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The BMW M5 is now a no-stick AWD beast

The G30 5-Series-based sports sedan is better than ever

This is no longer the BMW M5 you were accustomed to. PHOTO FROM BMW

This will be short and quick, as the introduction of the all-new BMW M5 high-performance sedan based on the G30 5-Series was already announced back in August this year (VISOR had not been launched then). But we figure there are still many of you out there who still haven’t fully grasped the changes this German automobile has undergone.

If you ever fancy drifting this car, you're guaranteed to look good doing so. PHOTOS FROM BMW

Nope, we’re not talking about the engine shoehorned under the hood as this is merely an evolution of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 gasoline powerplant used in the previous F10 M5. That is not to say, however, that BMW M engineers have failed to deliver in the area of propulsion. Compared to the heart of the outgoing model—which pumped out 560hp and 680Nm—the S63 engine in the new M5 has been tuned to produce 600hp and a much-improved 750Nm.

The enhancement enables the M5 to sprint from rest to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds, and from a standstill to 200km/h in just 11.1 seconds. An optional M Driver’s Package also does away with the 250km/h top speed limit, giving the car a maximum velocity of 305km/h.

Standard 19-inch light-alloy Orbit Gray wheels add to the new M5's sporty stance. PHOTOS FROM BMW

We’re talking about two essential modifications that BMW has done to the M5 to drastically overhaul the driving experience for all those fortunate enough to own this road-legal track machine.

First is that the new M5 is the first iteration in this venerable series to be equipped with an all-wheel-drive layout. Yep, the erstwhile rear-wheel-driven M sedan now has power sent to all four wheels, just like BMW’s X SUV models. The Munich-based automaker calls this “the most emotionally engaging AWD system yet to grace the high-performance segment.”

From the press document:

It works with a central transfer case with multiplate clutch, and distributes drive fully variably between the front and rear axles, as required. Another ingredient in the car’s supreme traction in all road and weather conditions is the Active M Differential at the rear axle, which also works fully variably and has a locking effect between 0% and 100%.

Standard M xDrive settings allow the driver to still select RWD if he so wishes, the other modes being 4WD and 4WD Sport (the latter sounds like a lot of fun). We suspect these settings will make you look like a drifting champ.

Although the new M5 no longer comes with a stick shift, sequential manual shifts are still possible via the tiller-mounted paddles. PHOTOS FROM BMW

The second change BMW has given the new M5 is the removal of a manual-transmission option. You read that right: The M5 no longer comes with a stick shift. Also gone is the previous model’s seven-speed double-clutch transmission. This is the first time the high-performance Bimmer will not be offered with a manual shifter. Taking over the job of transmitting power to the wheels is an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic gearbox.

BMW promises “lightning-fast shift times” with this unit, which explains why the company didn’t bother providing a manual version.

Probably one of the last remaining sports cars to still engage human drivers—before fully autonomous vehicles arrive. PHOTO FROM BMW

The new BMW M5—priced €117,900 (P6,994,000) in Europe—is a further step toward automotive perfection, a point where human input will be completely irrelevant. Thankfully, you can still steer this car and decide how much fuel to feed its engine. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.