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Roadfly Magazine
Chip Foose, Scion tC, VW Phaeton, Mothers, Lidatek, Ultimate Ears
Issue Sixteen
February 25, 2005
Chip Foose & The OverHaulin' Crew
Seven Cars to Watch for 2005
Mothers® Waxes Polishes Cleaners
2005 Scion tC
2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12
Lidatek LaserECHO LE-30 Laser Jammer
Ultimate Ears:
In-ear Monitors
Porsche Cayman
Spy Photos
Coming Next Issue
Geneva Auto Show
Porsche 911 S
Spring Cleaning
Hot Lap
Seven Cars to Watch in 2005:
Quick Reviews & Previews (continued)

2006 BMW M5 - big wheels, big brakes, big motor, big fun

Aggressive fascias give the BMW M5 a menacing look

BMW M5 Traditional quad-exhuasts expel the gases from a 500 hp motor

2006 BMW M5 in blue - we love it

Official Web site:
2006 BMW M5

Any new M-series car from BMW is an event in the automotive enthusiast's world. Schoolboys fantasize, potential buyers start reworking budgets, and automotive journalists like ourselves become giddy with anticipation of our upcoming test-drives. Among the entire M line, and indeed among sports sedans in general, it is perhaps the M5 that inspires the most such passion.

Five hundred horsepower are on tap from the V10 in this machine, although you must press a button to access the last hundred. Yes, the M5 is engineered to run on 'only' 400 horses under normal operation. Simply marked "Power," the magic button is located next to the shifter, and summons the extra battalion of equines via remapped intake and valvetrain settings. This technology, and the engine itself, is entirely new and presently exclusive to the M5. It displaces five liters, and while naturally aspirated, it makes use of nearly every power-making trick in the modern engineer's book. BMW claims the sprint to sixty mph takes 4.7 seconds, with a governed top speed of 155 mph.

The sole transmission is BMW's Sequential Manual Gearbox, essentially a manual with a robotically-operated clutch. Seven forward speeds are on tap in this complex apparatus, with several different settings to control the automatic function's shift speed and timing. You can also shift for yourself via the stubby console-mounted lever or paddles behind the wheel. Mourn the absence of a conventional stick-shift all you like (and those who appreciate smooth gearchanges will), but none is nor will be available. The disappointment is mitigated somewhat by the clever Launch Control function, which allows for effortless perfect takeoffs.

Three suspension settings are available--comfort, normal and sport. The adjustable system allows for a comfortable ride in this machine, which is otherwise capable of nearly flat 1g cornering. Everything is stiffened, strengthened and engineered for maximum performance in this car. The size and solidity of the suspenders are matched by the upgraded brakes, with drilled rotors measuring almost 15 inches in diameter. The standard 5-series' active steering and anti-roll bars are eliminated, as are the run-flat tires, in the interest of handling perfection.

The interior features upgrades to the seats and gauges, as well as two optional configurations--a leather-and-wood setup or a more sporting aluminum-themed scheme. Otherwise, it's the same 5-series interior that we've come to enjoy as one of the most sporting in the midsize class.

The exterior follows the same formula of subtle modifications suggesting the more purposeful mission of the M5, overlaid upon an already attractive foundation. You'll notice a bigger air dam, revised front and rear fascias, and exclusive cooling slots in the front fenders.

The appeal of the M5 has always been that of a car that provides the most thrilling drive possible with four doors. It is the car that can get four of your colleagues to that meeting in style and elegance--and easily turn "five minutes late" into "ten minutes early." This new edition is the best of the bunch, with power and handling that was heretofore unheard of, even for owners of previous M5s.

BMW also showed an all-wheel-drive 5-series, which should broaden the appeal of the 5-series line even further. True enthusiasts, however, won't even notice that 530x--once you spot the M5 on the lot, anything and everything else on your mind vaporizes like the rear tires during a hard launch. And with good reason--driving the '05 M5 promises pure, unadulterated bliss. This is the sedan for Ferrari owners who must, on occasion, shuttle the kids around. This is the car for the CEO who secretly wishes he was still racing go-karts after school. This is, quite simply, the sedan to trump all others.

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