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  • BUYING GUIDE BMW E60/1 M5 Saloon and Touring V10

    • votren911
    • Wednesday, September 16 2015
    • 0 Hits

    How to avoid the pitfalls when looking to buy the ultimate super saloon. The E60 M5 is one of the world’s finest super saloons – read our comprehensive guide to what you need to know when buying.  The last naturally aspirated M5 can be an absolute joy to drive but it can also dole out some very big bills too. Here we look at how to buy one without getting your fingers burnt Words: Bob Harper & Andy Everett. Photography: BMW, Max Earey, Dom Fraser. With just about any M car purchase comes two things; pleasure and pain. The former will hopefully outweigh the latter, but when contemplating buying or running an M Car you really need to go into it with your eyes wide open – buying the wrong car can be a very painful experience indeed. And that’s doubly true for the E60 generation M5 and when contemplating the V10-engined monster one can’t help but think of those lines from Henry Longfellow’s poem: “When she was good; She was very good indeed; But when she was bad she was horrid.” Chasing down the redline in an E60 M5 is automotive nirvana and something that everyone should experience at least once but contemplating the potential bills that the car can throw up will have your bank manager waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. When the V10-engined beast arrived in the UK’s showrooms in May 2005 it was like no other M5 before it in that it had taken complication to a whole new level. For starters there was that F1-inspired V10, a sequential manual gearbox (SMGIII) with far too many different modes, electronically adjustable dampers and a power button to unleash the car’s full performance potential. The 4999cc V10 developed a very healthy 507hp at a stratospheric 7750rpm but its torque output was a somewhat less attention-seeking 384lb ft developed at a high 6100rpm. Performance was as impressive as you’d expect with the 0-62mph dash dispatched in just 4.7 seconds on its way to a standing kilometre time of 22.7 seconds – that latter figure being particularly impressive and only just eclipsed by the current F10 generation machine. If its performance was sensational so was its thirst and there’s no doubt the M5 could have gone toe-totoe with Oliver Reed on one of his most impressive benders. The official combined figure was a lacklustre 19.1mpg but its urban figure of just 12.4mpg hints at how bad it could be and perhaps the main criticism was that it didn’t really matter how gently you drove it you were unlikely to see anything significantly over 20mpg. Couple that with the standard E60’s 70-litre fuel tank and long journeys could be monotonously interrupted by having to stop for fuel. But once you’d driven an M5 you could forgive its drinking habit as like every generation of M5 it did so many things so well. That it was otherworldly fast was a given, but it wasn’t all about straightline speed as it had a wonderful handling balance that rewarded the keen driver and with all that power on tap the car had a good adjustable cornering attitude – switch the DSC off and it was capable of some lurid but beautifully controlled power slides if that was your thing. Drive it in a more responsible fashion and it had huge reserves of grip and was capable of crossing counties in a blink of an eye on the back roads, yet if you wanted to be cosseted on the return leg it would happily schlep down the motorway in comfort mode and bar the economy would behave like any other E60. Like every M5 before it you got an eminently practical four-door shell that could accommodate a family and its luggage and it was equally happy pottering to the shops as it was chasing apices. The car’s exterior design followed the typical M5 practise of subtle but meaningful additions to the standard Five’s shell – enough for it to be spotted by enthusiasts but subtle enough to pass under the radar for those not too immersed in the minutiae o ...

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