End of an era? New BMW M5 xDrive
Anybody who knows me will know what I think of the BMW M5 – it’s flipping marvellous! With each generation, BMW has managed to wow the world with one marvel or another, be it the fastest saloon in the world, a V10 for the whole family to enjoy or independent throttle butterflies for each cylinder. If none of this enough, one just has to look at the past 5 M5’s, each of which has had a completely different appeal but with the same core ingredients – four doors, lots of power, delicious balance and rear-wheel drive.
So you can imagine the absolute chaos amongst the M5 die-hards when BMW announced that the F90 generation would feature all-wheel drive. Cue the pitchforks. But not all is lost…
Dubbed M xDrive, it works in conjunction with the DSC system to allow for 5 different setups when combining either DSC on, MDM and DSC off with 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. Yes, you can have 2WD only #relief.
Connected to whichever assortment of wheels you choose is the latest version of the now familiar S63B44 twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, now churning out over 450 kW and 700 N.m. All this power to all four wheels should result in 0-100km/h in the region of 3.5 seconds and brutal in-gear acceleration. Controversially, and there’s always controversy with an M-car, the F90 will only come with a ZF 8-Speed automatic. Yes, that’s right, a torque converter. Automatic gearboxes are so slick these days that the added production and maintenance costs of a dual-clutch system are no longer necessary in order get the required performance. M-DCT systems are known for overheating after a few full-bore launches but there’s no need to worry now thanks to the inherent strength of a torque converter setup.
What will it look like? A 5 Series with a big chin and four exhaust tips. What will it cost? Many many of your Rands. Will it be worth it? You bet your aunt Felicia.