When a man spends over a million Rands on a sedan, know this about the car. It’s extremely fast, packed with features and can launch itself from 0 – 100km in less than five seconds. Know this about the man, he either drives it himself or has somebody drive it for him. You may find it astonishing that somebody would want to be chauffeured in the back of a performance sedan.
Well in the office, George prefers to be driven while I would much rather test a car to its limits and see what I’m working with. I’ve always been curious to find out what pleasure one gets from sitting in the back seat of their own car. I have asked this question many times, with no solid reason as to why. George hasn’t quite given a compelling response to this question either. He’s mumbled something about being too busy to drive, I’m certain he can’t remember his actual reason because of late he’s been speaking about driving himself and speed quite often. I have a suspicion this is because of the BMW 5 series we had on test previously.
So when BMW invited us to the launch of their new M5 at the Kyalami race track, I was beaming with excitement at the thought of finally getting behind the wheel of this legend. Secondly, time permitting, I was going to perform a quick survey on seating preferences. The results of the survey will be shared.
At first glance this car doesn’t really scream performance, it has an understated quality about its look. The four-pipe exhaust system and M5 badges on the side air vents and grille are what gives you a clear indication that this is no ordinary car. A few of you might be disappointed by the fact that a sunroof is not available as an option. However, chances of somebody opting out of owning this car because of a sunroof are zero to none, it makes up for the lack of sunroof by way of speed, elegance, agility, looks and like every other BMW ever made, it has loads of street cred!!!
On the inside one would swear that an interior designer was commissioned to put it together. It feels much bigger from what you see from outside and for those who care, the back seat is fitted with two screens mounted on the front headrests. It has a lot of leg room too and there’s aircon.
The front of the car is a different experience altogether; the options are plenty enough to keep one entertained before turning it on. In the center is a console which has the intuitive iDrive system, from where the driver is able to personalize the car to suit their style, ranging from interior lighting options, sound and also driving preferences. For those who are not really inclined to personalize their driving experience, the standard sports and sports plus modes are available to hit the tarmac.
How does one describe the driving experience? Incredible is the best place to start, the car has a grunt of note. Turning the engine on is an absolute dream to listen to, an eagerness to put on the pedal overcomes you immediately. I was honestly puzzled by the performance, how BMW has managed to maintain its track capabilities is genius. Technically speaking a car that heavy, with the all-wheel M – Xdrive technology which delivers power to each wheel as required, should not be able to handle corners with such precision, but it does. It took only 12 seconds from standstill to hit the 200km/h mark and it achieved 100km/h in four seconds.
What was pleasantly surprising was the Ms’ ability to brake, for a car its size to be able to come to a halt from such great speeds is nothing short of miraculous, yet it does so consistently and with confidence.
The new M5 holds a Guinness World Record for the longest drift ever performed. The record had been previously set at just over 144 km of drifting, BMW being the amazing people they are, pulled off a 374-kilometer drift in under 8 hours. Proof of this can be found on Youtube. As promised, the survey results came in and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of driving yourself as opposed to being chauffeured. George might need to reconsider his stance, not that it’s going to take much more to convince him
BMW’s new M5 will set you back a cool R1 762 806, with the first edition coming in at R2 008 700. All five first editions destined for South Africa have already been delivered to their owners.
Here’s some free advice on what to do when you see the new M5 on the road behind you.
4,4 litre V8 bi – turbo engine.
0 – 100km/h 3,4 seconds (claimed)
0 – 200km/h 11,1 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed 250km/h (the M drivers package option increases this to 305km/h)
Writer: Ashley Moetlo