The fourth-generation BMW M5 of 2005-'10 was probably the most memorable edition of the Bavarian super sedan, because it was endowed with a Formula One-inspired 5.0-liter V10 engine and it had a button on the console that let the driver select between the engine's regular 400 horsepower output and an available 500 horsepower.
The 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 in the 2018 M5 may lack the drama of ten cylinders and a gimmicky button, but know this: it makes an even 600 horsepower, all the time. It also makes 553 lb.-ft. torque, and these ratings represent increases of 40 horsepower and 53 lb.-ft. over the outgoing model.
This output is good for a 3.2-second 0-60 mph acceleration time and an electronically limited 189-mph top speed.
The boost is courtesy of modifications to the same basic engine that include new twin-scroll turbochargers that boost pressure to an amazing 24.5 psi and new high-pressure direct-injection fuel injectors that run at 350 atmospheres of pressure rather than 200.
The traditionally rear-wheel drive M5 has gained a full-time all-wheel drive system that is biased toward sending power to the rear wheels to provide that familiar rear-drive feel while exploiting two more tire contact patches for getting those 600 horses to the ground. There is also a two-wheel drive mode, for unrepentant drifters and burnout fanatics.
The transmission is an eight-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for pretending the M5 still has a manual-shift option.
Look for the M5 to arrive in dealers next spring, with pricing to be announced closer to the car's launch.