With around 600 hp and 700 Nm of torque to corral, the F90-generation BMW M5 has its work cut out for it to put its considerable output to the road (or track) effectively. Enter the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the first of its kind to debut on a BMW M sedan (the V12-engined M760Li is an M Performance model).

Having demonstrated its prowess with works driver Timo Glock behind the wheel, BMW explains in the video above the various modes in which the M xDrive transmission operates. The 4.4 litre biturbo V8 is now paired with an eight-speed Steptronic torque converter automatic instead of the F10 M5’s seven-speed dual-clutch unit, before sending drive to the M xDrive system for it to work its magic.

Operating in a fashion similar to that of its arch-rival, the Mercedes-AMG E 63, The BMW M5’s all-wheel-drive system is a variable, rear axle-biased one – even in standard 4WD mode – for “optimum control and superior traction”.

On the next rung up the involvement ladder, 4WD Sport calls up M Dynamic mode, and together with even more rear-drive bias, the reins are loosened that bit further to allow more sliding. Finally, in 2WD mode, the truly exuberant ones can light up Michelin bonfires with DSC completely switched off.

GALLERY: BMW F90 M5