2018 BMW M5 xDrive (F90): Detailed walkaround [Video]

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This is the 6th generation of BMW’s ultimate sedan, the M5. And even though it doesn’t look radically different than the car it replaces, this new BMW M5 has a lot going for it. And it’s also blue. Marina Bay Blue Metallic to be precise. It’s currently the fastest production BMW on sale, taking the crown from the M760Li and with that it brings a couple of first to the M5 camp.

This is the first ever M5 to feature all wheel drive, M xDrive, like BMW likes to call it and at the same time it’s also the first M5 to be offered exclusively with an automatic transmission. So if you’re an old school BMW fan you might not like these changes very much, but if you’re an M5 customer, I suspect you’re pretty happy.

So without further ado, let’s just jump into the part most of you are interested in: the performance. This is an M car at the end of the day right?

Engine

Let’s start with the engine. It’s a development of the S63 unit you can find in the old F10 M5 ’30 Jahre edition’. Both turbochargers have been revised and so were the exhaust manifolds. The cooling systems have been upgraded and BMWs engineers also added a new race specification oil pump.

And all of these changes allow this 4.4l twin-turbo V8 petrol engine to churn out 600HP and 750Nm of torque. But get this, IND Distribution took their own BMW M5 and put it on a dyno test and guess what. The real world figures seem to be as near as makes no difference 700hp and 900Nm of torque. If you wan more info on this topic, I will like their video in the description so you can see the full dyno results.

But anyway, back to this car. It can reach 100km/h from standstill in 3.4s. A near two tone executive sedan outruns a hardcore track-oriented BMW M4 GTS. Can you imagine that?

Oh and it’s one second faster then the previous BMW M5.

Chassis, Wheels and Brakes

Unfortunately the M5 is kinda missing the stance of it’s smaller brothers, as you can see the exterior has only small hints of this being some more special than a regular 5 series. But do not worry because under this superb body paint things are a bit different.

The car has stiffer anti-roll bars, new toe-links and firmer rubber mounts. Over the rear axle BMW added an additional strut and aluminium cross brace to improved rigidity. There are also new strut braces under the hood designed to increase front end rigidity and to help with turn-in. Also, the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspensions have been completely redesigned for this new M5.

The car comes as standard with 19” wheels but they’re quite small for such a big car and they’re not really that good looking if I’m honest. These 20” ones work much better with the car although these aren’t that great either 🙂 But I guess it all comes down to taste, am I right?

The brakes on this car are the optional carbon ceramic ones. You can tell that by the yellow brake calibers. But as standard the new BMW M5 comes with steel brakes. Which should be enough since I can’t really imagine that many M5 owners tracking their 150.000 euro luxury sedan any time soon.

M xDrive, all-wheel-drive system

Unlike ordinary all-wheel-drive system the M xDrive has three different modes. There’s the regular four wheel drive mode (4WD), rear bias of course, the four wheel drive sport (4WD sport) which makes the xDrive be even more rear wheel bias and then there’s two wheel drive mode (2WD), which sends 100% of the power to the rear wheels.

And all of this is possible by pressing a button. Unfortunately for BMW, Mercedes-AMG beat them to the chase and released their latest E63 car with a similar all-wheel-drive system a year ago if I’m not mistaking.

Now before you get excited, you should know that the 2WD mode can only be activated if you turn DSC (BMW’s traction control) off. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not really curious to find out how a 600HP rear-wheel drive sedan without traction control feels like on the road 🙂 I’d definitely try that on a track but on the road, I’m not so sure.

Interior

If you’ve sat in a current generation 5 Series before, then the new BMW M5’s interior isn’t going to surprise you too much. Except for the seats, the shift-lever, the red starter button and these really cool looking red buttons on the steering wheel, this is pretty much a standard 5 Series interior. I guess BMW decided to play the card ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’.

So let’s talk about the new stuff and start with the seats. They’re gorgeous and they feel very comfortable and supportive. The leather also feels very good to the touch. Lovely. Plus they have a coloured M5 logo on them. How cool is that?

Then we have the new shift-lever, which reminds me of something, but since this is a family friendly website, I’d rather not tell 😉 And from what I can see, it works similar to other shift-lever in other M cars. One thing I forgot to mention at the beginning, is that this new BMW M5 features an eight speed ZF transmission instead of the old double clutch unit, which the previous M5 had.

The lever also features the shift aggression toggle buttons, removing some of the clutter on the center console. And talking about the center console, let’s take a minute and thank the car gods because BMW has finally made an independent exhaust button. Finally!

The M1 and M2 buttons, previously located on the steering wheel, now have they own place next to the shift paddles over here. In case you’re not a massive BMW M cars fan, these M1 and M2 buttons basically store user-defined driving profiles. So for example you can fiddle with the engine, transmission and suspension settings and save those settings to one of the buttons. And when you jump inside the car a few days later you don’t need to fiddle with all the settings again, you just press the button and boom, they’re there.

So yes, these are the custom driving modes. Highly useful stuff if you ask me.

The instrument cluster is fully digital and it gets M5-specific graphics. There’s also a new M-specific head-up display that’s 50% bigger than before. But that’s kind of it on the inside. And that also wraps up this article as well.

I wasn’t really a fan of how it looked when I first saw pictures of it. I thought it looked a bit too tame for a 600hp car, it didn’t really have that proper M car stance and I wasn’t a massive of these wheels either. But it’s starting to grow on me. Slowly but surely I’m starting to like it. I’m really eager to drive it because I’m sure that’s where this car will shine.

Want to see or read how this car drives? Make you read my review by clicking here!

Prices start (in Sweden) at 1.147.000 SEK (~111.400€ or 137.000$).

Thank you Bavaria Bil in Solna for allowing me to film the new BMW M5

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About the author

Paul Mihai

I'm Paul and I'm a Youtuber. I film cars and owners talking about their cars. Sometimes I also write. Badly, but I persevere! Join me in my adventures!

Disclaimer: I'm quite the BMW fanboy!

By Paul Mihai

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