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'Unleash mayhem' - BMW's new M5 driven in Joburg

2018-03-29 14:02

Sean Parker

We went to Kyalami race track to put the new all-wheel drive BMW M5 through its paces. Sean Parker reports from Johannesburg. 

Johannesburg - The  BMW M5 has been the benchmark for high-performance sedans. It’s been at the forefront of new technology for road-going vehicles. The E60 version even had a V10 engine inspired by Formula 1. The F10 version introduced forced-induction to the M5 recipe and now, in 2018 it sports all-wheel drive or M xDrive.

It retains the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 though, no more downsizing here. Thank goodness. 

Let’s get right to the point and give you an impression of what it’s like to drive. Read all the other details and pricing here.

I had a handful of laps around Kyalami race with the 441kW/750Nm four-door sedan and well, it’s bloody fast. The automaker claims it will gallop to 100km/h in 3.1 seconds and 200km/h in 11.1 seconds. has a limited top speed of 250km/h (which can be elevated to 305km/h for R36 800 with the M Drivers Package).

It’s virtually impossible to judge a car’s ride comfort when you’ve exclusively driven it on track so hopefully we'll have the new M5 on test soon to test its full capability on local roads.


Wait for it... #NewBMWM5inSA ??: @sean_parkersa

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The M5 blasts out of the pitlane with searing surge that takes me by surprise and the speedometer rises like Trump’s blood pressure during a ‘twar’.

I climb onto the M compound brakes and use trail braking to make sure I can get back onto the power as soon as possible.

The turn is tight, precise and I know exactly where the front wheels are. The M5 has three main modes for the drivetrain; 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD, the latter removes all the safety nets and will let you entertain your inner Chris Harris.

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BMW says in M Dynamic mode (MDM, 4WD Sport), the xDrive allows for easily controlled drifts. Admittedly the rear-end did shake it’s tail

As I hit the top left hander of Barbecue, it’s evident the xDrive system instils the driver with confidence to take on corners faster and with more zest. I’m aggressive on the throttle as I carry a ton of speed through Sunset and into Clubhouse.

The new 8-speed automatic does a smart job of rocketing through the gears with the Drivelogic program set to maximum attack. It revs too. Thank goodness. 

???????????????? #NewBMWM5inSA

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M1 and M2

There are two buttons aft of the steering wheel labelled M1 and M2… which can be fettled to set up and save programs that sort out engine, transmission, suspension and all-wheel drive modes, the DSC mode and even the head-up-display settings. Think of them as shortcut buttons that can unleash mayhem (depending on how they are set up).  

What's new on the M5? to start, the bonnet is constructed from aluminium. It's also the first M5 to feature a lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof. In fact, the weight savings contributed by the CFRP roof and other components such as the exhaust system help to ensure the new all-wheel drive is lighter than its predecessor.

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The M5 is a missile, clothed in velvet with all the nice trimmings. Has it lost the ability to be ungovernable? Yes, but it's faster and more composed, enabling you to extract the most of out it. 

Wondering if it can slide? Well a few hot laps with BMW GTC racing driver Genarro Bonofede put that myth to bed quickly. He drifted that 1855kg limousine with absolute ease while we hung for dear life. The new M5 still wears its suit well, but it still has the tattoos to show its wild side. 

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M5 - R1 762 806

M5 First Edition - R2 024 006.50

Read more on:    m5  |  bmw  |  sean parker  |  johannesburg  |  kyalami  |  new models

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