Caught in the classiifieds: 2011 BMW M5
I donít know what it is about BMWs, but I canít seem to stop featuring them in our weekly ďCaught in the ClassifiedsĒ section. Last week it was a Z4M, and the week before that I highlighted a gorgeous E46 M3. This time around, Iím highlighting a car thatís been dubbed Ďthe supercar killerí.
When BMW unveiled the E28 M5 to the world back in 1984, people thought everyone at the company had completely taken leave of their senses. Powered by a 3.5-litre straight-six producing 282 horsepower, the M5 was a ballistic missile back in its day. It could trump most Ferraris and Porsches with ease, all the while providing ample amounts of comfort and space for four adults and their luggage. It was, by most measures, a supercar slayer.
Fast forward two generations later, and you end up at the F10-generation M5. Making its debut in 2010, it is the successor to the now-iconic E60 M5. Because of how polarizing the E60 M5 was, BMW went an entirely different route altogether with the F10. This particular example I found on our site has just 42,000 miles on the clock and itíll set you back just over £23,000. I did manage to find cheaper M5s online, but most had 100,000 miles or more. If you want an F10 M5, this is how you do it: a looked-after, low-mileage example that you can enjoy every day. The only question now is, is the F10 actually any good?
If you want the fastest car money can buy without attracting ANY attention, just get yourself an F10 M5. As far as cars that can fly under the radar go, the M5 definitely reigns supreme. Itís the definition of a Q-car to a tee. Apart from car geeks and enthusiasts, regular people arenít able to distinguish an M5 from a lowly 520dÖ for the most part.
Look at it from any angle other than the rear, and the M5 is a surprisingly understated package. Okay, it does have an aggressive front bumper with massive air intakes, but truth be told itís not that different to what youíd find on a regular 5-Series with the M-Package. I do love the front fascia, but I donít think itís nearly as aggressive as an F80 BMW M3 or even the much-newer BMW M2. I do think the F10 has aged a lot more gracefully than the E60, but I realize thatís a purely subjective opinion.
Apart from the M-bespoke wheels and the quad-exhaust setup at the rear, nothing else screams M-car on the F10. De-badge the exterior and people might be fooled into thinking itís just an M-Package F10 (minus the ridiculous exhausts obviously). That being said, I personally love how understated this car is yet how gorgeous it is. I think itíll withstand the test of time far better than its predecessor, the E60.
In terms of interior quality, the F10 is heads and shoulders above the E60. Donít get me wrong, the E60 has a decent cabin, but itís starting to show its age. There are plenty of rattles and squeaks, and as much as I hate to say it, the E60ís build quality is inferior to that of the F10ís. Having been fortunate enough to spend time in both an E60 and a late-year F10, I can definitively say the newer car is the better place to spend time in.
The F10 is a large step-up in terms of cabin space as well. The second row feels a good several inches more spacious than that of the E60, and because the car is slightly wider, rear passengers have more shoulder room too. Comparing infotainment systems between the E60 and the F10 is like comparing a broom and a vacuum cleaner. They both technically do the same job, but the former feels extremely outdated.
I will say that while the seats are better in the F10 by a large margin, the steering wheel feels too big and chunky. I actually prefer the E60ís steering wheel because it feels more manageable and easier to throw around.
Engine and Performance
The old E60 is powered by a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V10, producing a sonorous noise to rival that of any Ferrari or Lamborghini. Codenamed ĎS85í, it was BMWís first V10 engine and an engine whose initial design was inspired by Williamsí F1 racing programme at the time. As glorious as it sounds, the S85 is not a reliable engine by any stretch of the imagination.
For the F10 generation M5 then, BMW needed to extract more power out of the engine but do so while adding reliability. That only meant one thing: turbocharging. As a result, the F10ís 4.4-litre V8 is noticeably smaller than the S85, but because it has a pair of turbochargers bolted to its block, itís good for 553 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque.
As you can probably imagine, performance figures are of the slightly-insane variety: a 4.2 seconds sprint to 62 mph and a 190 mph top speed with the optional M Driverís pack fitted (that speed is still electronically limited by the way). Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, although the F10 was also available with a six-speed manual in the United States.
The E60 had a masterpiece of an engine (reliability issues aside) but the chassis never felt like it could cope with the V10 fitted upfront. The F10 is a different beast altogether. Not only will it run rings around an E63 AMG of the era, but it will even annihilate an RS6 on everything bar a soaking-wet B-road.
Model: BMW M5 (F10)
Why buy one
With the latest F90 M5, BMW stepped away from DCT gearboxes and instead opted for a ZF auto. While I adore the ZF auto and think itís one of the best automatics ever made, the F10ís DCT has it licked when it comes to shifting times and response. The new F90 features an AWD system too, whereas the F10 is RWD only. Yes, I know you can technically disable the front axle on the F90 and make it RWD, but that would require you turn off the systems altogether.
I think people will remember the F10 as one of the last Ďtrueí M5s ever made. The newest F90 is technically the better car in every measurable way, but the F10 is a bit more raw and unfiltered. As far as M5s go, the F10 will surely be remembered as one of the all-time greats. Get your hands on one by heading to DesperateSeller.co.uk where we have a massive selection of used BMW M5 cars for sale.
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 8.5 out of 10