First glance at the F10 M5, and you might not be up for a second look mistaking it to be any other BMWs you see every day on your way to office. The new BMW M5 does not look very different than the 5 series and would go unmistakably unnoticed by a person who just would just know Arey dekho! Yeh toh BMW hain! Yes, the Bavarian breed is pretty popular now in India and has a predecessor to the cult E60 V10 M5. The BMW M5 boasts a very punchy 4.4 liter 560 BHP V8 and manages to look mean with really sporty exteriors. The transmission is now a 7-speed dual clutch with loads of buttons connected to it with options of the high-adrenaline manual-shift mode.
The F10 M5 is the fastest thing you would find among four door saloons. I mean, 560 whooping BHP! That is a lot of power! I was excited and quite frankly nervous while reading the spec sheet. Getting near the modest looking beast with perfectly well engineered lines on its outer skin, I realized that a lot of attention would be gone in the inner soul as well. When you notice more keenly, everything about this car is unique. A unique dual-clutch transmission; and a unique electronic limited-slip differential with a unique aluminum horse-collar mount for added rigidity. There’s a unique suspension with forged aluminum components and does not share it with any of its other siblings. It is quite uniquely priced for the way it looks, but let me not spoil the fun by stating that fact. Let’s talk fun!
Everything about this car is fun, which is mainly shown by adding so much power into a four door super saloon; and you can invite your thrills to your family members as well; and the party does not stop until the electronically limited 250 km/h. Nil to 100, this car can do it in 4.4 seconds but I managed close to 5 sec, which could be quite a party for your family and obviously, to you. An engine as powerful as this which is just limited to just 250, I thought in my head. But then, wake up from the dream! Where can you take it more than even 200 here on these roads? And if you can afford a private aerodrome and a fun-witted-speed-hungry-brain, it can be increased to 305 km/h with the optional M-Drivers-Package. I am not too crazy about high speeds, but enjoy taking the car for a spin in full throttle at lower gears. With the acceleration of this car, all I can say is that it is really exciting. After glancing through all this theory, I finally decided to take this beast for a spin though not a short one. But before all that, there are some attractive things you will not fail to notice.
The first thing would be the Bavarian standard proud moustache grill, inviting you to soak up into the luxurious sports toy. BMW knows seduction, and with the BMW M5, seduction flows through all aspects of the car, including the design. The car is quite long but does not give you that feel once you are into the cockpit. The lines and shapes on the front and even at the rear end are muscular and beasty, giving a sense of power bulges. The exhaust outlets are distributed through four tailpipes and look classy from the rear end. Night driving was bliss even in the rainy weather leaving me with a great deal of gratitude towards the Bi-Xenon projectors which were super clear. On a general note, I like the distinct plain styling of the M5, which isn’t too fancy from the outside, while it performs much more than just serving its purpose.
The front bumpers are more like silicone-implants, making the overall car look sharper, hotter and new. The fit and finish of the parts is truly astonishing, giving you the perfect opportunity of noticing the long hood to BMW’s latest installment of the M5. The other eye catching element are the gorgeous wheels, with options of fitting 19” wheels and 20”s. Our test vehicle was fitted with 19” double spoke M Light alloys for amazing style and comfort. Despite the huge wheels on this sporty family car, the disk brakes still managed to look proportionate. With 15.7” and 15.6” disks at the rear, the brakes do justice to the capacity of the speeds this car can go. And also, the disks are huge! 15” is actually bigger than most of the wheels of many available small segment cars in India.
The BMW M5 has 117 mm of ground clearance, which was a little uncomfortable during some stretches, but was not too much of an issue to this baby. It had to be driven extra careful of course! Drive it like an SUV and you might need to keep the vehicle parked at the garage instead of your car park, most of the time. There aren’t too many competitors in this segment for the M5; except for Audi’s RS6 and Mercedes E63, which are getting quite old for the competition; and thus is the best time for BMW to show off.
The car weighs almost 2 tons (a couple of kilos lesser than that actually) and is a 560 BHP rear wheel driven civilized panther. That’s a crazy power to weight ratio, and it could be really stressful to the tires. At this point, I was only getting worried if I would reach point B at all, because the M5 does not include a spare tire in the boot. But getting into the car with all its welcoming luxury, really assured me that the M5 can handle all the serious business with ease.
Being a BMW, the F10 M5 never will give you a fleeting doubt of disappointment. You feel cocooned in a bubble of luxury with all those purposive buttons, almost everywhere! The key of the car however does not read ///M and feels a bit plasticy. There lies a small dock near the gear lever on the center console, where the key fits neatly into it.
Sitting on the 12 way adjustable seat; where the backrest can also tilt forward and backward into two individual parts, controlled by button under them; you will notice the soft-closing door function. In case you just rest the door to the closed position, the electronic motors will automatically pull the door and lock it up for you. That’s a Bentley feature on a BMW! It saves you the embarrassment or the inconvenience of opening back and closing the door, in case it doesn’t shut again. With the key in its place and the car switched on, you will notice the steering lowering and adjusting to your comfort. The pampering doesn’t just stop there. The side-bolsters of the seat move inwards and make sure you are in place, hugging you while you sit there grinning looking at the dash.
The instrument cluster is clear, classy and does not include any fancy designs, but does include the reason you need to grin more; the ///M symbol. There are four analog meters which show you the fuel, your speed (in km/h), the engine rpm and its temperature. One gorgeous thing that I liked in the instrument cluster is the split meter, which integrated digital and analog displays quite well. The digital metering shows you all other extra information, like your gear number, the range of this car can go ahead with the fuel you have and various other modes which isn’t too complicated to get used to.
The interiors are full black and you need to be careful especially during the rainy season. Well, when it’s a family sports car, your kids could get clumsy. The steering feels expensive and fits well in your hands; yet it did not manage to take off my attention over the fact that I was surrounded with so many buttons. The gear paddles are right behind the steering and they felt to be quite too close to the rim of the steering wheel. The best way to use the paddle shift is thus by putting your fingers behind it. It took a little time for me to get used to it, but then it was great. The paddles are actually in perfect position if you will be using it most of the time too. The other fascinating thing is what is connected to the paddles. With a perfect transmission box, it is a forever party to an enthusiast. The horn is easy and can be operated with just a firm thumb, which is not too common with many cars.
The drive is spectacular, especially due to the seat. They are amazingly comfortable and can be positioned not to give too much strain on your neck. The position sure does give a little difficulty around the bends, like stretching your head a little here and there, but then it is expected as this 2 ton (almost) monster is huge! There is an option of adaptive headlights available too, which are very helpful during twisty times. The car despite being wider than the 5 series; boasts a fair turning circle of 12.6 meters. It is mainly because the steering set-up is made for a set of wider tires and thus they restrict the turning amount at full lock. It can be challenging to make a standard U-turn on a 2-lane road to a 2-lane road in one go.
The car does the ordinary things quite extraordinarily; the leg room in the rear seats are not just for kids, and are as roomy as the 5-series, which is not a common thing on a car with this much BHP (550+!). More ordinary things can however be a pain. For example, switching this car off is one of the hardest tasks, if you would not read the user manual well enough. When you press the stop button, the read out says that the P mode is not engaged, which is not quite possible as there is no P mode for the gear lever. You need to release the brake pedal and press the stop button, which can again be a pain if you are on a slope. The last option would be to engage the handbrake and then switch off, and that is how it is done. Phew! It could be a tiring deal to learn how to switch off this monster. And then, the feature of auto-handbrake release when you move forward, is convenient during traffic; but could be a dangerous affair during certain times. There could be small glitches to live with, but also there is a lot more to gain when you own an M5.
One fact you must know before you buy a BMW, is that it is more of an electronic gadget and less of a mechanical-purist-envy-supercar. There are loads of gadgets and electronics features in the car and learning them is as important as learning how to drive a car in order to make the most. Near the gear lever, you will find 5 buttons surrounded, which make most of the difference in the drivability of the car. There are 3 different settings assigned for each of these buttons for changing driving settings of this car.
The ///M view Heads up Display (HUD) is a small display on the windshield which shows you your rpm, speed and the gear. The format is standard no matter which mode you are at, and is helpful to keep your focus on the road while knowing what is happening with the numbers. It was a tiny bit of a distracting feature, especially in the sunlight, when it reflects back on the dashboard.
On the steering wheel, there are 2 “M” settings, which are quite convenient and they function as memory settings. To activate the M mode, you need to short press M1 or M2 in which you can store the settings easily. You can even change the ESP settings in the M mode and to switch off the function, all you need to do is to short press it again. Depending on the mode, the car can be driven at any kind of setting you set it to. The M button works more like a memory function, where once you activate it, it goes nuts! The whole thing shivers when you press it. It is quite a rushing feeling. Wrong settings at wrong places and the car can manage to drive you instead of the other way round. This powerful car can be really crazy (If you keep the settings right).
There are three main modes, which are sorted by Efficient, which is strictly chauffer driven mode while you sit back in the roomy rear seat; Sport, which is an exciting mode and Sport Plus, for some more racing fun. There are several other helpful features like motorized boot which have two options; like closing the boot and closing the boot along with locking the car; very thoughtful, especially when you have to carry a lot of luggage from the boot. Side viewing cameras on the front bumpers also do justice to the long front-end the M5 bears.
After all, all pampering comes at a price; and the BMW M5 by the Bavarian engineers too does not compromise. Hold on to your breath as it could surprise you (Unless you googled the price out of curiosity before reaching to this part). The four door super car is available in India at Rs 116.8 lakhs (Ex-showroom- Delhi). You read it right. It costs a crore! And if you find that it’s expensive, think about all that the car offers to you. There isn’t any other car as powerful as this, which can drive your family around the Buddh Circuit and also manage to drive you to office in comfort, style and of course, extra fun!
This super car is an exciting outcome of what the company aims at: Sheer Driving Pleasure. It is pleasurable to drive, luxurious feeling and always alive with the excitement of a super sports car. The drive in the car is like no other and does not feel heavy despite its offering. The sound proofing is excellent and there is hardly any noise heard from the 4.4 liter 560 bhp V8 engine even at high revs. The gear ratios are short, exciting and also are versatile at low speeds. It is not task to keep the car running slow in city traffic or even at rapid accelerations on open stretches. The engine is beautifully tuned, but could stop you at a point if you are someone who constantly worries of the carbon emissions. During our test drive, the car managed to give 4-5 kmpl, which was indicated on the display.
You are wise if you are choosing over a BMW which is half the price of this, giving you double the fuel efficiency of this. The 5-series could be a more economical choice, but the M5 is an animal, always ready to pounce on anything that comes ahead of it. It truly is a beast in an angel’s attire. I wouldn’t be surprised if the apocalypse would begin once this car transforms into a giant robot like the transformers, for the amount of technology that is gone into this supercar. The new BMW M5 is a green signal from me; and if you plan to buy it, do make sure you read the user manual thoroughly before leaving the showroom.