Four-wheel-drive it may be, but the radically different new breed of BMW M5 for 2018 is no stranger to a little oversteer action. In fact, it will happily drift on full opposite lock for hours. And hours and hours…
BMW has the Guinness World Records certificates to prove it. Just weeks before the new turbocharged xDrive model goes on sale in the UK, BMW showed it to be the ultimate drifting machine by setting a couple of world records – one for the longest continual drift (water-assisted) over… eight hours.
The tyres lasted but obviously, the petrol didn’t, hence a custom refuelling system was developed so the M5 could be topped up mid-drift, like a fighter jet refuelling in mid-air.
This involved a passenger in a support F10 M5 hanging out of the rear window and stuffing a bowser nozzle into a special orifice on the record car – all at speed while both cars were completely sideways.
“Although we practised the refuelling several times there was very little margin for error,” admitted Matt Butts of Detroit Speed which built the fuel rig.
In fact so fast and precise were the two cars during refuelling they claimed another Guinness record: the longest water-assisted drift by two vehicles, the dynamic duo clocking up just over 49 miles in one hour.
And how far did the M5 travel over the eight hours? That clocked up an impressive 232.5 miles on the skid pan, demolishing the previous record by 143 miles. It’s enough to make you dizzy.
Behind the wheel for this 9-to-5 job with a difference was BMW driving instructor Johan Schwartz. The stunt was done at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina.
On sale in February, the sixth-generation of the super-saloon has turbo power and all-wheel-drive for the first time. Its 4.4-litre TwinPower Turbo V8 boasts 592bhp and in launch mode will sprint from 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds.
Turn off all the electronic aids though – the new model has a track-friendly pure rear-wheel drive mode with no stability intervention – and it’s clear you can have a lot more fun. Just ask Johan…