The BMW M5 can be seen as a cathedral dedicated to the maximum
representation of what a car can be. Traditional in its three-volume sedan
body-style and practical with its ample legroom and comfy seats, it has
always been the take-no prisoners Autobahn interceptor. It has always been
agile and devastatingly quick in both straights and corners, making it the
perfect petrol-maniac go-anywhere vehicle.
The big ole “5” has always been the perfect example of what happens when
you give engineers a blank sheet of paper and the liberty to mix contrasting
elements in the most harmonious way. It’s like composing music uniting
power and melody in the same song: the M5 has always stood as a symbol
for supercar-like performance with estate practicality.
When the first E28 M5 was introduced in 1984, a revolution happened:
almost nothing like it existed, a German saloon which could outrun most
sportscars of the time, and not just between the twisties. It was a real
cornerstone in history: the thrill of proper driving, made usable every day.
Over the years the generations of this magnificent car improved and always
made a point in defining the genre. Now, with the sixth generation, namely
the F90, offers even more than before: the M XDrive four wheel drive
system and an ever-more potent twin turbo V8. Facts also tell that the new
M5 can be used as a two wheel drive vehicle as well, thanks to the
selectable drive system. If this was already impressiv to you, now there’s a
new version in town, the Competition, which in plain BMW lexicon
translates into “more of everything”. Just when you thought that you didn’t
need more power, here comes a new brute churning out 25 hp more and
with suspension lowered by 7 mm: two tonnes have never felt so agile.
The Competition is indeed the best BMW M5 you can buy, and the easisest
way to enjoy your power-derangement-syndrome anywere you want. X
Drive means you can drive on the snow too, and since we do not have yet
the luxury of choosing the ideal season for a proper test, we took this
indeed excellent piece of fine German steel to Austria. Why to Austria? It’s simple. Passion for cars knows no borders and seasons, so no problem then: -20 degrees celsius and we were off to Zell am See for the Ice Race, an event where great cars are raced on ice and snow.
The M5 it is the quintessential “Cathedral of Speed”, meaning that you can
take it anywhere, from a long journey in the frozen mountains to the
racetrack and this is exactly what we did and we proved our point. Go
anywhere, faster than ever, savouring every second, cocooned inside a
temple that will satisfy your lust for power at your wish. There’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying the view out of the screen, with the landscape gently passing by at more than 280 km/h. What’s more interesting is how easy you can throw the M5 Competition between the corners with no major concerns. In a way, it feels like driving an overly powered and enlarged Lancer Evo: can you think of a better compliment for a car this size? The behaviour on the road is very clever as it lets you hoon around safely: power is contained rather than abruptly cut and the momentum is easy to maintain without fear of crashing. Fun seems to be a long lost recipe in the car world: exhilaration should last after straights end and true driving is possible in the M5. The Ice race is perhaps the most representative event for the spirit of this car: passion never freezes as it is a warm embrace in for everyone who loves cars.