BMW teased us with “spy” shots and vague details about the 2018 M5 earlier in the year. Now they’ve given us unwrapped pictures, and it looks more glorious than we could have imagined.
What you see before you is the newest Bimmer in all its glory, revealed recently at Frankfurt Motor Show. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that it looks like any other BMW 5 Series. We’ve all seen that. It’s been around for a year.
Look closer. That front end with its gaping maw(s)? All those holes serve a purpose other than making the latest M look evil. They channel air to the brakes and the cooling system when you’re beating on the car while driving your favorite serpentine road. The middle lower grille even incorporates an oil cooler so that you don’t burn up the belly of your beast. An aluminum hood and fenders, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof not only lighten the car’s curb weight, but they also make sure the guy in the pedestrian 540i knows he’s not even in the same league. He can even marvel at the M-specific rear diffuser, bumper and spoiler as you leave him in the dust when the light turns green.
Yes, the car has an 8-speed automatic – with no manual option – as previously reported, but that automatic is bolted to a 600 hp, 553 lb-ft , 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged monstrosity capable of launching this sixth-gen M5 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. That’s a full .5 seconds quicker than a Porsche 911R. Take a half second and let that sink in. A four-door family sedan by BMW is quicker on the on-ramp than the vaunted 911R. That’s insane.
Much of the mechanical details, like the AWD system that functions more like a rear-wheel-drive system than one would expect, we already knew. What hadn’t been revealed in official spy shots or press releases were specs on the interior. Now we know.
BMW has taken great pains to make sure everything in within reach of the driver, putting everything important within the eye line of the person doing the piloting. Drivers can change most of their preferences in the huge center touchscreen, and there are two bright red buttons right there on the steering wheel which can be used to store your two favorite driving dynamic configurations so you can shift on the fly according to your current level of exuberance. Seats exclusive to the M line have deeper, width-adjustable bolsters and heated extended Merino leather.
For those who like to be on the bleeding edge of new model ownership, there’s even a First Edition with an exclusive color, Frozen Dark Red Metallic, which appears to be a satin finish. Shiny black bits replace most of the “regular” M5’s chrome doodads, giving the car an even tougher look. Place your order soon, though. BMW is only making 400 of the First Edition models, and only 50 of those are destined for the United States.
BMW is tight-lipped about pricing so far, but when the car appears on dealer lots in Spring, 2018, we’d expect it to start not far south of the $95k mark given the previous generation’s pricing.