The new BMW M5 has set a new world record for the longest drift. Driving Instructor Johan Schwartz performed a sustained drift at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, in the twin turbo V8 M5, covering exactly 232.5 miles (374.2 kilometres) on a so- called skid pad, setting a new Guinness World Record for the longest drift in eight hours. Schwartz shattered the previous record set by a Toyota 86 by 143 miles (230.1 kilometres).
We hear you ask, how did the M5 have enough fuel for 8 hours? A custom-built refuelling system developed by BMW in collaboration with the North Carolina-based company Detroit Speed made it possible to drift continuously without a break for the full eight hours as required by the Guinness World Record. This allowed the M5 to be refuelled during the drift in the same way that fighter jets can refuel in mid-flight – though in this case the operation was performed by hand!
A second BMW M5 driven by the Chief Driving Instructor of the BMW Performance Center, Matt Mullins, accompanied the record-breaking M5. Mullins adapted to Schwartz’s drifting speed, allowing Matt Butts of Detroit Speed to carrying out the refuelling operation, secured by a safety tether that permitted him to straddle the space between the two moving vehicles by leaning out of the rear window of the second car.
“Although we practised the refuelling several times before the Guinness World Record title attempt, there was very little margin for error,” said Butts. “We’re very excited to have played a part in Johan and BMW recapturing this record.”
A second Guinness World Record was awarded for the longest twin vehicle water-assisted drift: Schwartz and Mullins drifted together for one hour, covering a total of 49.25 miles (79.3 kilometres).
The BMW M5 is powered by a 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It develops 441kW from 5,600-6,700rpm and 750Nm of torque from 1,800-5,600rpm, enabling the new M5 to blast from 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds on route to a top speed of 305km/h when the M Driver’s Package is specified.
It is the first M5 to feature all-wheel drive, but a button allows the driver to decouple the front axle and switch it to rear-wheel drive.