Show Drift: BMW Breaks Two Guinness World Records Drifting the New M5 [Video] ""

By | January 9, 2018

M5 Drift Record

Just because the 2018 BMW M5 comes with standard all-wheel drive doesn’t mean it can’t engage in some tail-out antics. Thanks to its 2WD mode, the latest M5 is capable of channeling its 600-hp twin-turbocharged V-8’s 553 lb-ft of torque solely to the rear wheels. 

We presume it was in this mode that BMW driving instructor Johan Schwartz drifted a 2018 M5 around the skidpad at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, for 232.5 miles. The distance earned Schwartz and the new M5 a place in the Guinness World Records for the record of “greatest distance vehicle drift in eight hours.” Schwartz’s drift also bettered a recent record attempt for “longest continuous vehicle drift” set by Jesse Adams of South Africa, who drifted 102.5 miles in a Toyota GT86 last year.

M5 Drift Record

The world record for drifting strikes us as a somewhat dubious accomplishment in the grand scheme of automotive achievements, but we have to tip our hats to the ingenuity BMW employed in its quest to guarantee that Schwartz wouldn’t need to stop for fuel during his record-breaking eight-hour drift. The German automaker worked with the North Carolina vehicle fabricator Detroit Speed to craft a custom refueling system modeled after the kind that fighter jets use, which can be topped off in flight.

Although fighter jets manage to do this deed without human intervention, Detroit Speed’s Matt Butts served as an intermediary between the 2018 M5 driven by Schwartz and a previous-generation M5 fuel car driven by Matt Mullins, chief driving instructor at the BMW Performance Center. Five separate times, Mullins drifted parallel to Schwartz while Butts, held in place by a safety tether, emerged from the rear window to refuel the 2018 M5 in mid-drift.

While a record-breaking eight-hour drift should have been enough of a success for BMW to call it a day, the German automaker wasn’t ready to pop champagne just yet. After Schwartz’s solo drift, Schwartz and Mullins drifted side by side for 49.3 miles over the course of an hour, earning BMW and its two drivers the record for the “longest twin-vehicle drift (water assisted).”

Do either of these world records alter our initial thoughts about the 2018 BMW M5? Not at all. Nevertheless, the two drifting records did give us a newfound respect for the driving skills of Johan Schwartz and Matt Mullins and the cojones of Matt Butts.
M5-Drift-Record-Reel


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