Bavar­ian bar­bar­ian

Uber sports sedan mixes su­per­car and limou­sine and shows what BMW can do when it feels like it

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

WHEN ea­ger suit­ors grab a hand­ful they’ll of­ten earn a smack in the mouth.

The anal­ogy also ap­plies to BMW’s M5.

The big Beemer mixes near­su­per­car per­for­mance with limou­sine-style com­fort to be one of the quick­est five-seat sedans on the mar­ket.

Just don’t ex­pect to mis­treat it with­out pro­vok­ing a se­ri­ous re­ac­tion.

VALUE

At $229,900 the M5 is a stealth mis­sile. Mercedes-Benz’s E63 AMG S is quicker to 100km/h but it is also $249,545. The $20K dif­fer­ence is a few op­tion boxes in this el­e­vated level of pres­tige per­for­mance mo­tor­ing but it still means the Beemer earns the ini­tial points.

Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes lane-change warn­ing soft­ware that vi­brates the wheel if the driver veers over the white line, 16-speaker Har­manKar­don sound sys­tem, sur­round-view cam­era, adap­tive cruise con­trol, four­zone air­con and sun­roof.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The 4.4-litre tur­bocharged V8 is mated to a seven-speed du­al­clutch auto.

A raft of driver-ad­justable set­tings for steer­ing, ac­cel­er­a­tor and sus­pen­sion damp­ing in­puts keep the M5 ham­mer­ing no mat­ter the road or me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

The com­pe­ti­tion pack­age is now stan­dard as part of the midlife up­date, mean­ing 423kW/680Nm is just wait­ing to erupt.

The head-up dis­play is a mul­ti­coloured ready-reck­oner that en­ables the driver to keep both eyes on the road ahead. It shows speed, warn­ing sym­bols and sat­nav-di­rected turns in an in­stan­ta­neously recog­nis­able for­mat that only the be­fud­dled or in­ept can fail to recog­nise.

DE­SIGN

Overt men­ace isn’t the M5’s forte. It sports a pair of catingest­ing front air ducts and a dis­creet M5 badge on the vented front quar­ter panel, along with arch-fill­ing 20inch wheels and a sub­tle side-spoiler kit.

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