This combination of affirmation and enthusiasm has returned. It is the sensation created when the steering, brakes, and accelerator of a brand-new car synchronise with the driver’s inputs, producing a sensory epiphany. This time, the source is the new i5 M60, the high-performance variant of the new eighth-generation 5-series, which lived up to its dynamic promise during our initial half-day excursion. If this early pre-production model is any indication, BMW has created yet another victor. This time, the accomplishment is not marred by a front end with a beaver-tooth grille.

BMW i5 M60

Logistics compelled us to skip the 335-hp i5 eDrive40 in favour of the 590-hp i5 M60 xDrive. From our base near Marseille, France, we set out on a portion of BMW’s official Research and Development evaluation loop, which extends deep into the barren hinterland to the northwest, where the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Vaucluse meet. We followed BMW driving dynamics expert Jürgen Metz in an M340d waggon while piloting a prototype i5 that was still completely concealed.The difficult route is the legacy of recently retired BMW chassis specialist Jos van As..

Utilising the BMW i5 M60 2024

“There will be a lot of sand and gravel on the road because it hasn’t rained here in weeks,” Jürgen’s voice snarled over the radio as the last small town began to disappear in the rearview mirror.” Squeak, pause, crackling”Also, give cyclists a wide berth and keep an eye out for hurried locals who are experts at cutting edges.” Moments later, a fast thumbs-up indicates attack mode, and our two-car convoy begins a rapid ascent up the steel-gray spiral staircase to the first summit of the Parc naturel régional des Alpille.The i5 is a brand-new automobile from top to bottom, yet it feels comfortingly familiar and reassuring from the word go.The engine’s 590 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque are distributed with sublime mastery.y.

In preparation for the forthcoming total-immersion experience, the black disguise coverings had to be removed from the BMW’s two-thirds dash-spanning curved display. The irritating lane-departure warning sirens, lights, and vibrations were then turned off. The initial pre-flight inspection was concluded by locking all systems in Sport while leaving the stability control on. Even though there are no gear levers or clutch pedals to worry about, it takes a moment for the mind to acclimatise to the new driving environment. There is only one lever on the steering wheel, labelled Boost. Why not implement a second paddle to regulate the three stages of energy regeneration? “Because placing the gear selector in B automatically activates the one-pedal feel that many EV drivers covet,” explains Mr. Metz. Lift-off regen increases or decreases proportionally to the specified drive mode.

Today, however, we have no interest in coasting or investigating the maximum range (estimated at 307 miles for the eDrive40 and 277 miles for the M60). Today is all about having fun with completely charged batteries, two motors operating at full capacity, and a cutting-edge chassis.

The i5 did not merely replace its internal combustion engine with an electric drivetrain; rather, it is a genetically modified 5-series on technological steroids. Key components include a variable-ratio and variable-assist steering rack, rear-axle steering with a maximum angle of 2.5 degrees, active anti-roll bars, rear air springs, and a front and rear multilink suspension configuration. These are only the most fundamental statistics.

The French produce award-winning wines and prepare unforgettable cuisine, but the majority of the country’s rural roads are in poor condition, which is why chassis experts, driving-dynamics wizards and tyre engineers from the European motor industry come here to test and refine their products. The bleached, porous, and cracked asphalt felt very familiar to the i5. The 245/40 front and 275/35 rear tyres on 20-inch wheels feel as Velcro-fastened to the road surface as a cog railway is to its rack. Numerous body and suspension stiffening measures, as well as a rear axle assembly reinforced by a spiderweb of stiffening links, contribute to this uniform balance of agility and composure.

BMW i5 M60 Efficiency Figures

The remarkable drag coefficient of 0.23 is attributable to the flush underbody, a number of selectively obstructed air intakes, aerodynamically conscious wheels, and lateral air curtains. The top speed is limited to 144 mph for efficiency considerations. Given that the battery, motors, and inverters are primarily shared with the i4 M50, it is not surprising that the claimed zero-to-62 mph acceleration time of 3.9 seconds is identical to that of the M50. A 10 to 80 percent recharge should take no more than 30 minutes at a charging rate of up to 200 kilowatts, and over-the-air updates are likely to speed up the charge time. MaxRange is the sole brand-new driving application. It even surpasses Eco Pro by drastically reducing maximum speed to 56 mph, limiting power output to 136 horsepower, and turning off electric loads such as the air conditioning to increase range by 25 percent.

The M60 has a firmer suspension setup and lower ride height than the eDrive40, the broadest available tyres, and Executive Drive Pro, which is BMW-speak for active anti-roll bars and rear-axle steering. As expected, the M-specific all-wheel-drive system favours the rear axles when distributing torque. Are we already having fun? You sure. Particularly in Sport Boost, which provides an additional 18 pound-feet of torque for up to 10 seconds. The combination of the paddle- or accelerator-induced kick-down with the wild in-dash countdown graphic and the shrill audio accompaniment (by German film composer Hans Zimmer) undoubtedly appeals to the child within. Alternately, the My Mode menu contains mood settings labelled Personal, Relax, and Expressive, which can be accessed by scrolling.