2018 BMW M5 Test Drive Review
Car Tested: 2018 BMW M5; Road Test No. 1031; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,70,38,575/-
The BMW M5 is a serious performance sedan with a luxurious interior
Sports cars bring in a lot of performance but compromise on practicality but there is something called the best of both worlds. Enter the BMW M5, a car which is in its sixth generation (based on the seventh generation 5-Series) and has long been known for balancing speed with usability. The last generation M5 seemed to be a step down as the F10M was the victim of downsizing and didn't feel as exhilarating as the E60 M5 which also happens to be the most successful M5 of all times. Can the F90 bring back the madness of the M5 back?
Exteriors - Our test car is a launch edition which is limited to 400 units, it misses out on a sunroof but gets a carbon fibre roof for weight saving and also a more appealing look. Based on the 5-Series, the M5 retains all the elements but the bigger wheels, special paint job, gloss black finish on the alloys, M5 badging on the gloss black grille and boot, revised front and rear bumpers with massive airdams and a diffuser respectively, body kit and quad exhausts to tell you what lies in store once you get behind the wheel. So it does look a lot better than the regular 5-Series, more so, it looks thoroughly sporty.
Interiors - Step inside and it's a familiar 5-Series cabin but the M5 has its own touches like the steering for instance, immediately feels special as it has programmable M1 and M2 buttons ahead of the paddles. The dual tone black and beige treatment looks sporty, more so with the beautiful red stitching on the dashboard. The gear lever is different too and feels more sporty to use while the gloss finish on the dashboard and the centre console is well executed too. There is velvet finish on the A-pillars and the roof while the front seats are different, as they are bigger and more supportive and have the M5 badging on the headrest which actually lights up at night.
The F90 BMW M5 is loaded with technology and modern safety features
This car gets most of the features from the regular 5-Series (including Gesture Control) with a slick iDrive system having a separate menu for M modes, there is also a very cool heads-up display that has two modes, the sportier one displays a racy tachometer as well. The instrument cluster might be an LCD unit but there is only one display for the tachometer and speedometer, unlike three in the regular 5-Series. It does miss out on some features though, like a 360-degree camera, front camera and the remote parking function inspite of getting the cool BMW display. Space at the rear has reduced a bit due to the bigger front seats but it gets screens behind the headrest.
Performance - Powering the latest generation BMW M5 is the same engine that did duty on its predecessor but the motor has been optimised further for improved performance, higher output at 600 HP and an improved peak torque of 750 Nm. The result is 0-100 km/hr comes up in just 3.4 seconds which is blisteringly fast for a 4-door sedan while it's not just outright acceleration where the M5 excels. There is good flow of power throughout the rev band, in fact, it's so peppy lower down with almost no turbo lag that you would question the existence of the twin turbos.
The 2018 BMW M5 uses a traditonal torque converter transmission
The mid-range is punchy too but it's in the top-end where the BMW M5 absolutely screams, redlining close to 7000 RPM. You can go from absolute silence to madness with a a flick of a button as the active exhausts really make quite the racket, they pop, crack and make quite a racket on accelerating and downshifting. The 8-speed torque converter gearbox is super quick with shifts and you can manually take control of cogs using either the steering mounted paddles or the gear stick. The M5 has multiple drive modes and you can configure the suspension, engine, gearbox and even the steering as per your liking.
The car has launch control to get the best acceleration timing and power is channelled to all four wheels. Feeling adventurous, you can turn off traction control while maintaining all-wheel drive or opt for rear wheel drive only (traction control is completely off) which is more like a drift mode. With so much thrust from the motor, don't expect efficiency and the M5 returns between 3-5 km/l, depending on the driving style. Top speed is limited to 250 km/hr but can be increased to 305 km/hr after purchasing the M Driver's package (an M training voucher is also given with the purchase).
Driving Dynamics - Due to the 4-wheel drive layout, the BMW M5 has added weight but is still lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the use of carbon core technology. It feels light and the engine revs so fast that there is some amount of fidgetiness at full pelt. The M5 feels eager around the corners and with everything set to maximum (the steering and suspension to be in Sport+, the other modes are Comfort and Sport), body roll is very well contained and the car feels tight around the bends. However, you do have to work a bit to get the car pointing exactly where you want.
The ride isn't that bad and that makes the M5 easy to live with on a daily basis
In spite of the low profile rubber, the ride quality is quite good and the M5 feels composed over bad roads, it does crash through the big ones though. The ground clearance is low but there is no issue on speed-breakers. The M5 has excellent stopping power and the perforated brakes offer good feel and feedback. A slew of electronic systems work to ensure power is channelled smoothly, it's more rear biased in 4WD Sport mode and thus let's you play around a bit.
Verdict - The BMW M5 brings back the excitement which was lacking in the F10M model. While the addition of 4-wheel drive might be a step away from the original formula, it brings in safety and sure-footedness without comprising on fun. The M5 costs more than twice the money you pay for the practical yet fast 530d M-Sport but justifies the price by offering more in almost every regard, be it performance, dynamics, aesthetics, technology and aural delight. The M5 is back and it's as good as ever.
* Design is drool worthy, looks very sporty yet elegant
* Cabin is very luxurious and has decent space
* The V8 engine is a bomb offering superb performance
* Ride and handling balance is spot on
What's Not So Cool
* Doesn't get front parking sensors, 360-degree camera
* Misses out on remote parking feature
Alternatives: - Mercedes-Benz AMG E63s, Audi RS7
2018 BMW M5 Specifications
* Engine: 4395cc 8-cylinder,Twin Turbo Petrol
* Power: 600 HP @ 5600-6700 RPM
* Torque: 750 Nm @ 1800-5600 RPM
* 0-100 km/hr: 3.2 Seconds
* Top Speed: 300 km/hr
* Transmission: 8-Speed AT
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Tyre Size: 275/35/20 (Front), 285/35/20 (Rear)
* Suspension: Adaptive M Suspension
* Brakes: Discs (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 8-airbags, Attentiveness Assistant, ABS, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control (CBC)
2018 BMW M5 Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4965 mm X 1903 mm X 1473 mm
* Wheelbase: 2982 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 68-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1855 kgs
2018 BMW M5
2018 BMW M5 Review
The F80 BMW M5 is a performance luxury sedan offering the best of both worlds. It comes with lots of tech, has an excellent cabin and the V8 engine offers brilliant performance. The M5 is also great to drive and is one of the best performance sedans available in the market.