New BMW M5 review, test drive
18th Jul 2012 7:37 pm
We drive a monster from the stables of BMW, the M5 and it also happens to be the fastest four-door saloon we have ever tested.
Making a near-two-tonne car sprint to 100kph in under 5 sec is quite a feat. Making all that power easily manageable is even more impressive. But the most astonishing aspect of the M5 is how at times it rides even better than a regular 5-series. The M5’s suspension is remarkable in its ability to absorb bumps and maintain composure over broken tarmac, and this is true even in Sport mode. It only thuds when there are quick, sharp hits taken at speed, such as with big potholes or drain covers.
But don’t get the wrong idea – the M5 is no softie. The steering is smooth, slick, linear and capable of filtering out the worst of the feedback, while allowing the good bits of feel to filter through. That and the ride make the M5 a supremely unflustered car in which to travel cross-country, and one that allows you to tackle crests, corners and bumps with terrific confidence.
As expected of a 552bhp motor, fuel efficiency isn’t too great. With wide tyres, a huge engine and a not-so-flattering kerb weight, this car feels like it can empty gas stations as you drive by them. For the record, we got 4.5kpl in the city and 7.1kpl on the highway. So, despite the 80-litre fuel tank, you’ll still be visiting fuel pumps quite often.
The new M5 is an immense engineering achievement. It’s got everything that you would expect of a super-saloon – towering performance, engaging handling and a properly comfortable cabin. Even more incredible is this 552bhp saloon’s usability – it’s armed with a comfortable chassis setup and well-mannered gearbox. There are a few shortfalls though. The cabin should look and feel a little bit more special and the engine, though more efficient than before, still has quite an appetite for the expensive stuff. Priced at Rs 98.9 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) it isn’t cheap, but then again, its direct rivals cost even more. Seriously, for this price, there’s little that can match the M5’s wide range of abilities.