DRIVEN: First turbocharged BMW M5

By Philip Hedderman

In the M5 nobody can hear you scream…

Thankfully the snorting growl of the 4.4 litre, V8 drowns out the ear-splitting shrieks.

It begins as sheer terror and ends in a giggling hysteria akin to schoolgirls meeting One Direction.

The blood pumping, adrenaline rush began as the hulking saloon pulled out onto the M2.

Dropping the hammer the dash lights up like a Christmas tree as the traction control struggles to contain the 560bhp that’s just been unleashed.

Her ample bottom gives a little wiggle as we rocket into motoring nirvana.

The rev counter loops into the red as the throaty rasp hits an orgasmic crescendo and we’re into second, then third and within the four seconds – she’s tipped the 100kph.


I don’t think I’ve ever travelled such a short distance at such speed in my entire life and I’m hooked.

Who’d have thought having your face peeled off was such an exhilarating experience?

The raw power so intoxicating I just couldn’t help myself and I’m drawn into committing an illegal act.

Details of the actual offence will remain a secret, so let’s just say I may have stumbled over the, erm, speed limit.

My time with the beast is limited, it’s mid afternoon and I’m 15 minutes from the nearest motorway.

Now, the book claims she can hit 200kph in around 13 seconds and we had no intention of trying to push it that far.

But it would be a crime not to give her a little tease.


Fourth, fifth, sixth and even seventh gear have the power of a mini tsunami and it proved a bottomless pit of grunt, torque, and most importantly, control.

Therein lies the secret of the fifth-generation M5 which on paper looked like a watered-down version of its predecessor.

The engine shed 2 cylinders, going from a V10 to a V8, but don’t let that fool you.

Its potency is up gaining 10pc more power, 30pc more torque while fuel efficiency is up 30pc.

In cash terms that means a very decent 28.5mpg while emissions are down to 232g/km.

Astounding, considering this executive saloon with wall-to-wall leather is as quick out of the blocks as any Ferrari or Lambo while coping with every day life like the school run or the weekly trip to the supermarket.

On the odd day off you can take to the track to blow the cobwebs off and brighten your day.

That’s down to its race-bred chassis technology that includes, for the first

time, an Active M differential and electronic damping control which basically recalibrates all the driver settings to get her into rally mode.

You could get confused by all the different settings which can be altered individually like steering, suspension, gear ratio etc.

They should simplify this and save some time by offering just three -Normal, Crazy and Psycho.

Anyway, when you’re not in Psycho mode one can potter about town in the lap of luxury with every conceivable gadget and gizmo at your fingertips.

Standard kit includes Leather upholstery, Head-up Display, DAB digital radio, parking sensors, four-zone air-conditioning, Xenon headlights, Adaptive Headlights and front seat heating, sat nav with traffic bulletins, Bluetooth and USB interface.


Options including a rear-view camera, High-Beam Assistant, Speed Limit information, Lane Change and Lane Departure warnings, Surround View and BMW Night Vision ensure the driver is aware of anything and everything happening within the vicinity of the car.

A Mobile Application preparation allows iPhone owners to receive web radio stations and display Facebook and Twitter posts on the Control Display.

By far the fastest, safest most comfortable super car I’ve ever driven.

A true revelation.

Priced at €135,280 the new M5 really gives a whole lotta bang for your buck.