The M5 features a high-performance version of the 5-series' 4.4L twin-turbo engine. It utilizes direct injection and BMW's Valvetronic system, which can vary intake valve lift to both save fuel and aid responsiveness. Horsepower is rated at 560 and torque is stated to be 500 lb-feet. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic, while a traditional 6-speed manual is available as a no-cost option. With so much horsepower, acceleration is extremely strong, and the M5 is comfortably faster than many sports cars on the market.
A single Driving Dynamics Control selector lets the driver click between Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes that coordinate throttle and transmission response, steering boost, stability-control intervention and the Dynamic Damping Control suspension.
19-inch wheels and HID headlamps are standard, as is a high-performance audio system that includes both HD radio and a 6-disc DVD changer. Navigation, 18-way heated seats and 4-zone climate control are also included. "Green" features include a brake-energy regeneration system to charge the battery only when the brakes are applied as well as an "auto-stop" feature to save fuel when the engine is idle.
The M5 includes great seats in all variants; in front they're widely adjustable and especially good for taller drivers. BMW's iDrive screen-driven interface comes in all 5-Series models, and it's been improved in recent years with more intuitive, streamlined menus and controls.
The M5 includes dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, power heated mirrors, xenon adaptive headlamps, dynamic cruise control and other extras. Merino leather seats come standard, as does hard-drive navigation, a rear-view camera and park distance control.
A Competition Package improves the M5's performance numbers in most every way, with sport exhaust and tuning adding 15 horsepower to the engine's output as well as revised suspension settings and tuned steering to improve handling and response and 20-inch double-spoke alloys.
When BMW says it builds the "Ultimate Driving Machine," it's talking about the M5. The super sedan brings nearly every tech bell and performance whistle in the brand's arsenal to bear in the pursuit of speed. This is a car that doesn't know the meaning of the word "compromise."
And yet, closer inspection reveals that this new M5 may not be as hardcore as it might seem. I mean, yes, with 600 horsepower beneath its sheet metal, it's pretty dang hardcore. Indeed, this is the fastest production car BMW's ever built. But the designers of this latest generation M5 have taken a few steps to make this machine easier to live with, too.
That monstrous 600 horsepower is complemented by 553 pound-feet of torque from BMW's 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. That's enough power to launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds -- quicker than you can say "oh, hell yeah." Not bad for a 4,370-pound midsize sedan.
The Good With 600 horsepower on tap and a 3.2-second 0-60 time, the M5 is the quickest production BMW ever. The all-wheel-drive system offers increased stability, but can switch to rear-wheel drive at the touch of a button. The performance is very customizable thanks to smart M Dynamic drive mode selectors.
The Bad Android Auto is still missing from the Bimmer's bag of tricks. Even the optional Apple CarPlay connectivity is finicky.
The Bottom Line Part large luxury sedan, part canyon carver and part race-ready tool, the 2018 BMW M5 is the very best of everything BMW has to offer.
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