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Sprung! 2018 BMW M5 leaked a day ahead of official reveal

By Barry Park, 21 Aug 2017 News

We're meant to have our first look at the 2018 BMW M5 later today, but a Chinese website has given us a sneak preview

BMW M5 hires_wide

IS THIS the new BMW M5? The sixth generation of BMW’s large performance sedan was due for an official reveal today, but a Chinese website has leaked video of what is believed to be BMW's 447kW halo car a day early.

The images shown in the video hide nothing of the F90-based G30 M5’s form, from its seriously plumped guards to highly aerodynamic wing mirrors that tuck into the A-pillar via a single lower mount.

Down the front, angular aerodynamics that take over most of the lower air dam force cooling air to the engine bay and brakes, while plumped guards wrap around high-performance Michelin rubber.

Down the rear, there’s the traditional quad exhausts straddling an aggressive diffuser, and a subtle lip spoiler attached to the trailing edge of the boot lid.

New alloys support a semi-blacked out look that highlights other dark plastic and carbonfibre accents scattered around the M5’s body.

Under its bonnet, the M5 houses a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that should produce a minimum of 447kW and 700Nm, and for this generation sent to all four wheels via a ZF-sourced eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It should be enough for the new M5 to hustle along to a 0-100km/h time that will better the old model’s 4.3sec, and the current M4 Competition’s 4.0sec.

The visual aggression of the exterior carries through to the interior, where heavily bolstered sports seats will hug the driver and front-seat passenger, but with a nod to comfort.

We've driven a prototype of the M5 back in May, where we sampled the new M5's xDrive all-wheel-drive system well ahead of its expected arrival in Australia 2018. 

"The new M xDrive system gives the new M5 the choice of all-wheel or rear-wheel drive," Wheels reviewer John Cary said.

"It’s simple to access, too. All it takes is a long press on the DSC button in the centre console to deactivate the electronic stability control, then a tap on the centre screen menu or a twirl and press of the car’s iDrive wheel to select ‘2WD’. This completely disengages the clutch in the transfer case that otherwise directs torque, as required, to the front axle. Compared with the deliberately complex procedure to do the same thing in the car that will be the new M5’s deadly rival, Mercedes-AMG’s E63 S, it’s a quick and straightforward process."