Okay, I admit it. I closed my eyes. I closed them so tight I thought tears would stream from each side of my eyelids and drip down into my lap. I’m scared. I’ve been foot-to-the-floor for under a minute when from nowhere an old Fiat pulls out of a junction in front of me. My closing speed is ferocious.
He’s traveling at barely 10 mph and I’ve been accelerating through the dark side of 165 mph. In slow motion... I slam the brake pedal to the floor and brace my arms. The nose of the car is practically head butting the ground as the huge brakes attempt to scrub off gargantuan speeds. If I had an anchor, I would have thrown it out the back. Moments before impact I have nothing left to do but close my eyes—tight.
Then something truly unbelievable happens. The car finds its footing and we’re hauled to a sickening stop with incredible force. My head flings forward. My wallet, phone, maps and water smash against the windscreen—such is the ferocity of our return to earthly speeds.
Imagine Wyle E. Coyote as he crashes full speed into a brick wall and you’re close. We stop with twenty meters to spare. Unlike the driver, the car was always in control. Once again, I’ve underestimated the ability of the hardest, meanest, most focused BMW on the planet. Welcome to the world of the M5.
The new BMW M5 is a wickedly easy car to misjudge. Before our epic 1,500-mile, three-day blast along the length of the United Kingdom, I was a little disappointed. After all, the M5 looks like any other 5-Series. Spec up your 530i and you could have the same body kit, the same style of wheels, even the same interior. After all the stories of its immense ability, that monstrous power and Ferrari-beating performance, I somehow expected it to shout about it a little more—to be special.
There are little hints though, if you look carefully. Set into the wings just behind the front wheels are unique M-Sport vents, the wheel arches are blistered slightly to squeeze in the huge ten-spoke, 19-inch alloy wheels and wider track, and four tailpipes poke out like jet exhausts from the back bumper. Then again, sitting still is not really the M5’s thing.