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Broadcast dates : 4th September 2005
10th September 2005

BMWs M5 is one of those cars that has achieved "instant classic" status. The most-talked-about feature has been its V10 engine, developed by BMWs Motorsport division.

This is the first full-sized passenger car to use a V10, although Chrysler uses a truck-based engine of similar configuration in its Viper sports car.

Spotting an M5 on the road is not that easy, as the visual differences to a standard 5 Series sedan are quite subtle. 

There are the larger M5-specific wheels, the deeper front air-dam and larger radiator intakes, and the understated boot spoiler, M badges and quad exhausts.

But its the engine and chassis changes that really get the blood pumping.

The V10 engine note makes this M5 so special. And to contain the mega-power and torque outputs, the Beemer employs some very tricky hardware and software.

The M5 has power in abundance. The five-litre V10 produces 373 kiloWatts at an exultant 7750 rpm and 520 Newton metres of tyre shredding torque from low down in the rev range.

Opening the bonnet reveals a beautifully laid-out engine bay. BMW is aware that real enthusiasts delight in mechanical details, such as the symmetry of the dual air intake systems, one for each cylinder bank.

One mean machine the ultimate boy-toy!

But theres a lot more to the M5 than hard-edged performance.

Looks wise, the temptation to go the bee-bop, bold-and-brash route with the M5 exterior must have been strong. 

The fact that BMW has shown such visual restraint merely adds to the potency of the package.
But the M5 owner wont feel short-changed. Virtually every body panel on the car has been altered to celebrate the 5 Series, rather than overshadow lesser models.

The same goes for the interior. The architectural design, clean, mean look is intact, with sports-seats, sports-steering-wheel, paddle-shifts and sports gear-lever remaining true to the original essence of the range.

  • Engine V10- petrol, 4 999 cc
  • Power: 373 kW @ 7 750 rpm
  • Torque: 520 Nm @ 6 100 rpm
  • Transmission: seven speed SMG, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 4,64 seconds
  • Top speed: 261 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 15,2 litres/100 km (Car Magazine figures) 
  • Price: R850 000

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