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We had a chat with Peter Quintus, VP Sales, Marketing and Product Management M GmbH, to better understand the all new BMW M5 and the company's future plans.

14 Dec 2017

BMW Group Asia and Performance Munich Autos launched the world's first BMW M and BMW M Performance-dedicated boutique last week, where the all new BMW M5 was also on showcase for a limited time.

The all new BMW M5 is on display at the world's first BMW M and BMW M Performance dedicated showroom at 315 Alexandra Road
There, we had an up close and personal chat with Peter Quintus, Vice President Sales and Marketing, BMW M Division, on the company's latest high-performance sedan and its plans for the future.

592bhp, all-wheel drive and a new eight-speed M Steptronic

The saying 'business in the front, party in the back' usually comes to mind when you think of the M5. The M5, as we've known it to be, is a car that looks just at home in a 'Board of Directors Only' parking lot as it is on the race track.

It can also comfortably ferry the family to a wedding dinner but flip it into beast mode and the car will, well, become a beast. An angry, burbling one that will be more than happy to kick its tail out and scare the bejeezus out of whoever's riding in the back.

Which is why when BMW M announced its all new M5, equipped with M xDrive all-wheel drive, some eyebrows were raised. No more quattro ist fur sissies slapstick decals, we presume?

Despite being all-wheel drive and having ditched its dual-clutch for an eight-speed automatic, Mr. Quintus says the all new M5 is better than ever before
Mr. Quintus, who has already been driving the all new M5 and doubling up as a test driver for the company of sorts, explains that the new car's M xDrive is rear biased and funnels torque through an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.

More importantly, the system can disconnect the front axle for true rear-wheel drive hooliganism.

With M xDrive, the all new BMW M5 still offers true rear-wheel drive driving traits as well as significantly enhanced directional stability and controllability right up to the limits of performance, even when driving in adverse conditions such as in the wet or snow, he adds.

Another significant departure for the M5 is the replacement of the old dual-clutch gearbox with a new eight-speed torque converter automatic with remote steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

Mr. Quintus spells out that the new eight-speed auto is better suited for the new car's high-torque V8 and performs just as well as a dual-clutcher, if not better. For the first time, too, the M5 will not be offered with a manual transmission due to a lack of demand.

Mr. Quintus reveals that he is confident the all new M5 will contribute to 25 percent of BMW M's sales in 2018, since 60 percent of the first production run have already been sold
Together with a heavily revised version of its predecessor's force-fed V8, which churns out 592bhp and 750Nm, it will smash the century sprint in a mere 3.2 seconds, making it the quickest and most agile one to date.

BMW M is very confident of this new car and Mr. Quintus expects that it will contribute to 25 percent of BMW M's sales in 2018. In fact, 60 percent of the first production run and the Frozen Red 'First Edition' special edition model limited to a worldwide run of 400 examples have are already sold out.

Future forward

The all new M5 has already been termed as BMW M's most advanced car yet but Mr. Quintus reveals the company isn't resting on its laurels. He hints at the high possibility of electrified M cars, namely high-performance plug-in hybrids. It's an inevitable push, considering the declining popularity of combustion engines especially in Europe.

But would that affect the sporty image of the company? Mr. Quintus thinks not. He is confident that electrified M cars of the future will continue to be as fun to drive as the company's current crop. If there is one thing that electrification will do to M cars, it's to make the faster, more capable and more efficient than before, he says.

Nothing bad to say about the all new M5, but Mr. Quintus' all-time favourite BMW M model remains to be the M4 CS, which has yet to make its way into Singapore
Another shift in the automotive industry is the lean towards Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and sports car manufacturers like Maserati and Lamborghini have responded with models like the Levante and the Urus, respectively.

When asked if BMW M will put more focus on its SUV models like the X5 M and the X6 M, Mr. Quintus says that's not the company's priority as of now.

Despite growing favouritism towards high-performance SUVs, it hasn't affected the sales and popularity of BMW M's sedan models, especially with its strong and loyal customer base.

Mr. Quintus does, however, expect some of the M magic to trickle down on BMW's smaller SUVs like the X1, X2 and X3 in the future.

But whichever kinds of cars the company plans to make, the 57-year old German believes his all-time favourite will always be the M4 CS (think of it as the middle ground between the regular M4 and the bonkers, two-seat M4 GTS). According to him, it's suitable for ferrying his daughter to school in on weekdays, and perfect for weekends with his mates at the race track.
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