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Old 8th May 2019, 15:43   #1
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Default Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

The BMW M5 is on sale in India starting at a price of Rs. 1.44 crores (ex-showroom).

What you'll like:

• Brutal acceleration and the crazy way it picks up speed
• Supercar performance with practicality. Can seat 4 in comfort and do silly things
• Leech-like grip levels & excellent braking capability. AWD gives it poise
• It doesn't gather too much attention (some people like that)

What you won't:

• Rear-wheel-drive mode is only with traction control disabled completely
• After adding options, the price tag is a whopping Rs. 2 crores on-road
• The body kit is a tad too similar to the regular 530d M-Sport
• 3.XX km/l! 70L tank gives it a range of just ~250 km if you drive it like an ///M

This review has been jointly compiled with Aditya. Thanks to him for the photography!
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08135.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th May 2019 at 16:10.
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Old 8th May 2019, 15:44   #2
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Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-img_2158.jpg

The M5 has always been known to do things which no sedan should do. 100 km/h almost as quick as a Mclaren F1? A top speed of over 300 km/h? Let four people sit in comfort while doing the former? No problem! The M5 can get it done with ease. This latest generation M5 has high standards to keep up to. I think I can safely say that all the M5s in the past have been iconic in their own way.

The E28 introduced the world to the M5. It had a relatively calm 278 BHP straight-six and in terms of numbers produced, it is probably the rarest generation of them all. After that, we had the E34 M5, which continued with a straight-six engine and also brought in the wagon version. The next was the E39 M5, which looks absolutely gangster, and it was also the first to bring in a V8 engine. Get this - in 1998, the E39 M5 would cross 300 km/h when de-limited. Next in line was the F1 engine inspired V10 E60 M5. I don’t really need to give an introduction to this iconic vehicle. Post that was the monstrosity known as the F10 M5, with its turbo V8 engine and rear tyre shredding torque. Its difficult to keep the F10 straight, and many felt it had too much torque going to the 295 section rear tyres.

So now, in comes the F90. Its got the big turbo V8 and power has been bumped up even further. Its grown larger in size, probably as much as a 7-Series from a couple of years ago. Its improved on the nimbleness and handling, which apparently had become a little less sharp in the F10 gen. And, its got all-wheel-drive. Wait, what? Yes, BMW has now given us the first M sedan with all-wheel-drive. For the M purists – its not that bad! Even though it is based on the G30 5-Series, it has F in its codename, which is the codename of the previous generation vehicle - strange.

The M5 we were given to drive was a special edition model. It is called the First Edition and is limited to just 400 vehicles worldwide. What is special about this is the colour, interiors, some options like the sports exhaust, and even the carbon ceramic brakes.

Last edited by Aditya : 8th May 2019 at 15:45.
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Old 8th May 2019, 15:44   #3
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Exterior

Head on, the M5 looks aggressive thanks to the design of the bumper, though I do feel it looks a tad bit too similar to the regular M Sport bumper. Nevertheless, those who need to know will know from first glance that it is an M5:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08065.jpg

The rear bumper is again pretty similar to the M Sport bumper, though this has a sporty looking diffuser in the centre and the quad tailpipe set up as with all M vehicles:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08010.jpg

The side view is sleek and the vehicle is very well proportioned, I have to say. Notice the vents on the front fenders, which are exclusive to the M model:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08134.jpg

The frozen red colour on this M5 is not a standard colour. But it sure does look nice with the way it varies the shade from deep red in the sunlight to dark maroon in the shade:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08114.jpg

A carbon fibre roof is available as standard on the M5 now. If you want a sunroof, then there is no carbon fibre roof:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08055.jpg

Optional 20" wheels in black with 275 and 285 section staggered tyres. The golden calipers mean this car has carbon ceramic brakes, which are optional. The CCBs are something else when it comes to stopping power from any speed:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08043.jpg

An aggressive diffuser with 3 fins. BMW has definitely added some neat bits on this vehicle. Also note the black exhaust tips, which signify the M Sport exhaust. The optional M Sport exhaust gives out some loud pops and bangs when you lift off the throttle, though I wish it was a tad bit louder under acceleration:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc08033.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th May 2019 at 15:46.
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Old 8th May 2019, 15:44   #4
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Interior

The interior is a pleasant place to be. It is almost the same as the regular 5-Series, apart from the seats, the steering wheel, instrument cluster and the gear knob:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07553.jpg

The driver's view sure is great. You can notice the heads up display cut out just above the cluster. BTW, the HUD in this is great, but I was surprised to find it a bit distracting at night on city roads as it has increased in size and therefore you may miss out some bumps or potholes which are very close to the vehicle:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07562.jpg

The M multifunction seats with Merino leather in a special shade of white. These seats are very supportive and comfortable, and I love the various adjustments available. Ventilation and massage is an option, but this vehicle did not have it. Do note that the M5 badges in the headrest have a light inside:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07629.jpg

The ceramic finish on the iDrive and other controls sure look and feel premium. The First Edition logo can also be seen. To the right is the M gear knob, with a P button for the first time. On previous M vehicles, only if the engine was switched off while in D would the transmission shift to P. Also note the auto hold button next to the handbrake, another first for the M5:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07907.jpg

Over here, we can see the buttons for the drivetrain, suspension and steering settings, along with an exhaust button below which makes it a bit louder:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07904.jpg

M gear knobs have a different shift pattern when compared to a regular automatic. I found the movement takes a bit more effort as compared to other vehicles where it would be a flick of the wrist to move it from N to D and vice-versa. Do note the M Drivelogic buttons on top of the shifter, a very logical and convenient location:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07921.jpg

A new fully digital instrument cluster, which is clear and crisp. It does not have too many fancy graphics or show off stuff, but tells you exactly what you need to know:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-img_2250.jpg

Ambient lighting is used throughout and lends a great effect to the interior. Of course, there are various options and combinations in terms of colours, and I preferred the blue / purple seen here:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-img_2199.jpg

One of the best parts of the interior is how the Bowers and Wilkins tweeter is lit up. The B&W system sounds really good:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-img_2236.jpg

Its funny to see that this car has rear seat entertainment. Maybe it is just to keep the kids busy while the owner enjoys the drive. Then again, I have seen people in India sitting in the back of their M5 while the chauffeur drives them:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-img_2285.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th May 2019 at 15:48.
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Old 8th May 2019, 15:44   #5
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Driving the 4.4L Petrol AT

Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07938.jpg

The F90 M5 carries over the 4.4L V8 from the F10. It gets some updates and a higher power output of 592 BHP @ 5,600 - 6,700 rpm. Interestingly, the F10 M5 made 592 BHP too, in the limited edition Jahre and Competition editions. The engine puts out 750 Nm of torque @ 1,800 - 5,600 rpm and powers all four wheels. Now, the all-wheel-drive system in this is a bit different from others. It, by default, sends all of its power to the rear wheels, and if needed, it transmits power to the front. The 0-100 timing has been recorded by various people at between 3.2 and 3.4 seconds, which frankly is ridiculous! Of course, its all due to the extra traction offered by the all-wheel-drive system.

Another big change, I would say, is the use of a conventional torque converter transmission. It is a ZF 8-speed called M Sport automatic transmission. The shift times are quicker than the standard 8-speed torque converter. Lock up happens very early, and it is also locked up most of the time so that the feel is more direct. The earlier M5 and M3 used dual-clutch transmissions, and the E60 M5 and the E46 M3 used single-clutch transmissions. While this transmission is brilliant in every way, the only time you would miss the DCT or SMG is during a gear change when going flat out. The automatic transmission just doesn’t have that ‘jhatka’ during the gear shift which really gives you a mechanical feel, in spite of the shift times now being faster than the DCTs.

Getting into the comfortable multifunction seats, the interior somehow feels familiar. The red M1 and M2 buttons stand out on the steering wheel. There is now a red engine start button too, and when you press that, the start-up sounds all too familiar! Flicking the gear shifter to the right into D, I let go off the brake and was surprised to feel the M5 move ahead. Even when the M division used the 8-speed in the X5M, the creep function was removed and you had to press the accelerator to move front, so it was quite a surprise to feel the creep in this. Moving on, driving in Mumbai city traffic, the M5 feels very comfortable and is not a struggle at all. The width is something to be watched out for, but apart from that, its easy to drive.

Driving sedately, the M5 feels completely at home. Its truly something which can be used every day. Turbo lag is non-existent, and seeing how it makes the 750 Nm of torque from 1,800 rpm onwards, this is not surprising. The gearshifts too are smooth and imperceptible, when the gearbox is left in one of the lower Drivelogic settings. But start hustling, and that’s when the M5 wakes up. If you have preset one of the M buttons like I did (everything in Sport Plus and traction in 4WD Sport), pressing it truly wakes the beast up. It feels like you are in a different vehicle. The way the F90 M5 accelerates needs to be felt to be believed. It pushes you back into the seat properly, and the push just gets harder all the way till the redline! The M5 seems to defy physics in the way it accelerates to jail-term speeds, and it is absolutely relentless.

What is truly special is the way the vehicle launches to a 100 km/h. With the earlier RWD sedans, the traction light would be blinking constantly till 100-120 km/h. With this, there is a blink or two in first gear and that’s it. Even on Mumbai’s dusty concrete roads, it just grips and goes! The all-wheel-drive system works seamlessly and you will never figure out when and how much torque is transferred to the front wheels. Its really tricked out. But at the same time, for M purists, having all-wheel-drive means a loss of one important thing – drama! Be it the E60 M5 or the F10 M5 or even the F80 M3, you know you’re in an M car when you’ve got to keep both your hands on the steering wheel when you accelerate hard, especially if the car is in MDM mode. With all-wheel-drive, the drama of having the tail lose and having to counter slightly with the steering wheel is gone. You can keep one hand on the steering and the M5 just goes! But at the same time, the kind of grip offered through corners is really, really good. You can start accelerating out of a corner with full throttle without a worry, whereas in a rear-wheel-drive car, the tail would surely kick out. So in terms of absolute speed, the all-wheel-drive system has given the F90 M5 a big boost.

In terms of ride quality, at low speeds, there is a bit of body movement. You feel every undulation on the road, but the suspension is well damped. It is never uncomfortable in spite of the 20” rims. As the speed picks up, the ride gets even better and it flattens small and medium bumps. On the highway, the ride is perfectly comfortable and I found nothing really lacking in terms of comfort. Of course, large bumps and potholes have to be watched out for, because of the low profile tyres. But on the whole, the M5 is very useable in the city and on the highways too.

Handling is great, and the grip levels are very high. It almost never seems to want to lose grip even when it is really pushed through the corners. I managed to get the tail out a bit in 4WD Sport only on two corners, and while it was predictable, I didn’t really enjoy it. 2WD mode was far better in that sense, but then again, you’ve got to really watch out since the traction control is turned off completely. The M5, on the whole, feels very agile and the steering is quick and communicative. It is also worth mentioning that the steering is fully electric, and I found it better in terms of feel than the F10 M5 steering, which was hydraulic. The chassis just feels really, really tight in spite of the size, and it feels a size smaller than it actually is when its being pushed.

So to conclude, the F90 M5 is supremely fast and practical, but misses out on a bit of the drama from the rear-wheel-drive M cars in everyday driving. But it makes driving fast very easy, and is certainly a great buy for those considering!

The menu where you set up the M1 and M2 buttons. For M2, everything is in the sportiest setting, but the suspension is in comfort for the terrible Mumbai roads:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07687.jpg

This is where you select between 4WD and 4WD Sport (also puts the M5 in MDM), and 2WD, which switches the traction control off completely:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-dsc07685.jpg

The red M1 and M2 buttons are right in your face, and I think this new placement of buttons is great:
Driven: BMW M5 (F90)-img_2246.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th May 2019 at 18:04.
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Old 8th May 2019, 15:53   #6
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th May 2019, 18:13   #7
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Awesome to have driven this beast disguised humanely..

Have a query though regarding 4WD. If 4WD is switched off, the DSC is also off, so wont it mean that one can kick out the rear in 2WD mode?

Pun intended --> Put the exhaust switch in low volume mode and BMW M division has made a design mistake of reaching the horn pad with ease for Indian roads/drivers

Also, Looking at the size of it, I really want to know how much of use is that rear diffuser? (Asking out of curiosity).
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Old 8th May 2019, 20:41   #8
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

It reminds me of Doug's video on M5 (F90) aptly titled 'The best car you should never own.' It sure does look menacing and while I never got to drive one, the stats do paint a pretty picture. From what I've heard, though, reliability and operating expenses of this car is like dating one of the Kardashians with a raging coke habit.
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Old 8th May 2019, 21:58   #9
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Brilliant report!! Loved the nifty details of this beast. Now this is a true everyday supercar.
The way the report addresses the nuances of this behemoth in the urban Mumbai setting is much appreciated.
As most enthusiasts will agree..this would be my ride one day (no harm in dreaming big!!)
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Old 9th May 2019, 08:55   #10
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Great report, Akshay! Thanks for sharing. I respect your knowledge of the high-end car scene.

This was one memorable drive & an incredibly talented car - had posted earlier on it at this link. Supercar-like performance with 4-door practicality & more understated looks (as compared to say, a Porsche). The way the car accelerated, handled & braked defied physics .

Having driven the F10 M5 & this, I think the biggest achievement has been in "taming the beast". Where the F10 was equally brutal, but very over-the-edge due to its RWD & tail-happy nature, the F90 was surprisingly well-mannered. Even if you gave it the beans, the car accelerated straight & cornered as intended. Not butt-heavy at all. Your Dad could drive it fast - that's how well behaved it is. While some may miss the drama of the F10 M5, I much prefer the mature nature of the F90.

My personal preference though would be to own a luxury sedan & sports car SEPARATELY, rather than a two-in-one like the M5. Not like people who can afford such 2-crore cars have any restriction on parking spots or even a budget.

Will be one heck of a pre-worshipped buy though .

Last edited by GTO : 9th May 2019 at 08:57.
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Old 9th May 2019, 10:23   #11
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

The most powerful car I've been in, and I got to drive it a little bit as well .

As Akshay1234 rightly said, the acceleration has to be felt to be believed and those 600 horses sure make their presence felt.

However, this is not something that I would end up buying if I ever have that kind of money. I would want my almost 2 crore car to stand out in the crowd and this doesn't do that. Other than the colour, there is nothing significant for this car to stand out and it would just go unnoticed. I would prefer a 2-door coupe or convertible for the same money.
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Old 9th May 2019, 13:33   #12
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Thank You for the review. The car which every BMW fan lusts for. I prefer the sleeper looks of a performance sedan as opposed to a flamboyant sports car which draws too much attention.

Although I have always been a BMW fan for some reason in that category my heart has always tilted more towards the E63 AMG instead of the M5. I have a question for anyone who has got the chance to drive both M5 and the E63 AMG on which one will they prefer from a point of view of more exhilarating drive.


Thanks,

Raj
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Old 10th May 2019, 19:44   #13
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
My personal preference though would be to own a luxury sedan & sports car SEPARATELY, rather than a two-in-one like the M5. Not like people who can afford such 2-crore cars have any restriction on parking spots or even a budget.
People with these kind of budgets will ideally have a sportscar (Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc) and a M5 (the luxury car) as the M5 is not low and luxury as well neither bone jarring. Their grocery drive car might be on the lines of a vRS. Basically they don't want a dull car in any form SUV, Sedan, SuperSports, etc they would be there in the garage. Everything they own must spell class, status, top-of-the-line and I have arrived feel.
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Old 10th May 2019, 20:00   #14
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajBajwa View Post
Thank You for the review. The car which every BMW fan lusts for. I prefer the sleeper looks of a performance sedan as opposed to a flamboyant sports car which draws too much attention.

Although I have always been a BMW fan for some reason in that category my heart has always tilted more towards the E63 AMG instead of the M5. I have a question for anyone who has got the chance to drive both M5 and the E63 AMG on which one will they prefer from a point of view of more exhilarating drive.


Thanks,

Raj
Driven both very extensively and while its difficult to choose between them, both are epic to best honest. But I would inch towards the E63S just for that extra drama that it comes with, and the soundtrack for the 850 Nm.

On another note still waiting to drive the M5 Competition. That would be something for sure.
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Old 11th May 2019, 11:32   #15
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Default Re: Driven: BMW M5 (F90)

Quote:
Originally Posted by saikarthik View Post
Have a query though regarding 4WD. If 4WD is switched off, the DSC is also off, so wont it mean that one can kick out the rear in 2WD mode?

Yes one can take the tail out, and how! But with 600 horses going to the rear wheels, the wrong amount of throttle can see you facing the divider and probably crashing into it too. In this mode you've got to be really careful. That being said, the M5 is predictable and relatively easy to control in this mode, and a whole lot of fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabeer_ts View Post
It reminds me of Doug's video on M5 (F90) aptly titled 'The best car you should never own.' It sure does look menacing and while I never got to drive one, the stats do paint a pretty picture. From what I've heard, though, reliability and operating expenses of this car is like dating one of the Kardashians with a raging coke habit.
I've found that these high performance machines do have their own issues. But as long as they are treated with care, it certainly won't cost you anywhere close to what Kanye shells out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
My personal preference though would be to own a luxury sedan & sports car SEPARATELY, rather than a two-in-one like the M5. Not like people who can afford such 2-crore cars have any restriction on parking spots or even a budget.

Will be one heck of a pre-worshipped buy though .
I think this fits right in the middle. It works as a standalone buy, for someone who wants the best of both worlds, and also for someone who may already own a luxo barge, and possibly a supercar but may want something a bit more practical.

As for pre owned? The way vehicles are depreciating in the country, I wouldn't be surprised seeing one around the 80-90l mark in a years time.
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