Long-distance sedan cars are ten-a-penny. But look for sedans with outstanding driving features and you’re on thinner ground. Sedans that boast the ultimate drift characteristics – wafer-thin. The new BMW M5 (combined fuel consumption: 10.5 l/100 km*; combined CO2 emissions: 241 g/km*) goes beyond limits, without losing control. With two new Guinness World Records for drifting, BMW M’s high-performance sedan has once again demonstrated its extraordinary qualities. But this time the record attempt took place under even more extreme conditions.
THE STORY SO FAR.
It’s May 11, 2013. At the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, the tension is high among the crew: can Johan Schwartz, racing driver and BMW Driving Instructor, break the world record for drifting on the wet asphalt circuit? A white BMW M5 (F10) with 507 hp and rear-wheel drive is gaining momentum. After an unbelievable 51.3 miles (82.5 kilometres) of long-distance drifting, the answer is clear: Schwartz and the BMW M5 have shown everyone how to do it with the world’s longest drift to date, cementing their place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
One year later, however, Harald Müller beat that record with a Toyota GT86 (144.12 kilometres) and in 2017 the South African motor journalist Jesse Adams surpassed this achievement – again with a GT86 – raising the record to an impressive 165.04 kilometres.
A NEW DRIFT RECORD? WITH A FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE?
With the arrival of the new BMW M5 (F90) with M xDrive all-wheel drive (combined fuel consumption: 10.5 l/100 km*; combined CO2 emissions: 241 g/km*), attempting to beat the 2013 record became a matter of honour. On December 11, 2017 the test track in South Carolina would once again play host to a new attempt to break the drifting world record, with Schwartz returning to pilot the M5, ably supported by his talented crew.
TAILOR-MADE JET REFUELLING SYSTEM.
The goal of a new record was ambitious, to say the least: the team had to drift the furthest distance possible within eight-hours without stopping and ruining the drifting fun. Although refuelling stops during the attempt are permitted under the Guinness World Record rules, this was not an option if the current record was to be broken. Schwartz and his team had to find a way to refuel the car while driving and the solution was as spectacular as it was unusual. Using a design reminiscent of the fuel tank system of a fighter jet, the M5 would be refuelled by a second vehicle mid-drift. Sounds crazy? You bet it was!
DARING DOCKING MANOEUVRES.
The crew decided to convert a previous-generation BMW M5 (F10) into a ‘tanker’. Matt Mullins, BMW Performance Center Chief Driving Instructor, was to sit behind the wheel for this daring docking manoeuvre. Matt Butts of Detroit Speed – the company that developed ‘jet refuelling’ for the M5 – was in place in the rear of the support vehicle, ready to perform this incredible feat. As the two vehicles’ drifted in parallel, Butts leaned out of the window with the fuel filler nozzle and managed to do what many had deemed impossible at the beginning of the attempt: refuelled Schwartz’s record-breaking vehicle multiple times during the eight-hour stint.