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BMW | Car Reviews / 10-24-18

2018 BMW M5

A few come dangerously close yet the M5 still stands peerless


By Kevin C. Limjoco Photo by by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

 

What an incredible success story. Every single generation of BMW’s legendary M5 only gets better, further improving ultra-high performance while establishing new lofty standards that only seems to be bested by the next evolution of the series. The all-new 6th generation F90 model did that once again. Though it can be stated that the old 4th generation V10 E60 M5 and E63 M6 could actually achieve a top speed of 330 km/h when ungoverned, and I should know, I achieved that quite a few times however it cannot hold a candle to the new super saloon in any other parameter except the cacophony of the engine at full boil as it pounds on its 8,000 rpm redline!

Like its predecessor, the new M5 can be optioned, like our immaculate Alpine White test unit, with the Driver’s Package ($2,500.00) which raises the governed top speed from 250 km/h to 305 km/h! I’m so happy that our test unit came packaged with the M Carbon Ceramic Brakes ($8,500.00) to help me harness the monumental 600 bhp twin-turbo V8 engine, which so happens to also save 51 pounds of unsprung weight at the wheels too! The new M5 is marginally dimensionally larger than before but it feels a lot more spacious in the cabin. The beautifully sculpted Aragon Brown Full Merino leather seats, with the front seats further highlighted literally with the M5 logo at neck level, hugely contributes to a glorious cabin that is exceptionally more opulent than any generation before it. It also has, dare I say it, just too many features and electronic gadgetry to fully experience in a week’s time despite logging close to 800 test kilometers on the odometer. So, owners will have a very long period of discovery which is honestly fabulous.

As crazy as its sounds, especially on the very policed roads in North America, including the state of Montana which raised its speed limit a touch to 80 mph (128 km/h), the M5 and cars like it are just too fast and too capable. If you had the money to buy one in the US thinking you could release those horses freely whenever you wish, you will be swiftly saddened that you cannot do it. So, you buy it because of how it makes you and your passengers feel in such an incredible machine in a time when most cars are quickly becoming appliances. It’s a whole different story in Europe and in other countries thankfully but it is still so frustrating because the US arguably has the finest roads by volume. There is even a slightly more mad version that you can also buy that includes the M Competition Package that bumps up power further to 617 bhp and lowers the car by 7 mm along with other neat updates but the actual performance gains are relatively imperceptible. In fact, I consistently did 3.1 seconds from 0-100 km/h in the standard car while maintaining its sublime ride comfort, but of course, there is a market for those who simply want it all.

I prefer the balance of the standard car with its packaged options that help create an even more enjoyable driving experience. The new M5, despite the all-wheel-drive system, is lighter by about 88 pounds (40 kg.) compared to the old car while having 44 bhp more and 51 lb.-ft more torque in a far more rigid yet refined body. The carbon-fiber roof, lithium-ion battery, and new exemplary chassis all contribute to the weight savings without any compromises. Our test unit also had the Executive Package ($4,000.00) and the sensational Bowers & Wilkins audio system ($3,400.00) so we had so many toys to play with when I wasn’t doing my dynamic testing.

There is so much grip, so much of all the goodness of driving, the M5 does it ALL! The thrust is unbelievable, relentless yet effortless. Even with 4 people on board I was quicker in the M5 than I was in the all-new gorgeous Aston Martin Vantage which is already so focused and visceral. By the way, both these amazing machines use ZF 8-speed automatic transmissions, who would have thought a decade ago that most of the fastest cars on the road today would use “slush-boxes”?! And yes, I wouldn’t think twice about buying a new M5 over the soulless Tesla Model S even with its Ludicrous Speed package. It’s practically the same money without the range stress and the M5 is faster and more athletic in every way, but I would have some guilt about our environment which I would try to compensate for by planting even more trees to reduce my carbon footprint.

Ultimately folks, the all-new BMW M5 is the greatest car that BMW has built to date. It represents everything that the brand stands for to its core and so much more. It’s the super saloon to end all super saloons, until BMW bests itself again! It isn’t cheap, and it can’t be, it is worth every cent. You can drive this car every single day whether you want to blast around to challenge your heart or waft along at a regular pace, it will always deliver more than you expect. Both supercars and hypercars have to work so much harder to challenge the M5!

Specifications

Engine

EngineV8
Displacement4395 cc
Cylinder HeadDOHC 32V
Fuel InjectorDouble-VANOS, VALVETRONIC, Direct Injection Intercooled Twin-Turbo
Max Power (bhp @ rpm)600 bhp @ 5700-6600 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)553 lb-ft @ 1800-5700 rpm
TransmissionM Steptronic 8-Speed AT

Performance

Top Speed305 km/h (190 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph3.1 seconds

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l)15 mpg City / 21 mpg Highway

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP)$129,795
What's GreatThe Perfect Super Sport Saloon, the new standard in its class, no compromises whatsoever
What's Not SoWe must work even harder to own one!
C! Editors Rating10/10