SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation, the local distributors of BMW, introduced the sixth-generation, F90 M5 to the Philippine market at the San Miguel Corporate Headquarters in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong this morning. It was a rainy Sunday, but a big crowd composed of media professionals, enthusiasts from various car clubs, and VIP guests of BMW, turned up for the introduction of this very special car.
No less than the chairman of SMC Asia Car Distributors, Ramon Ang, and its president, Spencer Yu, presented the incredible M5 to their distinguished guests. For the past 30 years, the BMW M5 has been hailed as the definitive performance saloon. This latest iteration of the M5 continues the success of its predecessors. It is powered by a revised version of the previous-generation’s engine—a 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8, now with 600hp, and 750Nm. It has a 40hp and 70Nm increase over the previous-generation M5.
The transmission is now a ZF-sourced eight-speed M Steptronic semi-automatic (not dual-clutch), with manual paddles for sequential shifting. The new transmission incorporates Drivelogic for rapid gear changes. Drivelogic has the usual choice of three shift programs, with the option of changing gears manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Bad news for purists is that the F90 M5 will not have a manual transmission option.
For the first time since its inception, the M5 is now equipped with all-wheel-drive. It's an M-specific version called M xDrive that allows full variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles. There are three drive modes available: 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. It is a very rear-biased system to preserve the M5’s rear-wheel-drive handling characteristics, and only sends power to the front when the rear wheels begin to lose grip.
In 2WD mode, adventurous drivers will appreciate that Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) can be completely turned off, the tires smoked, and the tail let out. In January of this year, an F90 M5 obliterated the standing world record for longest drift at a distance of 374.2kms in eight hours.
Despite having an all-wheel-drive system, which means having a driveshaft, differential, and axles up front, this new M5 is actually lighter than the previous generation. Helping to achieve this weight reduction is an aluminum hood and front fenders, a carbon-fiber roof, and a weight-optimized exhaust system.
This new M5 offers staggering performance for hunting down Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Zero to 100kph is claimed to be 3.4secs, zero to 200kph in 11.8secs, making this the fastest M5 ever. However, like always, top speed is electronically limited to 250kph—although availing of the optional M Driver’s package increases the top speed to 305kph. The option also includes the BMW M Intensive Training, a performance driving course offered through the BMW M Driving Experience Centre, designed to teach customers to better handle their M cars. The course can be facilitated in the UK or in Germany.
As befits a BMW in this lofty market, the F90 M5 includes a dizzying array of luxurious touches and highly advanced technological assistance devices. And should a customer feel the need for even more performance, carbon ceramic brake rotors are offered as an option. Price for the F90 M5 is P14,790,000, with five units immediately available at launch.
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