The all-new BMW M5 gets a lot of changes. It has more power, less weight, and it's the first one to get all-wheel drive – that also has a two-wheel drive mode. And the first place you'll get to drive it is in a video game.
The sixth-generation M5 boosts its twin-turbo V8 to 600 hp and 553 lb-ft. That's 40 more horses and 37 lb-ft more torque than the outgoing car. Backing that engine is an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission. That's right, the manual is finally gone. Not only is there no manual, but the automatic is a straight automatic, not a dual-clutch unit like the one in the last M5.
The new M5 is all-wheel drive for the first time, but the M xDrive system has a trick up its sleeve. The system is rear-biased all the time, but the transfer case allows the driver to lock the system into rear-drive-only mode. The active rear differential makes sure that power is properly distributed between the two rear wheels. Leave it in all-wheel-drive mode and get from a stop to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds.
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Helping handling are a wider track, along with an aluminum hood and a carbon roof to lower weight. The suspension has adaptive dampers with double wishbones in front and a five-link in the rear. The six-piston fixed front calipers and single-piston rears use special M-compound pads to help get the M5 halted. Carbon-ceramic brakes will be optional, adding 23 kg to the 40 kg weight savings of the new car.
To visually distinguish the M5, it has M grilles in the fenders, a new rear diffuser and side skirts, and special mirrors. The front has an extra intake for the oil cooler. Inside, the M5 has Merino leather on M multifunction seats with pneumatic adjustable backrest.
The 2018 BMW M5 will arrive at Canadian showrooms in the spring, but it will make its first appearance in the videogame Need for Speed Payback. The latest entry in the long-running Need for Speed series will debut the executive express on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Windows PC in November.
If you want the Frozen Dark Red paintwork, act fast. It's exclusive to the M5 First Edition, limited to 400 worldwide and 32 to Canada. On top of the paint and gloss-black trim, it has smoke white interior with red stitching.