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The BMW M5 F90 from 2017.

The performance of the BMW M5 under all environmental conditions has been improved thanks to the newly developed all-wheel drive BMW M xDrive. At the presentation in 2017, the result was an M5 that elevated the tradition of ultimate sportiness united with elegance and luxury to a new level.

20 June 2024

The sixth generation of the BMW M5 ushered in a new era of sports limousines from BMW M. Presented in 2017 at the IAA in Frankfurt, the BMW M5 F90 was the brand’s first car to be equipped with the newly developed all-wheel drive M xDrive. Rear-wheel drive fans and staunch proponents of the standard drive doctrine were initially sceptical about the new M xDrive, which – technically speaking – was a logical development owing to its further added performance. However, the M engineers were able to persuade everyone yet again. Not only does the smart all-wheel drive help the vehicle manoeuvre on wet roadways and maximize its traction on dry ones; if needed, it can also simply be deactivated.


  • First BMW M5 with M xDrive all-wheel drive
  • Up to 467 kW (635 hp)
  • 750 Nm max. torque
  • From 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds
  • 8-speed M Steptronic gearbox with Drivelogic


Engine bay of the BMW M5 F90Engine bay of the BMW M5 F90

The BMW M5 F90 is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 with M TwinPower Turbo technology. Compared to the power unit of the previous model, the engineers at M considerably overhauled this powerhouse: new turbochargers with charge air coolers and an increased injection pressure guarantee more maximum power and torque. Its nominal output of 441 kW (600 hp) is between 5,600 and 6,700 rpm. The maximum torque of 750 Nm is available from 1,800 rpm and remains at this extremely high level all the way up to 5,600 rpm. It sounds like a trifle, but it is and has always been vital for use on racetracks: a fully adaptable oil pump controlled by a characteristic map guarantees oil is supplied even when drivers speed around curves. And speed is the name of the game for this sedan: 3.4 seconds is all it needs to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, and it reaches 200 km/h in 11.1 seconds. Its maximum speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h, but this limit can be increased to 305 km/h with the optional M Drivers Package.


The power of the V8 engine is controlled using the 8-speed M Steptronic gearbox with Drivelogic from ZF. This gearbox is as M specific as the engine. In the M5 F90, it sets new standards in terms of sportiness and comfort, which are exemplified by the exceptionally fine gear selection increments and very fast switching processes. The automatic transmission also lets drivers shift gears manually. In S mode, the gears can be shifted manually using the gear selection switch on the centre console or the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The automatic function is completely deactivated in S mode; the driver alone decides when to shift the gear up or down. Drivelogic lets the driver select one of three shifting options: from especially efficient to sporty to racetrack.


Since its presentation, the M xDrive all-wheel drive has been one of the greatest innovations of the BMW M5 F90. BMW M invested an especially large amount of resources into this system’s development in order to do justice to the M model’s desired performance and its great suitability for everyday use. As a result, drivers can freely choose how much support the intelligent all-wheel drive provides where traction is concerned. They have five different configurations at their disposal that are based on combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and the M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD). Even in the basic settings with DSC (dynamic stability control) and 4WD activated, the system allows slight wheelspin in the back wheels when the vehicle accelerates out of curves, which makes the BMW M5 even more agile.

BMW M5 F90 frontBMW M5 F90 front
The integral component of M xDrive is a central intelligence with M specific software for integrated regulation of longitudinal and transverse dynamics. With m xDrive, the BMW M5 is celebrating the première of a drive technology that combines the agility and precision of a standard drive with the sovereignty and traction of all-wheel drive.
Franciscus van Meel


In M Dynamic Mode (MDM, 4WD Sport) M xDrive allows you to drift and easily maintain control. If that’s not enough, you can turn off the all-wheel drive entirely. Then you can select any drift angles you want.


The incredible performance capacity of this BMW M5 is the result of perfect interaction amongst all components, which are especially well tuned in the F90. The adaptive M suspension is one of them. Struts at the front and back of the car guarantee an extremely stiff body structure so this chassis can perform optimally. Both the variable damper control (VDC) and the M Servotronic steering let the driver select from among three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. The engine characteristics can also be custom configured via the three modes named Efficient, Sport and Sport Plus.

Despite its all-wheel drive, the BMW M5 F90 has an empty weight of 1,865 kilograms and is thus lighter than its predecessor. Its engineers accomplished this feat by incorporating features like the standard carbon roof and components made of aluminium, such as the front side walls and the engine bonnet.


The interior of the BMW M5 F90 combines the spaciousness and comfort of a premium sedan with the driver-oriented ergonomics of a sports car. M specific features, such as the M gear selection switch with a Drivelogic paddle for setting the transmission characteristics and the M leather steering wheel with red shift paddles, round out the interior’s sporty look. Standard furnishings for the model include BMW Individual Merino leather and M seats that can be adjusted electrically. The recently developed M multifunctional seats, available upon custom order, are designed to be sporty while also featuring better lateral support.


With its 2020 facelift, the M5 was outfitted with modified headlights whose daytime running lights emphasize the vehicle’s width. The kidney also got a more striking design, and the tail was equipped with new taillights. One of the interior’s striking features is the larger infotainment display. Shock absorbers from the M8 Gran Coupé improve the M5’s driving performance by increasing handling and control when the vehicle is pushed to its limits once again.

There are two models besides the BMW M5: the BMW M5 Competition, which was sold from mid-2018, and the BMW M5 CS. The Competition model delivers 625 hp and features a redesigned chassis.


Save the best for last: The M5 CS from 2020 delivers 467 kW (635 hp), making it the final stage of the BMW M5 F90. 3.0 seconds is all the limited model needs for the standard sprint to 100 km/h, which also results from its thoroughly light design. Many details, including carbon bucket seats, reduced insulation and standard carbon-ceramic brakes, help make the first BMW M5 CS the fastest and most exclusive M5 ever.

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The BMW M5 from 2017 was a technical statement, a contemporary announcement to our competitors that showed them what a high-performance limousine could do. The model’s great heritage and classic design should be reason enough for it to become a popular modern classic these days and a timeless classic in the future.

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