New 2018 BMW M5 Claims World Record for Longest Drift with 232.5-Mile Slide

With a little help from a tandem drifting M5 tanker and a car-to-car refueling rig, of course.

byKyle Cheromcha|
BMW News photo

The all-new 2018 BMW M5 boasts some serious impressive numbers from the factory, befitting of the iconic Bavarian super sedan. 600 horsepower. 553 lb-ft of torque. A 189 mile-per-hour top speed. And now, with a little help from an aircraft-inspired mid-run refueling system, a Guinness World Record 232.5-mile-long drift.

The new record smashes the old 102-mile mark set by a Toyota 86 last year, ably demonstrating that the sixth-generation M5 can wag its tail with the best of them despite a switch to all-wheel-drive. It's also a neat bookend for BMW driving instructor Johan Schwartz, who established the first record back in 2013 with a 51.3-mile slide in an F10 M5 at the very same skidpad where he set the new record in December.

The official rules for the record (technically the greatest distance drifted in eight hours) allow for fuel stops, but BMW decided that would ruin the spirit, fun, and danger of a continuous drift. So it looked to the skies for inspiration and developed a car-to-car refueling system, which features a spare M5 tanker carrying an extra fuel cell, a high-pressure hose, and a daring stuntman to lean out and connect the two cars as they drift together on the skidpad.

Crazy? Absolutely. But this quixotic rivalry with Toyota means a lot for BMW, and the spare-no-expense, take-every-risk approach allowed Schwartz to drift for the entire eight hours straight, which resulted in a record that more than doubled Toyota's previous mark. The refueling rig was called into action no less than five times, though the video shows that some connections were smoother than others. And its use allowed BMW to set another record: Longest twin vehicle drift (water assisted), at one hour and 49.25 miles.

You may scoff at the water-coated skidpad and the comparatively low speeds involved, but consider the mind-numbing concentration it would take to hold a 600-horsepower car in a controlled drift for the length of an entire workday—with no lunch or bathroom breaks, either.