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Here it is – officially this time – the BMW M5 xDrive.  Perhaps the worst kept secret, and yet still one of the most anticipated model releases of the year.  After leaked images surfaced ahead of the official reveal, we now have full image sets and details of the new M5, chassis code F90.


So let’s get down to the details, then.  Based off the latest G30 BMW 5 Series platform, the M5 has shed weight compared to the previous F10 model.  It has done so despite the addition of ‘M xDrive’ all-wheel drive, due to a lighter chassis, aluminium bonnet, and a carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof – among other things.  Total weight of the M5 rests at 1930kg, including a 75kg driver.


Power is derived from a revised version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the previous gen BMW M5.  Through new turbochargers and increased fuel pressures, power outputs match the M5 30 Jahre Edition and Pure Metal Edition at 441kW, with peak power available from 5 600-6 700 rpm.  Torque takes a bump to 750Nm, available from 1 800-5 600rpm.  The M-DCT from the old M5 is gone, and in its place lays an M-tuned 8-speed automatic gearbox, sourced from ZF.


Of course the biggest news is that the new BMW M5 features M xDrive, an M-specific all-wheel drive system.  The system allegedly feels like a rear driven car, but with the added grip and composure of AWD.  Three main drive modes are available for the M xDrive system, including 2WD mode which disconnects drive from the front wheels entirely for a ‘pure’ driving experience, or full-hooligan drift mode.  You can read more about M xDrive HERE.


With the combination of more power and all-wheel drive, performance over the old BMW M5 has vastly increased.  The BMW M5 xDrive will perform the obligatory 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 3.4 seconds.  0-200km/h takes 11.1 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 250km/h.  The optional M Driver’s Package lifts that limiter to 305km/h – for those times when 250km/h won’t land you in jail quick enough.


The Active M Differential once again features as standard on the rear axle, allowing for full mechanical torque vectoring on the rear wheels.  Fully variable dampers allow the BMW M5 xDrive to play the role of comfortable cruiser as well as it will play the barnstorming track demon.  Standard M-compound brakes – identifiable by blue callipers – feature as standard with 6-piston front callipers.  Optional carbon ceramics – featuring gold callipers – add stopping power and save a further 23kg.


Of course no BMW M5 would be complete without a host of visual upgrades to the exterior.  The front bumper has been revised for larger air intakes to assist with the intercoolers, air intake, and brake cooling.  The rear diffuser has been aerodynamically upgraded and features the signature quartet of tailpipes from the adaptive exhaust system.  19-inch alloys are standard, wearing 275/40 and 285/40 profile M-specific tyres at the front and rear respectively.  Optional 20-inch alloys can be had with the same width rubber, but only a 35 profile.

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The interior boasts a range of upgrades too over the standard 5 Series.  The BMW M5 xDrive features leather upholstery M-specific seats.  These can be upgraded to new M multifunction seats.  The M1 and M2 customisable drive mode buttons are now found on the steering wheel in red, with other damper, exhaust, steering, suspension and drive mode settings chosen by buttons on the centre console.


In addition, any of the advanced safety and semi-autonomous driving systems on the regular 5 Series can be equipped to the BMW M5 xDrive.


The BMW M5 xDrive will be available in South Africa from the first quarter of 2018, with price and specification to be revealed closer to launch.  The BMW M5 xDrive will be making an appearance before then though, at the first ever BMW M Festival hosted at Kyalami from 21-22 October 2017.


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