BMW have taken their time bringing out the 2017 BMW M5, with the 550i remaining the top of the line through the early part of this year.

Now the beast has been unleashed. Sporting a 4.4-litre biturbo V8 M engine, the car delivers 600hp at 5,600 – 6,700 rpm and a staggering 750Nm of torque from 1,800 – 5,600 rpm. The engine is mated with a specially tuned eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The car’s performance figures are:

  • 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds
  • 0 to 200 km/h in 11.1 seconds
  • Top speed is an electronically limited 250 km/h
  • Top speed with optional M Driver’s Package is 305 km/h

The new BMW M5 also features its own breed of all-wheel drive for the first time. The new M xDrive works with a central transfer case with multi-plate clutch and distributes drive fully variably between the front and rear axle, as required. The system also gets the Active M Differential at the rear axle, which also works fully variably and has a locking effect between 0 and 100 per cent.

The driver has five different configurations to choose from based on combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD). In the basic setting with DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) activated and 4WD, the system permits slight slip through the rear wheels when accelerating out of corners. In M Dynamic mode (MDM, 4WD Sport) M xDrive allows easily controlled drifts.

But if it’s drifting that you are seriously interested in, the three M XDrive modes with DSC switched off are just up your alley. Here you can choose from three configurations, including only rear-wheel drive.

The suspension has been tuned on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. The system allows the selection of Comfort, Sport and Sport plus modes and engine tune can be selected between Efficient, Sport and Sport plus. Two dedicated buttons on the steering wheel can be programmed with two set-ups combining the driver’s preference of engine, transmission, suspension and M xDrive modes, the DSC mode and Head-Up-Display settings. These are labelled M1 and M2.

Along with dedicated body styling, the 2017 BMW M5 also features M compound brakes as standard, with optional M carbon ceramic brakes, painted in gold and shaving 23kgs off the car’s weight.

The new BMW M5 comes as standard with polished 19-inch light-alloy wheels (front: 9.5 x 19, rear: 10.5 x 19) in Orbit Grey and M-specific tyres (front: 275/40 R 19, rear: 285/40 R 19). 20-inch items can be specified as an option (front: 275/35 R 20 tyres on 9.5 x 20 rims, rear: 285/35 R 20 tyres on 10.5 x 20 rims).

INFINITI Engineering Academy – Sifting for future tech leaders

Amidst the hustle and bustle of a Formula One weekend, there is a quiet revolution taking place. While most team bosses are scouting out and testing new driver talent, the folks at Renault F1 are taking their partnership with related luxury brand and title sponsor INFINITI to a new level by building on their multi-year effort to scout engineering talent.

And there is no better proof of their commitment to the program than the fact that this multi region competition run under the INFINITI Engineering Academy moniker has resulted in employment contracts to past participants.

Dragster challenge of INIFINITI Engineering Academy
Infiniti dragster challenge.

The year ending race at Abu Dhabi served as the selection platform for participants from the Middle East region, with ten semi-finalists going into a protracted skills and strategy selection process that resulted in three finalists who were put through another set of skills contests after a session where invited media (including us) put various questions to them, with scoring input that added to the judges scores.

Fahim Choudhary, winner INFINITI Engineering Academy, Middle East edition
IEA Students finalists – pit lane challenge.

After this session, the three finalists moved on to the final challenge, which involved assembling a four-cylinder bank header with the series of pipes and splitter of the exhaust assembly. It was here that the region’s winner Fahim Choudhary won his opportunity to join the winners from the six other regions to participate in a year long internship program with the two companies in the United Kingdom, complete with a good salary, company car, travel and accommodation – six months with Renault Formula One’s facilities and a further six months at INFINITI’s European Technical Centre at Cranfield.

Fahim is a student with Lancaster University in Dubai.

Tommaso Volpe, Director, INFINITI Global Motorsport and Performance Projects, said: “The INFINITI Engineering Academy has grown every year, and now in our fifth year, competition for our limited number of slots is intense. Our partners at Renault Sport Formula One™ Team and Harvard University have helped us select the brightest engineering students from around the globe who will contribute to the future of the sport and the automotive industry.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing, also commented: “Attracting top new talent is crucial for success in Formula One™, so we want to make sure that together with INFINITI we select the best engineers to work for this programme. Each one of these young engineers brings fresh perspectives and new ideas to the race team, which are vital.”

INIFINITI Engineering Academy semi-finalists
IEA Middle East students.

Interestingly, this year’s edition of the program saw Harvard University involved with Dr. Julia Minson, an expert in decision science, involved in the process. Dr. Minson is working with the INFINITI Engineering Academy to conduct ground-breaking research into decision making in engineering, and how the very best engineers perform under pressure to make decisions when faced with vast amounts of complex data. The learnings from the research will then be incorporated by both the INFINITI engineering and motorsport teams to optimize their decision-making processes.

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