BMW M5 prototype

BMW M5 prototype

The demise of the traditional rear-wheel-drive Mercedes-AMG E-Class (now a 604bhp car itself) suggested as much earlier this year, and now the BMW M Division’s decision to switch its forty-year-old performance icon, the M5, from ‘standard drive’ to all-wheel drive confirms it.

Meanwhile, the eight-speed M Steptronic has been tuned for quick shift times and optimal ratio spacing, while also keeping fuel consumption low. Steering-mounted paddle shifters give the option of manual shifting, while three driver modes adjust the transmission accordingly.

The next-generation sports sedan will reportedly feature an updated 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 generating over 447kW (600hp). Standard all-wheel drive will help the car complete the 0-100km/h standard in under 3.6 seconds.

That’s quicker than today’s Competition Edition model, which has a 423kW/680Nm version of the twin-turbo V8 motor, and is capable of a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds.

BMW M5 prototype

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