Using an updated version of the existing M5’s 4.4-litre V8 turbo engine, the new 2017 M5 will be the most powerful model ever. More than 600 horsepower is expected, along with a 0-62mph time “noticeably quicker” than today’s car. Thanks to four-wheel drive traction, BMW insiders are hinting at 3.5 seconds or less.
Video: BMW explains new M5 4WD modes
BMW is also keen to stress this new super-saloon will do 26.9mpg and emit 241g/km CO2. Not that we imagine fuel economy will be particularly high on the agenda of drivers tempted by the five-mode potential of its new M xDrive technology.
Helping better exploit the potency of its V8 firepower, the new M5 has a rear-biased feel even in four-wheel drive, says BMW. The front wheels only kick in when the rears can’t handle any more power. And a raft of configurations include three M xDrive modes: 4WD, drift-happy 4WD Sport and a tyre-smoking 2WD setup. The glory of the latter is shown in the video.
BMW’s even sought approval from its works driver, DTM champion Timo Glock. Apparently, he’s a big M5 fan. “I often drive long distances and I need plenty of room for my family, but I wouldn’t wish to give up the chance to explore the car’s sporting character,” he apparently said.
“With M xDrive, not only can the new BMW M5 be steered with the usual precision and agility, it also offers me something I really appreciate, living in Switzerland: a noticeable boost to traction and controllability – even when driving in particular environmental conditions, such as wet weather and snow, and in both everyday driving situations and when pushing the car to its performance limits.”
More BMW M on Motoring Research:
Of course, he would say that, but his point stands: in switching to four-wheel drive, BMW has made the new M5 more usable in everyday driving, while also retaining the opposite-lock potential for out on the racetrack.
Here’s to finding out what the final production car is like, both on road and track…