What makes the F90 spe­cial?

Dis­sect­ing the new M5

Motor (Australia) - - FIRST ENCOUNTER -

WEIGHT

EVEN with the new M xDrive sys­tem un­der­neath, the F90 weighs less than (at 1855kg) its fore­bear thanks to a car­bon fi­bre-re­in­forced plas­tic roof and a lighter ex­haust sys­tem. Op­tional car­bon­ce­ramic brakes cut 23kg from the to­tal.

GEAR­BOX

FOR the first time the M5 uses a Step­tronic auto (not a DCT) for smoother shifts at reg­u­lar speeds, while still de­liv­er­ing rapid-fire shifts. Fa­mil­iar throt­tle, damper and steer­ing op­tions can be as­signed to the racy red M1 and M2 but­tons found on the steer­ing wheel.

XDRIVE

ALL-WHEEL drive is mas­ter­minded by the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Mo­d­ule. Its tools are the trans­fer ’box and the Ac­tive M Diff, which sits in a meaty sub­frame at the rear. Sys­tem anal­y­sis streams the data be­fore work­ing out the best place to put the V8’s force.

BODY

THE G30’s bodyshell is a fine start point, but the M5’s rear axle has been pinned down with heavy ad­di­tional brac­ing. Up front, a new bulk­head re­duces flex at the front struts. Both claim to pro­vide a more rigid plat­form from which the M-fet­tled sus­pen­sion can work.

IN­TE­RIOR

EX­PECT to spend a lot of time look­ing at the screen. In the M5 the iDrive or touch­con­trolled sys­tem keeps you up to speed on your cho­sen xDrive set­ting and how much DSC you’ve got wound on. Info is dou­bled up on the driver’s dis­play, too.

NUM­BERS

ON-PA­PER fig­ures are hard to ig­nore with the F90. The 4.4-litre V8 punches out 441kW/750Nm, it can reach 100km/h from rest in 3.4sec, hit 200km/h in 11.1sec and top out at 305km/h with the M Driver’s Pack­age op­tioned.

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