BMW details its new M xDrive system ahead of the M5's official debut.

The BMW M5 isn’t quite ready for primetime just yet; these manufacturer-released photos of a camouflaged car prove its official debut is yet to come (think Frankfurt). The big story, right now, is something BMW calls M xDrive, a new technology that allows the M5 to switch between all- or rear-wheel drive, depending on the driver’s preference.

Revealed:

When the M5 starts up, it defaults to full all-wheel drive, though BMW notes that even in its standard configuration, the drivetrain has a definite rear bias. Switching to M Dynamic Mode puts the drivetrain into what BMW defines as “4WD Sport,” which further increases the rear-biased power delivery. Finally, turning the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) completely off allows the driver to switch between 4WD, 4WD Sport, or – yes – 2WD, where power is only sent to the rear wheels. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Mercedes-Benz employs a similar bit of technology on the new AMG E63.

2018 BMW M5 Prototype
2018 BMW M5 Prototype
2018 BMW M5 Prototype
2018 BMW M5 Prototype

BMW says the new M5 will use a higher-output version of the biturbocharged 4.4-liter V8 found in the M550i xDrive. Output numbers and acceleration data aren’t out just yet, though other publications seem to think the 2018 M5 will have 600 horsepower, 516 pound-feet of torque, and will run 0-62 miles per hour in less than 3.5 seconds. Where this data comes from, we don’t know, but it sounds reasonable (and super cool). All BMW will say right now is that the new M5’s engine “outperforms its predecessor in terms of power output and torque,” and will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, like the M550i.

As for other details, mum's the word. Our colleagues at Motor1-UK got to drive the prototype, and generally has positive things to say. We'll get our official crack behind the wheel later this year, following the M5's official debut. For now, see a ton of new (camouflaged) photos in the gallery below, and click below that for the press release.

 

Source: BMW

 

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