Tale of Two M5s: YouTuber Shows Why the F90 Destroys the F10
Long-coveted for being the last manual BMW 5 Series, the F10 has many fans. However, the F90’s dual-clutch is incredible.
Ever since the M5 first launched in the Eighties, the high-performance luxury sedan has been the standard-bearer for not only BMW, but for all German luxury performance. This is no different now with the sixth-generation F90-era of the beloved M5.
But how different is it against its recent predecessor, the F10 M5? YouTuber EddieX recently paid a visit to Platinum Motorcars in Detroit to compare a 2016 F10 M5 to a 2018 F90 M5 in a (literal) side-by-side comparison.
F10 M5 Manual: Rarest of the Rare
“Let’s focus on the F10, more specifically,” Eddie says. “This one, interesting enough, is a manual transmission. That’s actually really rare to find, F10 M5s in manuals. A big reason why the manual is no longer offered on the F90 is because nobody bought [F10 M5s] in manual transmission. There was less than five percent take rate in America.”
Instead, the F90 M5 now has an eight-speed automatic moving the 600 horses from the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 to the corners, instead of either a seven-speed dual-clutch or six-speed manual driving the power to the rears. Don’t be too sad about the all-wheel drive system, though; the F90 M5 needs it more than you think.
“On an F10 M5, it makes so much power and torque to the rear wheels, it’s almost unusable,” says Eddie. “I’ve driven a lot of these cars, and pretty much, the traction light is always flashing. No matter what you’re doing– if it’s dry out, taking a turn at 25 [mph], give it a quart of throttle, traction control goes ‘Ah!’ It spins the tires. It’s absurd.”
F90 M5: Dual-Clutch Perfected
The F90 M5’s system, on the other hand, makes use of all the power the twin-turbo V8 puts out, plus it’s a rear-bias all-wheel drive system; thus, you’re not entirely losing out on rear-driven power if you choose the F90 over the F10.
Exterior-wise, both M5s have a similar appearance to each other, and are immensely bigger than the famed E39 M5. The F90 is slightly bigger than the F10, of course, but it’s also lighter than the F10 “despite the heavy all-wheel drive system,” thanks to the use of weight-saving materials. In short, “they are good-looking, executive super sport sedans, essentially.”
“Here’s the brand new [interior],” says Eddie of the F90 M5. “You can immediately tell. Big digital displays everywhere, larger I-screen in the middle. The big M1 and M2 buttons are in red, right in front of you. Big paddle shifters. It’s just nicely updated here.”
The F10, meanwhile, had an interior that was already dated for BMW at the time, especially when Audi and Mercedes [had] all gone to a giant, completely digital display.” BMW instead stuck to an analog layout for the dash gauges, though Eddie says the F10 still had a nice interior.
“To me, the top three most important things are gonna be the change of transmission options available. They got rid of the manual for [the F90],” says Eddie. “It’s an automatic now. No more dual-clutch. Automatic is better able to take the extremely high amount of torque and horsepower that this F90 M5 generates.”
The other two things Eddie finds important are the all-wheel drive system, which he says the lack of one would be “a dealbreaker” for the amount of power the M5 now produces, and driving dynamics. He says a few M5 fans thought the F10 “lost its way” with its muted dynamics compared to the E39 and E60 M5s. Eddie hopes the F90 has brought those driving dynamics back.