New BMW M5 has arrived Downunder and is fascinating in that it has the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system to give it full-on track day potential. Yet, if you push some different buttons it gives you the comfort expected of a luxurious high-speed sports sedan.
Power from new M5 comes from the latest version of BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine which generates 600 horsepower (441kW).
Torque of a big 750 Nm is there from just 1800rpm and remains on tap the way to 5600rpm. Performance is rated to go from zero to 100km/h in only 3.4 seconds. It then continues to 305 km/h if you order it with the M Driver’s Package.
The biggest news is the use of switchable M xDrive all-wheel-drive for the first time on a BMW M passenger vehicle.
The three driving modes are: the default ‘4WD’ mode offers a static rear bias, but can distribute drive forward or across the rear axle as required; ’4WD Sport’ brings a further rear-ward bias; the M xDrive system is also capable of decoupling the front axle, allowing the entire engine output to be controlled via the rear Active M Differential. In this mode, the torque split is fully variable across the rear axle.
This adaptable system works in conjunction with the Active M locking rear differential for optimum traction.
BMW’s eight-speed M Steptronic automatic is a torque converter-equipped unit that offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles. It’s said to give similar shift speed and superior low-speed response to the previous M5’s dual-clutch transmission.
New BMW M5 has all its safety systems engaged as the default setting, it’s then up to the driver to select how much, or how little assistance they want from the car.
For serious track use a Carbon Ceramic brake package to all four wheels can trim off a few tenths and, more importantly, let the big Bimmer go harder for longer.
That’s the high-performance part of the new M5; the luxury part is every bit as impressive in its own way.
Seats are trimmed in Full Merino leather as standard, with a choice of Silverstone/Black, Aragon Brown/Black or Double Black finishes. Three other trims can be optioned from BMW Individual optioned at no cost.
The front seats have electric adjustment for lumbar support, upper backrest height, backrest width, thigh rest and headrest height, for the ultimate in control and comfort. The illuminated M5 logos look excellent.
Walknappa leather trim is used on the instrument panel and the Anthracite roof-liner comes from the BMW Individual trim line.
An M leather steering wheel has multi-function buttons, the gearshift paddles and bright red toggles to access driver-customisable M1 and M2 buttons. The latter individualises throttle, engine acoustics, gearbox, stability control, steering, suspension and drive settings (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD).
At $199,900 new M5 doesn’t come cheap but you certainly get a lot of high-performance car for your money. This recommended price includes GST and Luxury Car Tax, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on- road charges.
BMW Indulgence Package ($8,000 including GST and LCT) adds a soft-close function for the doors as well as Massage Function, TV function. As well as the Rear Seat Entertainment system Professional with two tiltable 10.2-inch screens for the rear passengers. Remote-control operated, these high-resolution systems include Blu-Ray drives.
BMW Comfort Package ($3,650 including GST and LCT) has Roller Sunblinds, front Active Seat Ventilation, four-zone automatic climate control, Ambient Air package and BMW’s advanced Gesture Control system.
Other options include a 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System and an Electric glass sunroof in lieu of carbon fibre roof.
We’ve yet to road test this new BMW M5 but will do so as soon as possible and report back.