For power, the M5 relies on a retuned version of the previous car's turbocharged V8. It now pumps out 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. More notably, that power is put through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission (replacing last year's dual-clutch automatic and optional manual transmission) and an adjustable all-wheel-drive system. While BMW has used all-wheel drive for its X5 M and X6 M SUVs, this is the first time it makes an appearance on an M division sedan.
It's the 2018 M5's handling that you'll be most interested in, though. The previous M5 lacked the hard edge that made M cars unique, but this one has it. BMW says the new M5 is lighter than before and more engaging to drive. This is still a big sedan, but the revised suspension and steering calibration have brought back some of that old-school M5 mojo.
Of course, the M5 is the same well-appointed luxury sedan as the regular 5 Series. But whether there's enough luxury might be a question. Although its power and handling are prodigious, you have to know how to manipulate the dizzying number of adjustable modes for the transmission, throttle, suspension, steering, and drivetrain settings to make the most out of the car. And even with the suspension in Comfort mode, some may find the ride too harsh and the cabin too noisy.
Nevertheless, ardent sport sedan aficionados will gladly make that compromise. The 2018 BMW M5 is a dynamic return to form.
Notably, we picked the 2018 BMW M5 as one of Edmunds' Best Sport Sedans for this year.