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BMW M5: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver's Car Contender

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/18/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2018-BMW-M5-front-in-motion-1.jpg

This is a sedan worthy of every superlative. Objectively, it ricocheted around our figure-eight course quicker than any sedan we've tested. It stops shorter than any sedan we've tested. And its quarter-mile stats are the best of any combustion-powered sedan we've tested. Credit for these achievements is shared by its 600-hp engine and sophisticated AWD system. Two rear-drive BDC sedans lapped Laguna quicker—the lighter Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio on R-compound tires (by just 0.16 second) and the lighter and more powerful Caddy CTS-V (by 1.29 seconds). Neither is a pussycat like this M5.

The M5 feels huge until you really start working it hard. "In spite of its prodigious size, this car is quite happy on the racetrack," Randy Pobst said. "I forgot it was all-wheel drive! That's a well-balanced modern all-wheel-drive system." Quipped Ed Loh: "It initially feels heavy, but then you look down and see speeds comparable to those in the mid-engine British and Italian ballerinas." Angus MacKenzie added that the M5 is "quiet and refined" and "feels less of a hooligan car than the AMG E 63 S. And more capable." And continuing the AMG comparison, Jethro Bovingdon found it "more introverted than an AMG but somehow more sinister and a whole lot cooler."

a small blue car© Motor Trend Staff

The BMW was one of the few cars that seemed to display little or no bad chassis behavior over the alternately sharp hits and swoopy undulations of Route 198. It feels like a precision tool engineered for this sort of driving. After predicting bank-vault numbness, Jonny Lieberman uttered the rarest of passages: "I love being proved wrong."

One piece of constructive criticism: pare back the adjustability. Drivers don't need the distraction of selecting between multiple operating modes on umpteen different systems. Pobst also noted that after about two laps, the brakes, tires, and even the engine started to get hot enough for performance to diminish a bit. Now you know why BMW built the harder-edged M5 Competition.

 
More 2018 Best Driver's Car Contenders:

• Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
• Audi TT RS
• Aston Martin Vantage
• Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
• Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2
• Honda Civic Type R
• Kia Stinger GT
• Lamborghini Huracan Performante
• Mazda MX-5 Miata
• McLaren 720S
• Porsche 911 GT2 RS

a car parked in the desert© Motor Trend Staffa screenshot of a cell phone© Motor Trend Staff

2018 BMW M5
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 268.2 cu in/4,395 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 600 hp @ 5,700 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
REDLINE 7,200 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 7.1 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.15:1/2.02:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 14.3:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.2
BRAKES, F; R 15.6-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 15.0-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS
WHEELS 9.5 x 20-in; 10.5 x 20-in, forged aluminum
TIRES 275/35R20 102Y; 285/35R20 104Y Pirelli P Zero (PZ4)
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 117.4 in
TRACK, F/R 64.0/62.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 195.5 x 74.9 x 58.0 in
TURNING CIRCLE 41.3 ft
CURB WEIGHT 4,268 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 55/45%
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 39.2/37.5 in
LEGROOM, F/R 41.4/36.5 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 58.7/56.0 in
CARGO VOLUME 18.7 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.1 sec
0-40 1.6
0-50 2.3
0-60 3.0
0-70 3.8
0-80 4.8
0-90 5.8
0-100 7.0
0-100-0 10.7
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.4
QUARTER MILE 11.1 sec @ 126.7 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 97 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.00 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.3 sec @ 0.91 g (avg)
2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 99.81 sec
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,500 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $104,595
PRICE AS TESTED $129,795
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, front head
BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles
FUEL CAPACITY 20.1 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 15/21/17 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.13 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver's Car? See the cars in action right here.

 

2018 BMW M5 front three quarter in motion 1© Motor Trend Staff 2018 BMW M5 front three quarter in motion 1

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