Techno-drug addicts and A.I. fans like to refer to something called "uniqueness," the point at which our digital achievements accelerate at such a rapid pace that they eclipse society's ability to understand them.
In the world of sports sedans, that has already happened, and the 2018 BMW M5 is the last test written in glbad and metal.
I took just a few laps around the Estoril Circuit (just outside of Lisbon, Portugal) in the last car M to make me realize that the days when humans have to Work hard to dazzle the lap times in a vehicle that can comfortably drive around the country have officially ended.
Or maybe it's more accurate to say that it's the Germans who have whole-heartedly embraced the digitization of performance to the point where all you have to do is open the door, press the engine start button and aim The steering wheel in the general direction of the finish line to experience the kind of speed and handling skill of a large 4-door luxury car that only a decade ago would have required professional-level driving skills to carry it out.
Keeping up with the Jones
After years of resistance, the BMW M division has completely embraced the trifecta of a turbocharged engine plus an automatic transmission shift plus a full-drive system in its higher profile model, the M5, which unites its rivals Mercedes-AMG and Audi RS by presenting a front of Teutonic hegemony that manifests itself in terribly fast cars wrapped in surprisingly accessible packages.
Sure, there are some who resist this formula, like Cadillac with the CTS-V and Alfa Romeo with the Giulia Quadrofoglio, who cling to the old standard super sedan of a lively rear-wheel drive chbadis. Until now, the BMW M5 had also been the bearer of that particular performance torch.
Uniqueness, however, encompbades everything, and faces a world in which well-heeled customers have been trained by extremely successful marketing campaigns to demand not only the ability of the entire season to drive on all wheels But also the ability to boast over 600 horsepower without fear of spilling their coffee on the way to work in the morning, BMW had no choice but to turn all four wheels towards Destiny.
Docil in daily driving, a terror on the track
So you do not think I'm a plaintive purist when men and women had to work in the traction mines to make a living in a race, I have nothing to do with 2018 BMW M5 marches to the rhythm of a modern drum, highly amplified and perfected.
It is irrational to compare the current M with the one of yesteryear, because when customers visit the BMW showroom they will not be. purchases crossed by means of a time machine. They will cross the street to see what awaits them in the parking lot of a competitor.
This is why the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine in the BMW M5 now delivers 600 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque, the numbers that put it on foot even with the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S of 603 horsepower and the Audi RS7 of 605 horsepower. You can thank a new set of turbos, plus extensive exhaust work, for torque (53 lb-ft on its predecessor), along with the additional 40 ponys compared to last year's M5 base (25 more that models equipped with the latest generation car competition package).
It is also the reason why the third pedal of the M5 has been banished, since there is not a single member of the elite of the executive sedan of Germany, the United States or any other type that still clings to the concept of the lever of changes of meat and bone.
The M5's new 8-speed automatic was perfectly composed on the roads that lead from Lisbon to Estoril, and also handled the progressive traffic without excessive roughness.
But on the track When the Drivelogic selector in the center console was adjusted to shorten the shift times as much as possible, the gearbox came to life and caused exactly the right response from the huge 8-cylinder bulge under the hood, either hit a paddle or just crushed my foot to the floor.
Sign on dotted line to eliminate safety babysitters
BMW's optimized version of the xDrive all-wheel drive was similar to Janus in how it was presented.
The unit borrows almost all of its xDrive design would be found in the standard 5 Series, except for a torque vector rear differential and the tight loins of some key internal components that have been reinforced against the onslaught of the turbo torque
Where the M5 differs from its siblings is in the lines of code called to derive power from the rear wheels to the front, the M5 operates primarily as a rear driver unless the driving conditions dictate help from the front axles.
This is not a mere dumb service to the concept of an AWD system polarized by the back either, because if you want, you can change the mode & # 39; 4WD & # 39; automotive default (BMW term) and activate & # 39; 4WD Sport & # 39 ;, which in combination with dynamic M-disk configuration makes stability and traction control systems surprisingly tolerate tail antics in the race track.
If you want to go completely to the opposite side of the lock, the M5 will force you through its 2WD mode, but only after signing the disclaimer by deactivating the stability and traction control completely.
In addition to these exclusive all-wheel drive characteristics of the segment, the BMW M5 is also equipped with a full range of steering, suspension and exhaust settings accessible to the driver via console buttons or, if you prefer to mix and To combine to create your own perfect configuration, you can save a unique combination of attributes for easy access by coding it into one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
All this Silicon-cum -The Voodoo of Renal Valley joined instead of dramatically while traveling the F1 circuit at speeds that reach 160 mph. The explosive nature of the acceleration of the M5 was attenuated and amplified simultaneously by its AWD system, which left almost no trace of understeer while placing 600 horses on the asphalt of Estoril with rough finish and pulled the car from each corner with great confidence.
When it was switched to 4WD Sport, there were times when the BMW sedan's impression of a marked rear-wheel drive platform was quite convincing, particularly when rotating the car through a set of S-curves. The 2WD setting however, it is clearly designed to smile instead of throwing yourself onto the podium, as the necessary absence of traction control combined with the flat torque curve of the Montana car conspired to keep the car smoking and sideways when it climbed on the accelerator in half the corner.
The M5 works very well, but it is less satisfactory … in terms of your bank account
You may have noticed that until now I have avoided the discussion about what the BMW M5 2018 looks like inside or out, and that's because, well, it's really quite similar to any other well-specified version of the 5 Series of the current generation.
Sure, you get a more aggressive aerobic treatment in the front and back, M calls in the trim, four-way exhaust tips, only 20-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber and the option of gold-plated carbon brakes (for not to mention the stitched style sports seats M), but paint it silver and you can park it in front of your office without causing a revolution among your ranks.
In fact, the next step – The step of Series 5, the M550i xDrive, is so competent that it threatens to eat what was once the main customer of the M5. While the M550i could lower 150 horsepower compared to the true monster of the M Division, its 480 lb.-ft. torque and standard four-wheel drive allow it to reach 60 mph from a start stopped half a second or so from the measurement of 3.4 seconds of the M5. The M550i lacks the M5 tracking pedigree, of course, but the percentage of BMW customers who plan to exercise the beast anywhere other than the public road is infinitely small.
In the real world, it's a safe bet that at least a few potential M5 buyers would not mind saving almost $ 30,000 of their tag price of $ 102,300 and be just as happy driving home with a M badge of another type on the top of the platform.
As such, it also seems that the automotive singularity has approached everything so rapidly that it threatens to blur the lines not only between what the rivals have to offer, but also the driving experiences delivered by brothers in arms with the same brand .
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