While we were waiting for BMW to take the veils off its new M5 we used to watch the heavily camouflaged models do runs on the Nurburgring, wondering what wonders hid under that psychedelic wrap. Today we know all about the 2018 BMW M5 and yet we didn’t get the chance to get behind its wheel so far, waiting for the Germans to finish setting up the car, in order to give media representatives a proper taste of what the M model is capable of.

It looks like the engineers still have some fine tuning to do as the M5 was spotted recently doing hot laps around the Nurburgring and things are looking good. From the sound to the way the car seems to keep its composure on the track, things are looking up. The suspension seems to handle the car’s weight quite well, the brief shots below showing a composed car that looks glued to the road. Some of the credit for that goes to the M-specific elastokinematics while the other part must be due to the new all-wheel drive system.

As you probably already know, the F90 M5 will be the first M car outside SUVs that will come with all-wheel drive and that means no more drama when accelerating too hard out of a corner. However, for those still seeking for the ultimate rear-wheel drive uber-sedan, the new M5 will offer the option of choosing a full RWD setup, sending the power to the rear axle alone. This should bring about a couple of interesting reviews, most of the media probably focusing on how the car handles considering the big changes happening under the sheet metal.

That said, the engine is a revised version of the S63 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 we’ve seen introduced on the F10 M5 for the first time. However, it has been upgraded to make 600 HP and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque and it is now working exclusively with an 8-speed gearbox, the manual being officially dead now on the M5. The 7-speed DCT unit might’ve been faster but due to the introduction of all-wheel drive, a move to a ZF-sourced gearbox was needed and here we are. Don’t be upset though as the 8-speed will surely keep up with the demands of the car in any given circumstance. Furthermore, the 0-62 mph sprint will now take 3.4 seconds, a new record for the brand over its 100 years of car making.