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Watch a 2018 BMW M5 set a new drifting record – and refuel while doing it

Published: 11 January 2018

 New record is 232.5 miles
► Refuelling was done without stopping
► Previous record just over 100 miles 

When we drove the 2018 BMW M5 earlier this year, we loved it. Featuring a 592bhp powerplant, a 0-62mph figure of just 3.4 seconds and a silky 8-speed auto, the 2018 M5 is another classic. Rather controversially, the new M5 also comes with four-wheel-drive, but it’s still fun to slide around corners because you can divert most of the power to the rear wheels. And just to prove how easy the new M5 is to drift, BMW just set a new drifting record with it.

There’s a drifting record?

Yes, and now it stands at a astonishing 232.5 miles long. The record was set by BMW driving instructor Johan Schwartz in 8 hours, and more than doubles the previous 102 mile record set with a Toyota GT86 last year.

Sensibly, the Guinness World Record rules allow for refuelling stops, but in order to achieve the longest continuous drift, BMW used a second M5 to carry out some side-by-side, Top Gun style refuelling. The video shows the record-holding M5 has been modified for quick refuelling, and also shows the refuelling car drifting alongside it.

For everything else you need to know about the new 2018 BMW M5 keep reading, and for our review, click here.

New BMW M5: everything you need to know

The new 2018 BMW M5 is the first to be equipped with all-wheel-drive (albeit with the ability to switch to a rear-drive mode), it has a power output of exactly 600 metric horsepower – equating to 592bhp.

  • New F90 M5 model in BMW code-speak
  • Twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 with 592bhp
  • Peak torque 553lb ft from 1800rpm to 5600rpm – a 52lb ft increase
  • Conventional 8spd auto 'box, not a twin-clutch
  • M xDrive all-wheel drive available for first time
  • 0-62mph in 3.4sec, 0-124mph in 11.1sec
  • Max speed can be derestricted to 197mph
  • Wider track than before
  • On sale February 2018
  • Costs £89,640 before options

New BMW M5: what's in the engine room?

An uprated version of the twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 from the previous-gen M5 and M6 (codenamed S63B44T4, digit fans).

A modified exhaust manifold, new turbos and higher injection pressure (up to 350bar) have helped unlock more power, along with an improved cooling system including a new indirect charge air cooler.

For our review of the new BMW M5, click here

Flaps in the exhaust system bring or block the noise depending on your preference via an ‘M Sound Control button.’

BMW M5 2017

Provisionally, combined fuel economy is 26.9mpg and CO2 emissions are rated at 241g/km.

All new M5s get an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox with an integrated oil cooler. As is the modern M way, there are various modes for the driver to choose from, geared [sic] from economy to max-attack tenth-shaving. In the additional sequential-shifting ‘S’ mode, multiple downshifts are available from one pull of the left gearshift paddle.  

New BMW M5: the all-wheel-drive system

Dubbed M xDrive, the system is in four-wheel-drive mode by default when the car is first started. BMW says the system brings the front wheels into play ‘only when the rear wheels reach their limit of adhesion,’ and handling characteristics are said to feel similar to those of a traditional rear-wheel-drive M car.

Work your way through the multitude of driving modes on offer, and you’ll get to a pure rear-wheel-drive mode with no DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) assistance – but it’s recommended for use on a track only.

BMW M5 2017

There’s a halfway-house M Dynamic mode (MDM), in which more torque is directed to the rear in extremis and the stability control system becomes more relaxed, allowing ‘controlled oversteer’, in BMW’s words.

New BMW M5: what about the suspension?

Adaptive dampers, with three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Likewise there are the same three modes for the electromechanical power steering.

At the front there’s a redesigned evolution of the regular 5-series’ front axle, and a five-bar rear arrangement, with additional bracing to increase stiffness, along with harder stabilisers and stiffer anti-roll bars.

As standard, double-spoke 20-inch wheels are fitted (finished in black as an option), with 275 section tyres at the front and 285 at the rear.

BMW M5 2017

Six-piston brake callipers front and rear are standard, and, naturally, they’re painted blue. Fade-beating ceramic brakes are an option – you can spot them on the street by their different callipers finished in gold, as above.

As per the regular 5-series, the front wings and bonnet are made from aluminium, but the M5's roof is made from CFRP composite.

Don't forget, we drove a prototype of the new M5 earlier this summer - check out highlights from Georg Kacher's test here, in which he enjoys the everything-off rear-drive mode to full effect!

Watch the new M5 in action (in pre-prod, camouflaged form) below:

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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