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Preview: All you need to know about the SA-bound BMW M5

2018-03-27 10:53

Sean Parker is attending the national media launch of the new M5 on Wednesday 28 March at Kyalami race track in Johannesburg.

Sixth generation of the BMW M5 introduced by BMW M GmbH
Most advanced version yet of the 4.4-litre V8 engine with TwinPower Turbo tech
 First ever M5 fitted with M xDrive drivetrain system
New eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic

Ahead of the new BMW M5 on 28 March we take an in-depth look at what we can expect from the latest performance limousine. BMW says the new M5 is equipped with an enhanced V8 engine, a new M-specific, all-wheel drive system known as M xDrive and performance statistics that surpass all previous incarnations. 

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Key to this heightened level of performance is the introduction of M xDrive and its adaptability thanks to a central control module and the variety of different dynamic modes that can be selected.

When first started, the car is in four-wheel-drive mode with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) switched on. But it comes with various driving dynamics modes, up to a track-friendly pure rear-wheel drive without DSC.

We can also reveal how much it costs in Mzansi, click here to find out. 

Power comes from the latest 4.4-litre V8 engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology. It delivers a maximum torque of 750Nm, accelerating the new M5 from zero to 100km/h in a claimed 3.4 seconds, making it the fastest M5 yet. Power is transferred to the road via a new eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

The engine characteristics can be changed by pushing the Drive Performance from the basic setting ‘Efficient’ to ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’, both of which provide a faster turbo response.

BMW’s M engineers have developed new turbochargers and a higher injection pressure of up to 350bar. This allows shorter injection times and better fuel atomisation, making it both faster and more efficient.

First all-wheel drive M5

The main components of M xDrive are based on the intelligent all-wheel drive xDrive system and Active M differential, controlled by a central M-specific vehicle dynamics control system. The drivetrain is stiffer and stronger than the previous model, while the transfer case constantly controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axles. The Active M differential splits distribution of the drive between the rear wheels.

With M xDrive BMW says, the DSC intervenes only when necessary in extreme situations, so that the high engine power can be converted almost without power loss.

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If the driver switches to M Dynamic mode (MDM, 4WD Sport), the M5 becomes sharper and more agile. More torque is fed to the rear axle and the rear wheels give more wheel slippage. This allows controlled drifts and playful handling, but with controlled oversteer.

The pure rear-wheel-drive 2WD mode is designed for track use by experienced drivers and is dedicated entirely to pure driving pleasure without restrictive control systems.

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