Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bucket Seat: The New BMW M5 - First Impressions

When BMW released it's brand new 5 Series this year, many didn't anticipate just how much of a difference it would be to it's predecessor. Before, it was just a larger extension of the 3 Series family, with a few more luxury extras, however with this new model, it's essentially a slightly smaller version of the 7 Series. In fact, with the technological enhancements that have taken place in Munich research and development sector from the time the new 7 was released to when the 5 was released, it has worked out that the 5 Series offers a bit more than the 7 in terms of cool gadgets, of course the 7 Series will automatically inherit all of these but it's nice to know that they were in the 5 first. 

Now while the 5 Series hit the ground running since it's launch and cemented its name as the ultimate business athlete with a good combination of luxury and sportiness, many waited to see what the German manufacturer had up it's sleeve for the range topping M model, the M5. There were hints and teases given out before the official unveiling, we learnt that the car would have BMW's 4 wheel drive system, dubbed X Drive as a standard and also that the car would have rear wheel steering, helping it take corners with more precision and stability. Later we discovered that the car would be powered by a monster 4.4L V8, while many still dream of the M5 once again having the V10 engine, BMW has ensured that this is its most powerful V8 yet. 

When the covers were officially lifted on the new M5, albeit after another leak, fans were not disappointed! With it's lowered stance, blacked out front kidney grille, large diffuser air-intakes it certainly looked menacing just by standing still. The new M5 comes standard with 19" , 7 spoke dual light alloy rims. It's a fresh new design in rims from BMW and certainly adds to the masculinity to the car. Getting to the business end of the new M5, the 4.4litre V8 bi-turbo engine has M TwinPower Turbo technology which we've been used to in all their engine variants, so what makes this one better? Engineers have carried out significant revisions to the outgoing models power unit, so taking what they've done there to an already great motor and making it better. The engine develops 441kW, yes you read that right, 441kW with 600BHP and has a monumental torque figure of 750Nm, literally pulling the earth as it accelerates with a 0-100km/h time of just 3.4 seconds and a 0-200km/h time of 11.1 seconds.

We spoke about the M5 coming with BMW's M xDrive, but what exactly is it and what does it mean? Well to put it simply, its their version of 4WD, The settings can be changed and adjusted by the driver when and when they want to. It has various configurations to choose from, these are based on combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM DSC off) and M XDrive modes (4WD, Sport, 2WD). With the suspension designed to deliver maximum traction for everyday use and supreme dynamic performance on track, this along with he M xDrive can make for an ultimate drivers experience. While being more powerful, the new M5 is also more efficient than ever before, with a claimed fuel consumption combined at 10.5L/100km, with C02 emissions combined at 251 g/km. Moving on the inside, while it is very sporty, its still pretty luxurious too, coming with the same gadgets offered in the normal 5 Series variants and that new gear selector is a thing of beauty. 

Overall, the new BMW M5 looks the business, while we in South Africa will only see the car on our streets in the early part of 2018, BMW will have one to show at the BMW M Festival taking place at Kyalami in October. But if you really can't wait to drive one, you can get yourself a copy of the new Need For Speed Payback video game, in which it features. 

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