The 2018 BMW M5 Pioneers Mid-Drift Refueling in World’s Longest Drift Record Attempt
When an M5 meets an aerial tanker.
BMW knows that more than a few purists raised their eyebrows when it announced the sixth-generation 2018 M5 would be going all-wheel-drive. So to send a message and show off the sport sedan's promised rear-wheel-drive-only mode, BMW had a singular goal in mind: Using it to reclaim the record for the world's longest drift, currently held by Toyota. But first, it had to figure out how to get enough gas in the car to do so.
The video of the record attempt will drop on Tuesday, and chances are if BMW has gone to this much trouble promoting it, it will top the 102.5-mile, six-hour slide laid down in a Toyota 86 last year. Toyota added an extra fuel tank to the car to keep the drift going as long as possible, and as this behind-the-scenes video shows, BMW decided to one-up its Japanese rival by developing a mid-run refueling system involving a spare M5, a high-pressure hose, a spot of tandem drifting.
Driving instructor Johan Schwartz set the original longest drift record back in 2013 in an F10 M5, circling a skidpad for the equivalent of 51.3 miles. But Toyota sent a GT86 spinning for nearly 90 miles in 2014, eventually topping its own record with the lightly-modified 86 last year. The Guinness World Record rules also allow drivers to stop and refuel—it's technically a record for the longest distance drifted in an eight-hour period—but BMW rightly decided that would be boring, unsporting, and not nearly dangerous enough. It also didn't want to modify the new model.
The solution is not unlike a military aircraft refueling in flight, with the spare M5 carrying an extra fuel cell capable of pumping 18 gallons in 50 seconds, a specially-designed hose attachment, and a daring stuntman to lean out the car's back window and physically connect it to the world record attempt car mid-drift. How well did it work? We'll all find out Tuesday morning.