We’ve all been waiting a long time for this moment, to hear about how the new BMW M5 drives. This new F90-generation M5 is a very important car for the brand. It’s the first ever all-wheel drive BMW M car (non-SUV), marking a turning point for the M Division as a whole. When fans first heard of this switch to all-wheel drive, they were a bit upset. However, we’ve been promised that it still brings the dynamic feeling of rear-wheel drive with the added security of all-wheel drive. So has it worked? Autocar finds out in this new review.

Tested on both the road and the track in Lisbon, Portugal, Autocar finds out if the new BMW M5 is better with all-wheel drive and if it’s good enough to take on the monster Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

Under the hood lies a revised 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. When paired with an eight-speed automatic (that’s right, a traditional automatic) and all-wheel drive, the new M5 is capable of 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.3 seconds. That makes it the fastest accelerating BMW of all time. But we knew it would be fast as all hell. What’s it actually like to drive?

In this review, Autocar’s Matt Prior takes it for a spin on both road and track, testing both its “4WD”, “4WD Sport” and “2WD” modes. On the road, the first impression is that there’s a lot going on. There are so many settings and modes for how it drives that it can be overwhelming. Though, once you get the settings the way you want, it becomes quite good to drive.

On the road, its steering is accurate and sharp, being just over two turns, lock to lock. It also has surprisingly good chassis dynamics. There’s a distinct difference between when the M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S handle and drive. While the AMG is always straining at the leash, always trying to go as fast as possible, the M5 is a bit more relaxed when you want it to be. It’s a smoother athlete, while the AMG is a bit harder edged.

At the track, in 2WD mode, it can properly slide. There’s a clip of BMW driver Timo Glock holding an unbelievable drift in the M5, followed by heaps of tire smoke. It shows off just how well balanced the new BMW M5 is.

In the end, Matt Prior seems to come away really impressed with how it drives. He claims that he really appreciates both it and the AMG E63 S. Though, he can’t tell which he’d rather have. That, of course, means handing them over to our tamed racing driver….wait, wrong show. Sorry.