The BMW M5: Why I Became a Car Enthusiast
I have always admired cars. Many people can simply admire them without loving them. Many people will say, "oh, that car looks really pretty." Or, "that car looks like it is making a face." Or even still, "that car makes a nice noise." And these things all may be true.
But there has to be more to loving cars, right? Well, I sure think so.
The E60 M5
I first laid eyes on one of these when I was about seven. Now, I'd certainly seen BMWs before, but I knew from the minute I saw one that this car was special. I'm not entirely sure what gave it away. Perhaps it was the graceful, athletic look. Or, perhaps it was the shape of the headlight enclosure and the way that it swoops upwards before turning into a character line that runs along the length of the side profile. Or, perhaps it was the four exhaust pipes. Or, perhaps it was the noise from the exhaust. It was probably the noise of that V10 singing its song as I watched from the back of mom's Volvo S60 as that M5 peeled away from the red light. Regardless of how I recognized it, the car was definitely special. This was way before I ever learned that the engine even was a V10, and probably before I knew what V10 even meant. This was before I ever learned that the V10 powering that M5 is a close derivative of the V10 from one of BMW's F1 cars at the time. That just makes it so much more endearing.
In fact, if money were no object and the engines weren't known for blowing up, I'd probably own one today.
The F10 M5
This generation of M5 is one that I probably would own, again given that money was no object. My neighbor had a 2011 535i, which was my first introduction to the F10 generation. Even though the F10 M5 gained weight, gained two turbochargers, but lost two cylinders, my love for the M5 did not waver. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the M5 also retained its hydraulically assisted steering setup. I was blown away by the fact that it could do 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, even if the many reviews of it often pointed to duller driving dynamics. I still loved the car, and still hoped that one would occupy my driveway someday.
The F10 M5. The continuation of a love affair.
The F90 M5
At this point, you already know that I love the M5. Even though this one strays even farther away from the E60 M5 that one lit my heart ablaze, it still captivates me...but for a different reason. Car and Driver recorded a 0-60 mph run of just 2.8 seconds for the standard 2018 M5, which is just behind the 0-60 time of another personal favorite: the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus. When Jeremy Clarkson drag raced the M5 against an AMG GT S, I grew even more enamored by it. But I think he said it best when he described the M5 as a machine that could "seat five businessmen in the middle" while also being "Ferrari fast."
This generation of M5 is the one that would not only occupy a spot in my driveway, but is also a car that I would be fine driving for the rest of my life. Yes, that's how much esteem I hold for the F90 M5. If I could own just one car for my entire life, it would be the F90 M5. Although in that scenario, I'd probably have to spring for the M5 Competition.
The car I'd be happy owning for the rest of my life.