aforementioned (1,855kg BMW plays 1,880kg Merc).
Based on contempo acquaintance I anticipate the M5 will be faster about a track. But not by much. And I’m not abiding that’s the point of these cars, anyway. We’re in a little aureate age of fast, big saloons, and the best adeptness able-bodied appear bottomward to which one you like the attending of, or alone apparel you better, than a bright choice. Whatever, it’s activity to be one hell of a face off, and I cannot wait.
Verdict: The best M5 aback the E39. A accurate cool alehouse with actualization and ability. BMW M has upped its game.
Tags: bmw, mercedes, m5, e63, audi rs6
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