BMW’s new super sedan no longer wears any loose fitting camouflage, though most of the car is fitted with the requisite prototype wrap. The hood features a prominent bulge in the center, similar to every other M car in the past decade or so. The front bumper has a similar shape to the M2, M3, and M4. There are large intakes in the two corners and a wide, six-sided intake at the bottom.
Key to this ability is the new M xDrive system, which uses an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch within the transfer case to apportion torque front and rear depending on wheel slip or shut off front drive altogether.
On startup it defaults to DSC on and full all-wheel drive. M Dynamic mode is programmed for near-neutral handling, permitting modest drift angles while providing a safety net. Switch DSC off, and you get three more choices, dubbed 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. These step the front-wheel assistance down to zero.
This will not only help to improve performance and overall handling, but also allow BMW to market it customers who live in wintry and wet regions. A six-speed manual won’t be offered anywhere; an eight-speed automatic will be the sole gearbox. Sources claim the new M5 will be the fastest M5 to date, surpassing the M550i XDrive’s 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.9 seconds. At this time, BMW is performing the final performance testing touches, so we figure that by this August we’ll see the real deal.