The M5 may not sound like a favourable car to most, but here are some of the car’s unique quirks that actually raised its likeable factor for yours truly
Photos by Azfar Hashim
The BMW M5 graced Burnpavement quite some time ago, but somehow as the team look back at all the cars reviewed this year, a random thought just popped up: I still think the M5 remain one of those cars that makes its presence felt despite its age – especially in the Competition Pack, err, package.
There’s more than just the 4.4-litre twin turbo’d V8 powerplant with 575 bhp/680 Nm power output; it’s beyond the fact that, despite weighing in at almost 2-tonnes, it could still - at no effort - get from standstill to 100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds. So what are the other quirks that make it so irresistible to yours truly?
1) Subtlety - At one glance, it may give you the impression 'this is just an ordinary 5 Series'. If you want to make it even more ‘sleeper’ than it already is, remove all badges which may hint this is not your normal 520i. Doing all that means you could go bumbling along without having to meet a challenger at every junction; but then when they least expect it, floor the accelerator and rocket ahead into warp speed.
2) Looks beautiful when the sun shines on it - Motivates you to get up in the morning, take a few moments to stare and admire it, wipe your tears then quickly jump into the car and just drive off (true story).
3) Driver-centric cockpit - It’s your typical 5 Series affair, true, but M has changed some bits and pieces to make it far more special. Beginning with the perfectly sized and sculpted steering wheel with also perfectly sized paddle-shifter, sport seat which provides ample support and a gear shifter that feels nice to the touch. Gives a sense of occasion every time you shut the door and fire up the engine.
4) Premium, plush cabin - Good enough for four and a half passengers, cocooning each and every occupant comfortably. Your in-laws would approve too. No loss in the practicality department.
5) Engine that keeps egging you on - While it’s hard to predict what the next generation M5 would be about, it’s safe to say this is one of the nicer engine seen in an M model. Thing is, it’s hard to ‘take it easy’ in this car — and that’s another charm. Higher up the rev range, it sounds so manly; Al-Pacino manly at that.
6) Beautiful exhaust note - Nothing else to say here. Braaap… Braaap… Braaap!
7) Stiffer suspension - It’s not everyday you get a large executive sedan like this that enjoys taking corners hard and fast — again, brilliant at surprising the unsuspecting who thought this car ‘cannot make it’. Set everything to ‘Sport’ and immediately, you’re a superhero. And even when the tail begins to break traction, it does so progressively without giving you a rude shock.
8) Good for ‘smoking’ - They say smoking is bad for you. Well if you’re referring to the tar + nicotine + tobacco type, then yes. But in the M5’s context, it’s simply how you could cause a bout of haze — providing good show during a car meet… and then be good friends with the tyre shop guys. Not that I’m encouraging, but it’s just one of those good-to-know-that-it-could.
Driver, meet the fun button. Fun button, meet driver.
9) Different mood, different driving style - One of those rare cars that lets you choose your own steering characteristic (sharp, sharper, sharperest), suspension stiffness (relax bro mode, stiff, shatter-your-spine hard) and last but not least, how high you want the engine to screammmmm…
10) Easy ‘parker’ for its size - BMW knows this car is quite an elephant when it‘s time to park, so they provided a myriad of front and rear sensors, including a reverse camera to ease your affairs — keeps you safe from kissing the walls. Thank you BMW, for your thoughtfulness.
M = Marvellous? Definitely.