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patently

BMW M5 Review

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OK, I've had the car since 8:30 this morning so I guess it's time to start typing. For those that don't know, I've been given the car for a 24 hour test drive :cool: while my E60 535d is in the tender mercies of the Service Department.

The thing that has struck me about the car is my reaction when people ask me what it's like. You know how things are, people spot you are in something different, they ask what it is, then they ask what it's like. As petrolheads, we always take that as our cue to talk about the car for a little bit too long, until they're shuffling their feet a bit and looking for an exit. It's not like that with the M5 though. I'm finding I have a different reaction to being asked the "what's it like" question - a reaction I'm not used to. I couldn't work out what was going on for a while, but by mid-afternoon I'd worked it out.

I'm speechless.

It is taking the power of speech away from me. I just stand there, giggling quietly, grinning like an idiot.

The power delivery is unreal, in a way that creeps up on you. You can pootle around in this car, everything being civilised and sensible like proper M cars of the past, and then you get to a straight bit and prod the pedalandohmygodthatsthehorizoncomingbetterduckitsgoingtohitme. When you get the engine on the cam and the tyres on a dry bit, it just flies. It is laugh-out-loud fast, literally. Bear in mind what I normally drive, too - a 996 911 and a 535d, neither of which are slouches. But this is just stupendous.

I know what you're thinking: "shock, horror, patently tries out an M car and finds out it's fast, like wow...". But you have to understand me, I drive a 911 regularly, I've driven an E46 M3 in the past, I spent a day in an E60 M5 and was distinctly underwhelmed by the power, this is something special. And I'm loving it.

There is something about the manner of the power delivery that is addictive, and I think it's the turbos. I know this is seen by some as sacrilege in an M car, for it not to be normally aspirated, but it somehow works. To me, the essence of M is that the car is understated, does not attract attention, does not mark you out as a boy racer (except to those in the know). This means you don't get into pissing contests, you can drive it to a client's site without them blinking, people who look down on owners of powerful cars don't realise you have one, and the only people who know what it is are people who appreciate that kind of thing. That, to me, is a very tempting package - a supercar that I can use routinely without getting spat on, and without suffering the impracticalities that are taken as read in supercarland. That requires a car that looks smart, can pootle comfortably around town, can glide down the motorway, but can lift its skirts and run like hell at the slightest provocation. The M5 does that in spades, and I do think the turbos help. When the engine is ticking over, the grunt of the V8 nudges it onwards effortlessly without making a fuss or a racket - just a low grumble like Tom Jones trying to whisper something to you. Then, when the coast is clear, you get the revs up and BANG! you're off. Perfect.

The usual canard about the M5, propagated by technophobe idiots like dear Jeremy, is that there are a whole host of settings to vary that require you to get involved in the car design and do the engineers' job for them. This is wrong - the system is highly adjustable but sensibly so. Take the suspension, for example. This can be varied between several settings, called "nicely firm", "really quite firm", "very firm indeed", "Audi Standard Soft", and "Z4 3.5i" at the touch of a button. (Actually, I made the last two up and the first three are really called "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport Plus".) The same then applies to the steering firmness, the throttle response, and the gearshift program. It's all quite intuitive, I worked it out without any help from the dealership, and you can save up to three different combinations for immediate recall. One of the three is the default that applies when you start up, and the other two are available from the M1 or M2 buttons on the steering wheel. It makes a real difference to the drive, and is a Good Thing in the context of a car that is doing a Jekyll & Hyde act like the M5 - taking me home when I'm knackered and want to go to bed, popping to the shops with a spouse at the wheel while her car is in for service, and then turning on the taps when it's a nice day and I'm up for some fun. It means you can set the default to be quite gentle, and have the supercar back when you want it.

The non-M-specific bits are all standard F25 5 series, of course. Coming from an E60, I'm impressed. The satnav looks a lot better, and the interior is very nice indeed. The dashboard layout is a thing of beauty, I could stare at it for hours. Master P also tells me the back seat is a lot more comfy than our E60.

Problems? Well, it's been damp today, which has meant getting off the line is a problem. The rears spin ridiculously easy; the car could do with having the engine at the rear, really,... like a proper car :grin:... Seriously, I suspect the bill for tyres is going to be silly. If you buy one, buy some shares in your preferred tyre supplier as well, at least you'll get something back then. And on the subject of bills, the answer to your other question is "17mpg, so far".

But that is nitpicking. This really is a fantastic car. I commend it to you all, unreservedly.

And now, if you will excuse me, I have a pointless journey to make.

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oh.

my.

god.

not jealous much! not many people get a F10 M5 for 24hrs spankathon! :jump:

erm.... where are the photos? :grin:

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spankathon ..... what a fab word +++

Have to say Patently, the journey home after collecting ours was one of "feck this car is F A S T" as we both giggled ... enjoy it. The need for speed becomes a want :D

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No, had an E60 M5 til about a year ago ..... plenty giggly for me +++

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Ah yes, I knew that, just thought you were announcing something else! :roflmao:

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Think we've had enough excitement for this week ...... :jump:

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erm.... where are the photos? :grin:

Working on that, Mr B. +++

Just got back from a night drive. My word, it is a beautiful cabin. Little lights here & there to pick out the design features, it should be tacky but it isn't.

I dropped in to see one of my favourite twisty roads, popped it into M2, which was set up as "comfort" for the steering & suspension and "sport plus" for the throttle, knocked it into manual, and went for it.

I love this car. Oh, I love this car.

I am going to be a very upset bunny at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

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Some night photos...

Lurking on the drive with intent:

post-6686-137914481635_thumb.jpg

Ready to go:

post-6686-137914481638_thumb.jpg

Out & about:

post-6686-137914481631_thumb.jpg

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Sad face. I had to give it back. :(

The drive to work is usually 80% motorway/dual carriageway. I kept darting off onto the side roads, I couldn't help it. It made me do it. It wants to be spanked. Yes, it wants it, it's asking me to do this to it, constantly. It's been a naughty car, it needs to be spanked, it deserves to be spanked.

It's a very naughty car. But I love it.

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The one I sat in at my dealer was a very nice place to be but I love the dash at night.

Epic car and 17mpg isn't shabby either as I expect, from your "Eyes Wide Shut" post above, that it wasn't driven to preserve its petrol!

Thanks for the write up. All we need now is for you to confirm when yours is being delivered and we can have a long term test.

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Great review, I particularly liked the 'whispering Tom Jones' +++

Serious Q: more fun than the Caterham ?

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I'm seriously tempted by an old M5, not sure what body shape it's called, but the one they had on Wheeler Dealers the other night.

5.0 V8 jobbie, serious bargain!

Sadly I'm going to have to buy the Mrs a new motor before I even think about any new wheels for myself!

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The 5L V9 was the E39 model (produced till about 2003 I think). Serious bit of kit - quite conservative looking too:

M5LM1.jpg

Prices seem a little all over the place though - 13.5k for this beast to 31k for this one. That one only has 8k miles on it though to be fair, so it's hardly run in.

Awesome machines, and as you say, an utter bargain.

Personally I was so, so close to falling for an E60. That V10 is just a thing of aural beauty.

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All we need now is for you to confirm when yours is being delivered

If I can, I will. Seriously. It is one magnificent car.

Serious Q: more fun than the Caterham ?

Different fun. Not especially more, certainly not less. Just different.

The M5 is a thing of luxury, see. It has a roof and doors and a heater.

Personally I was so, so close to falling for an E60. That V10 is just a thing of aural beauty.

Oddly, I didn't fall for the E60. I spent a day in that one, too, and couldn't get excited enough about it to justify the cost, the fuel, the tyres....

The F10, I did.

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I lined up a test drive in the F10, only for them to not have one. I'm guessing my Bank is pleased anyway.

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The new instrument displays on all the BMW's is a vast improvement.

The 5 GT has got the 7 series dash, the M5 and 5-series, the 6 series, they all look fantastic now. The clarity of them is superb and most of the cockpits are a work of art on a night-time. I think they've upped their game on interiors dramatically over the last 2 years.

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I lurve the E39s, but aren't they stupid money to service etc? Otherwise, complete Wolf in sheep's clothing. Sounds like they've gone back to this winning formula.

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Anything with ///M on it will rape your wallet come servicing time I think :roflmao:

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Anything with ///M on it will rape your wallet come servicing time I think :roflmao:

Part of a continuing process from the point of purchase onwards, I suspect. In 24 hours I must have taken at least a millimetre off their tyres, and they weren't cheap skinny things. Add on the £77 I spent on petrol and which upped the car's range by about 250 miles, and it's not just the car that is getting spanked.

Where do I sign up? :grin:

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I lined up a test drive in the F10, only for them to not have one. I'm guessing my Bank is pleased anyway.

I remember that.:roflmao:

Didn't he offer you a drive in something else? :roflmao:

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Yeah, the previous edition V10 M5. Dumb as, like you'd order a 75k car based on a test drive of the previous and completely different model?

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E39 that's the one, those prices are a bit optimistic, it's a buyers market, and decent cars are well below 10k, I've seen them as low as 6k, but spending around 8 will bag a decent one with full history, sensible mileage etc.

I still think its one of BMW's best designs too, timeless looking car.

Seriously tempted.

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I once had a bit of an interesting encounter with an E39 M5 in my E46 M3 Coupe. Mine was about 3 months old - the M5 was a good 2-3 years old.

Not much in it at all on a straight road.

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