BMW has yet to officially take the wraps off the next generation of the BMW M5 high performance sporty sedan, but it has already dropped a number of juicy details that would surely make interested customers, fans and enthusiasts salivate.
First and foremost, the sixth generation of the BMW M5 will be the first BMW unit to feature the M xDrive system, a groundbreaking all-wheel drive technology that allows four-wheel drive vehicles to be as sporty as their rear-wheel drive counterparts.
Specifically, the new BMW M5 is an all-wheel drive sporty sedan as a default, but its drivetrain features a rear-biased setup. This means that the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine of the next generation BMW M5 (F90) sends power – through an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission – to the rear wheels most of the time. But when the system detects that the rear wheels transmit less or no power to the road and there is a need for more traction, the M xDrive would make it possible to send power to the front wheels as well. This transforms the new BMW M5 into a true all-wheel drive sports sedan. Since this capability is adaptive and makes use of predictive technology, the sixth generation of the BMW M5 is able to employ different drive configurations for various driving conditions.
Overall, five different configurations are available, based on the combos of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD). When the DSC is off, the driver could choose between the three M xDrive modes. The configurations allow the attributes of the drive system to be suited to the preferences of the driver and to the nature of the trip. For instance, purist drivers who prefer a rear-wheel drive configuration could just deactivate the all-wheel-drive system. Optimal performance in each of these configurations is made possible by a central intelligence unit – featuring M-specific software – that allows for integrated control of longitudinal and lateral dynamics.
Frank van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH, remarked that the new M xDrive drivetrain technology allows the new BMW M5 to be driven with great sportiness and accuracy whether on the track or on the road and in various weather conditions.
There have been reports that the powerplant of the new BMW M5 – a higher output version of the bi-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 found in the M550i xDrive – is capable of delivering 600 hp of max output and 516 lb.-ft. of peak torque, allowing the sporty sedan to complete the 0-62 mph sprint in less than 3.5 seconds. BMW hasn’t released any official figures on the power level of the revised engine, although it pointed out that its power output and torque are higher than what its predecessors could produce. This engine will be mated to an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.