The biggest news for the 2018 M5 is its adoption of BMW’s xDrive all wheel drive system, making it the first M-enhanced sedan to adopt the system, although the X5 M and X6 M SUV twins have used xDrive over their last two generations.
Under the bonnet the M5 will pack a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 but right now BMW is staying tight-lipped with regard to power and torque figures, and more crucially 0-100 km/h acceleration time, only to say that the new M5 with xDrive will be faster than the old one, and its engine will be more powerful - no real surprises there.
The M5 follows in the footsteps of the Mercedes-AMG E 63, which has featured all-wheel drive overseas since its previous generation, and will be available in Australia for the first time with 4Matic all wheel drive this month.
The M xDrive system for the M5 will offer a range of driver-selectable modes including 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD which ensures all available power is sent to the rear wheels - a setting sure to keep traditionalists happy.
"As a result, the new BMW M5 can be piloted with the familiar blend of sportiness and unerring accuracy on both the race track and the open road - and in various weather conditions, too," according to BMW M boss Frank van Meel.
Engine changes include increased fuel injection pressure, low friction internals via a revised lubrication system, new turbochargers and a lighter exhaust system which BMW promises will deliver a more inspiring soundtrack.
Along with the engine upgrades the G30 M5 will adopt a conventional eight-speed automatic with torque converter, taking the place of the previous M5’s dual-clutch gearbox.
Although the new transmission retains a choice of shift programs, as well as the option of changing gears manually via steering wheel shift paddles, by BMW’s own admission the new automatic dials back some of the aggression of the dual-clutch unit with a company statement describing it as “part of a new, finely honed overall package that turns the BMW M5 into a high-performance sedan offering genuine everyday practicality, and also resolves the apparent contradiction between sportiness and comfort."
Despite keeping the key figures under a cloak for now, it has confirmed the M5 will be more efficient than before with a lower claimed average fuel consumption of 10.5L/100km.
Remaining details of the new M5 including outputs and acceleration times will be revealed closer to its public debut ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
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