BMW begins to slowly reveal the 2018 M5

Unlike its rear-wheel drive predecessors, the sixth-generation BMW M5 possesses M xDrive all-wheel drive.

This new rear-biased system is designed to transmit torque to the front axle when required. So, traction should be great whatever the conditions, but another layer of complexity has been added to the set-up procedure.

That's an often-repeated criticism of recent M cars. You can't simply get in and go; various parameters have to be fiddled about with in order to get what the driver thinks (or, more likely guesses) is the optimal arrangement.

For the 2018 M5, there's a choice of M xDrive modes (2WD, 4WD, 4WD Sport), Dynamic Stability Control modes (off, on, M Dynamic Mode) and M Steptronic transmission modes (three automatic, plus one manual).

Also adjustable are the dampers, the Servotronic steering and the rear axle's Active M Differential. Furthermore, the engine mapping can be altered (power still comes from a 4.4 litre turbocharged V8, but output and performance figures have yet to be disclosed).

Luckily, 'M1' and 'M2' buttons on the steering wheel allow two configurations to be saved and then activated on demand.

Deliveries of the 2018 BMW M5 are due to start later this year.

Related post:
2016 BMW M5 Competition Edition launched

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