In the great pantheon of super-saloons, there is one car that is responsible for giving rise to the entire segment. Ze Germans without a doubt make some of the world’s finest super-saloons, luxurious four door sedans that carry a velvet wrapped ballistic missile under the hood, topped with a dollop of technological whipped cream. Bahn-burners like the Audi RS6, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, and Porsche Panamera Turbo all come to the fight with their own blend of power, luxury and special-ness, but they don’t carry the same heritage or brutality of this particular car. The rest of the world tries to compete as well: the Italians have the Maserati Quattroporte, the English have the Aston Martin Rapide, and the ‘Mericans have the Cadillac CTS-V. They are all excellent cars in their own right, but this car continues to stand above the rest. What is it? The BMW M5.
This particular iteration, the E60, is legendary in it’s own right, even if it was a flawed machine. It’s 5-liter V10 developed over 500 horsepower in “M” mode, would rev to a stratospheric 8,250 rpms, and had an exhaust howl that would send chills down your spine. Big vented brakes fill the 10-spoke wheels, and quad exhaust tips protrude from what is, quite frankly, a rather bulbous and unsightly rear end. Spotted at the Gold’s Gym in Manchester, this car’s owner plans on driving it through the winter (after fitting it with snow tires), which should make for an entertaining few months. Imagine sitting at a stoplight on an empty snow covered road, 500 horsepower at your disposal, and pinning it when the light turns green. Rooster tails, screaming engine, and zero forward progress would abound.
While Top Gear’s car reviews tend to be deeply biased an heavily opinionated, they do make for damn entertaining television, and every once in a while they seem to be spot on with a car’s character. Such is the case with Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the M5 from a few years back. Check out the two part video below on the E60, and enjoy Jezza at his finest.
So yes, while the gearbox is clunky, the sat nav woman is annoying, and it looks like it hit every branch of the ol’ ugly tree on the way down, it is an epic car with an epic, wailing, sonorous engine. To see what the next generation car will look like, grab a copy of the most recent Car & Driver magazine and check out the 2013 M5 that will be hitting our shores in the next year or so. In the meantime, be sure to look for this silver M5 whipping about on snowy Manchester roads this season, and wish you were behind the wheel.