ALL-WHEEL drive. Seems only proper that the sixth-generation BMW M5 — which on July 15 made its Philippine debut suitably surrounded by supercars of varying makes — is capable of allocating grunt to all four wheels rather than just the rear ones, as the case had been in all previous M5s. The latest car is the most powerful rendition of the model yet, and the added traction guaranteed by all-wheel drive should raise the M5’s performance level as the engine’s output is transmitted to the tarmac more effectively than ever.
Yet the new M5 sticks to the model’s brief by still coming with four doors, a well-appointed cabin that could easily seat five, plus a huge trunk. And all this while wearing relatively subtle styling — only those who know can tell it apart from the regular, higher-variant 5 Series.
Here are key items that mark out the new M5:
• 4.4-liter V8 engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger, evolved from the previous M5, now makes 591 hp and 750 Nm. It is fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission with Drivelogic. BMW said it shifts quickly and has “optimal ratio spacing” that isn’t only good at efficiently spreading engine output over a wide rev range but also improves fuel consumption, too.
• All-wheel drive system called M xDrive is always switched on, along with the dynamic stability control (DSC). But different driving modes vary handling characteristics, including a rear-wheel drive setting with the DSC off.
• Drive settings can be switched to Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, each of which alters the behavior of the Drivelogic, the M-specific variable damper control with electronically controlled shock absorbers, and the power steering.
• M-specific exterior pieces are functional rather than cosmetic. These include a front apron with large air inlets for the cooling systems and the brakes; wider fenders (with signature “M gills”) to accommodate larger wheels; carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof which lowers the car’s center of gravity and reduces weight; aerodynamic side mirrors; a rear diffuser; a rear spoiler; and various other aerodynamic appendages.
• Staggered-size, light-alloy, 20-inch wheels with split spokes are fitted with 275/35 R20 tires in front and 285/35 R 20 at the rear. Wheels are 9.5 inches and 10 inches wide, fore and aft, respectively.
• Cabin features include M leather steering wheel with shift paddles and electrically adjustable sport seats which promise to secure the driver and passengers in place during hard maneuvers.
• Price is set at P14.790 million.