What is it?
A BMW 5-Series with the BMW Motorsport treatment has always been a tempting idea, and the current version is the most extreme of the lot. The BMW M5 has a 5.0-litre, 507bhp V10 engine, a seven-speed sequential-shift transmission and fat, deep-dished wheels which are the only immediate visual clue to the fireworks potential within. Made in both saloon and estate-car guises, the latter surely the ultimate multi-purpose vehicle.
- That engine, able to rev to 8250rpm
- The pace, with 62mph in 4.8 seconds if you use the brutal launch control
- The grip and handling, making this big car ludicrously agile
- The fact that a lot of people won’t know the Mr Hyde within
- Extraordinary combination of brute pace and high-end luxury
- Sequential transmission can be jerky even in slowest of the six gearshift-speed modes
- ‘Automatic’ mode is even more prone to pauses and surges
- CO2 emissions of 361g/km could induce eco-guilt
Verdict on the BMW M5
The BMW M5 isn’t unique – Audi’s S6 also has a V10 engine – but it is the raciest, hardest-edged big saloon (or estate) you can buy.
Yet if you drive it gently it will behave like a pussycat, especially if you haven’t pressed the ‘power’ button that raises output from 400 to that mad 507bhp. The M5 is a car which does it all. The question is: do you need all that it does?