It is not surprising that the new BMW 2018 M5 will come with four wheel drive. This is what the customers want. However there are quite a few questions which might need to be answered. Will it be able to keep intact the rear wheel drive which the big super saloon offered? Has it become more a luxury cruiser than a sports sedan? Will it be able to take on the Mercedes AMG E 63 S 4matic plus, a battle so keenly awaited?
What Does Approximation Say
It would be pertinent to mention here that full details about 2018 M5 is still not out and therefore we have to go by some approximate specifications. To begin with the car will be powered by the powerful and muscular 4.4 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine. Though the power could be up a little it is not phenomenal. It will be connected to the eight speed Steptronic automatic transmission. This is time tested and doing well in BMW X5 and X6 M models. It is an improvement from the seven speed M DCT clutch item found in the earlier version of M5.
It Is Lighter
The new G30 5 series diet regime will ensure that the new M5 will be slightly lighter than before. The carbon fibre roof is something that will stand out. However, the interior will not have too many surprises. It will continue to be a luxury car with some naughty streaks here and there. The pickup and acceleration will continue to be the talking point and it can reach from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds. It is a flat one second quicker than the earlier car. This cannot be explained by reduction in weight or increase is power transmission strength. The answer therefore has to lie in the four wheel drive. This may not be good news for those who have loved driving rear drive cars. But they need not feel too bad because there is some good news coming along the way.
The Unique M xDrive System
For beginners the 2WD mode is something which the driver can select. This solves the problem once for all. This is done through the M xDrive System. It is different to other xDrive BMW. The electronically controlled Active M Differential is very much there in the rear. It comes with carbon plates, upgraded. This will help in better driver control and feedback. It certainly will help where the limit are when compared to previous cars.
Gear Transition Is Easy
Gear to slip transition is quite easy and there is no room for nervousness or guesswork. The differential has the ability to send 100 percent of available torque to either of the rear wheel. This certainly makes the vehicles move in an agile manner. It also comes with a well designed engine output distribution mechanism. This is done with the help of a electromechanically activated clutch with multi-plates. This also is capable of sending 100 percent of torque to either the rear or front axles. It also comes with a controller which nicely integrates all the sub systems. This is useful for those who are not exactly looking splitting the torque between the rear and front axles. However while doing all this care has been taken to ensure that the M5 can be used day long even on long distances.
Improved Driver Settings
More driver settings are there which help a lot in improving standard comfort and also help them to choose different individual options. The power steering has a quicker ratio when compared to the old car. This helps a lot as far as damping, throttle response and transmission. All these can be changed to suit specific needs and requirements. The new steering wheel comes with easy to identify M1 and M2 buttons which could be useful for storing the favorite settings. It also comes with a new gear selector which has a drivelogic three mode adjuster built into it.
The DSC or Dynamic Stability control has three settings, which can be activated by pressing the DSC button off and on. It can be accessed by holding down the button till such time you get a warning message on the dashboard. It would be pertinent to mention here that the MxDrive control is closely connected with all the above. When the DSC is on the car gets in 4 wheel drive mode. This is quite safe and can drive at a decent speed even in the not best of conditions.
The drivers will not easily be able to find out that power is being transferred to the front wheels because DSC does it smoothly. Even when the four wheel drive is activated you will feel that you are on a rear wheel drive, especially when you are cruising at decent speeds.
The MDM Mode
Once the MDM mode is activated the car feels much friskier and is will to be a bit naughty if you would like to put it that way. This could be useful when conditions are not very good and you are in a hurry. Though both MDM and DSC are fine, keeners driver will be happier moving to DSC system because it helps to move between 4WD, 2WD and also 4WD sports drive. The 4WD drive setting is quite neutral. The full power is activated only when it is provoked. However going to that stage requires lot of space and commitment to get to that stage. There is also no push on understeer facility which adds to the safety aspect quite a bit.
A Look At 4WD Sport Mode
When the DSC mode is off, there is no doubt that 4WD is a fantastic drive. Experienced drivers would most certainly like to keep it in this mode on public roads. This is because you can expect the best of traction at all times. At the same time you will also get to enjoy the best experience of a rear wheel drive even in a dry race track. It is possible to drift the M5 sideways and it does not fight your effort and rather cooperates with you so that this method of driving becomes safe and also enjoyable.
The Horse Power
Finally the 2WD generates 600 HP and this come through the rear wheels and you will have no traction control to help you out. Compared to the previous version of M5 this is more predictable. It stays firmly in place even in wet road conditions and the quicker steering makes it safe even in wet conditions.
Not many buyers would be driving their cars in all the modes. However, M5 has not given up on the rear drive feature and therefore this will certainly appeal to more drivers
- Price $250,000 (approximate).
- 4.4 liter engine with twin turbocharged petrol.
- Eight speed automatic transmission gears.
- Fuel consumption 9.4 liter at 100 km speed.
- Co2: around 230 g/km.
Safety rating has not been tested.