BMW M5: an executive saloon with superpowers
The new BMW M5 drives like a sports car and has the performance of a supercar. Nicole Garcia Merida reports
The previous iteration of the BMW M5 has come and gone despite only being launched in early 2018, when BMW thought a 591bhp executive saloon “ought to be more than feisty enough for the majority of customers”, says Matt Saunders on AutoCar. “But, of course, it wasn’t.” When it comes to the modern luxury car market, more is always more. And so the “extra-hardcore” M5 Competition was born.
On the road, the M5 remains one of the most dynamically ambitious performance cars of its kind. It tries to be as “taut, agile and playful” as a sports car, but also as fast as a supercar. Importantly, it succeeds, and it does so “against that backdrop of high-speed stability and real-world touring comfort on which the lumpiest German autobahn specials have been trading for decades”. The eye-watering six-digit price tag risks making it out of reach of “people of remotely ordinary means”, but the lucky ones who drive it will quickly learn there’s no other car quite like it.
The latest M5 “remains a sports saloon with absurd composure”, adds Top Gear. It’s not an unruly hot rod, but rather a showpiece that cracks 0-62mph at supercar speed. It’s so quick, you’ll rarely be able to use full throttle for long. If you’re manually going through its eight gears, it’d be wise to tackle everything “a gear higher than your heart desires just to quell the warp speed” that slingshots you from the apex of each corner.
It’s a car that will make an average driver feel like a pro, “and an experienced performance pilot a great deal faster behind the wheel”, says Trevor Hofmann on Hot Cars. It is luxurious inside too. The cabin features a top-of-the-line 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system, personalised driving modes, and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The charcoal black leather, glossy carbon fibre and “dazzling metal brightwork” results in a sumptuous blend of style and quality.
The regular M5 was already highly rated, says Car magazine, but this version adds more drama and finesse, and “more outright muscle to make it even better”. The quickest M5 ever is also now the most comfortable M5 ever, says Top Gear. Indeed, it may be “the most complete super saloon of them all”.
Price: £100,850 Engine: 4,395cc, V8, turbocharged, petrol Top speed: 190mph 0-62mph: 3.3 seconds Power: 616bhp Torque: 553 lb ft