The 4.4-litre high performance V8 engine lets out a nice bass rumble as I blip the throttle. I’m waiting for the lights to go green. Launch control is initiated and in a nanosecond I am off the mark and pelting towards three digit speeds. The Buddh International Circuit is now familiar territory so as I approach the first turn I brake late and take the perfect racing line. Bystanders cheer at this amazing level of control. I continue to push down on the throttle. The other cars are already disappearing in my rear-view and I make my way around the track at breakneck speeds. The car is perfect, namely a beautiful BMW M5. Its response is unquestionable and as I lap the competition I get to hear over the radio that I have set a new lap time record at the BIC. I also hear my wife’s voice in the distance telling me that my morning cup of tea is ready! Confused. I wake up.
Just about every petrolhead has had a dream to this effect, but when you happen to have an invite to the BIC to test drive the all-new BMW M5, such dreams are the norm. The M5, in its fifth generation avatar, is an exceptional vehicle for it offers you the joys of a sports car and the practicality of a sedan with four doors. Belonging to the echelons of high end cars, this Beemer boasts of all the creature comforts you can imagine which includes leather wrapped interiors, electronically adjustable M sports seats, a high end audio system with 16 speakers, idrive, head up display, climate control and a sun roof to name a few. However, the real story about this car revolves around one single aspect and that is performance.
While the design is synonymous with the regular 5 series sedan, there are subtle exterior changes that have been incorporated to aid performance in every manner possible. The front apron on the M5 houses three air intakes in the lower portion to allow for precise cooling requirements of the V8 engine and other important components, the wheel arches have a prominent flare that allow for the larger 19-inch alloy wheels. You can opt for 20-inch rims as well, but considering the Indian environment, I would suggest sticking to the smaller number.
BMW has worked on the entire body to optimize it for enhanced airflow and this includes changes to the rear-view mirrors, the body design, the underbody as well as the broad rear tail which not only brings the design element together but also helps in terms of generating the optimum airflow to allow for better road holding. Other telltale signs that this isn’t just the run-of-the-mill 5 series are the twin exhausts, the large disc brakes on all four wheels and the slick looking body skirt which works wonders to enhance the visual appeal of the large M5.
The real deal however lies under the hood in the form of a 4.4-litre V8 engine. Featuring the M TwinPower Turbo package which consists of the Twin Scroll Turbo technology, crossbank exhaust manifold, high precision direct petrol injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve control, this masterpiece of engineering is capable of generating 560PS between 6,000 and 7,000rpm and a gut wrenching torque of 680Nm from 1,500rpm up to 5,750rpm. Capable of going from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds, the M5 hits 200km/h in 13 seconds and goes on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Power is transferred to the rear wheels via the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic that incorporates traction optimized gear selection and launch control as well. It goes without saying that the driver also gets paddle shifts as well. Unleashing all that power on the Buddh International Circuit would have created pandemonium, but a few fast laps and an instructor driven hot lap did demonstrate the capabilities that the M5 clearly boasts of.
Speaking of which, the drive dynamics are spot-on and this can largely be attributed to the body and chassis technology which is geared to meet the demands of racing and track use. The car comes fitted with lightweight axle links at the rear and a newly developed double wishbone front axle that boasts of special kinematics and new components made from forged aluminium, a unique rear wheel differential system that allows engine power to split between the rear wheels for maximum traction, Dynamic Dampener Control, Servotronic steering designed specifically for the M, Dynamic Stability Control with an M Dynamic mode. Further to this, the driver can select between a choice of three drive modes which include comfort, sport and sport plus. Each of these settings changes the car’s behaviour to suit the driving environment as well as driver engagement.
With its inimitable style, performance oriented design, body and underpinnings as well as the most powerful engine ever fitted into a series produced model from BMW; the M5 is a car like no other. It comes as no surprise that it has dominated the charts amongst high performance sedans worldwide and its great to know that you can now own one in India as well (provided you have the money!). I, being a mere mortal who most probably can’t afford such a car in this lifetime, just wish to have the honour of driving the mighty M5 on the BIC again for a few more laps in order to live my dream; maybe not to the fullest, but at least to my heart’s content.
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