After teasing the world with an extensive M5 preview earlier this spring, the automaker had taken the wraps off of its latest super sedan, which will debut publically at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Based on the latest 5 Series and billed as the quickest, most technologically advanced M-car ever, the all-new 2018 BMW M5 also is the first to feature the performance-focused M xDrive system that lets the car operate in either a rear- or all-wheel drive configuration.

600 horsepower

Motivating the new M5 is the most potent version yet of BMW’s M-spec 4.4-liter twin turbo V8. Fed by two new twin-scroll turbos that create 24.46 psi of boost, this engine boasts higher-pressure fuel injectors, smaller but more efficient intercoolers, upgraded lubrication and cooling systems and revised exhaust manifolds. Collectively, these changes allow the engine to develop 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of peak torque–gains of 40 and 53 compared to its predecessor. Backed by a new 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with multi-mode Drivelogic control, it enables the M5 to streak from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds on its way to an electronically limited 155 mph top speed or 189 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package.  

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2018

BMW also completely reworked the new M5’s chassis and driveline. Virtually every 5 Series suspension component was modified to M-spec levels--including the Variable Damping Control and multi-mode Servotronic electro-mechanical steering gear – to ensure superior dynamics and stability under all conditions. Vehicle track has been increased and structural reinforcements were added to bolster rigidity. High-performance M compound disc brakes provide consistent stopping power while those looking for the ultimate track-day upgrade can choose to fit optional carbon-ceramic units. The 2018 BMW M5 rides on 19-inch Orbit Grey lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in 275/40 front and 285/40 rear tires specifically formulated for this application.

New M xDrive: Rear-drive drive on demand

Complementing that formidable go-fast formula is the new M xDrive system. Based on BMW’s conventional intelligent AWD package, this performance-oriented/rear-biased alternative also features a transfer case and an Active M Differential but has unique software that fully integrates the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). While the default mode of M xDrive engages both DSC and 4WD, the driver can configure the system to a more liberal M Dynamic mode with 4WD Sport settings as well as three modes with the DSC switched off – 4WD and 4WD Sport plus a pure 2WD setting that sends power only to the rear tires for skilled drivers seeking maximum fun.

Like its predecessors, the new BMW M5 gets its own distinctive visuals that blend form and function. Its edgier front fascia features larger air intakes while the rear end boasts a unique spoiler, apron and diffuser. Other changes include M side sills and outside mirror housings as well as the M5’s first ever carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof. To further reduce mass, BMW also fitted the car with an aluminum hood and front fenders. Upholstered in leather set off with carbon fiber and aluminum accents, the M5’s cabin expands on the 5 Series by adding an M-spec Sport steering wheel with shift paddles, unique instrument graphics, more deeply bolstered M Multifunction seats, an M head-up display and a large red starter button. 

Exclusive M5 First Edition

Adding an element of exclusivity to the new M5 is a limited-run First Edition model. Only 400 cars will be built, with 50 headed to America. All will be feature exclusive Frozen Dark Red Metallic paint and extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim that sees the grille, M fender gills and quad exhaust outlets rendered in high-gloss black. Rounding out the exterior changes is a set of 20-inch black light-alloy wheels. Inside, the cars have M multifunction seats, Piano Black appliques, and a plaque on the center console indicating its production number. Buyers also can opt for Smoke White full leather upholstery with red stitching. The 2018 BMW M5 and M5 First Edition will arrive here in the spring. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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