When the first BMW M5 was introduced, back in 1984, it was the fastest production sedan in the world, largely hand-built on the same chassis as the 535 but given the modified M1 engine under the hood.
Time and again, each generation of M5 has gotten a bit more powerful and a bit faster, gen-two featuring a straight six engine and, in 1998, the third generation getting a V-8. It seemed like BMW would have a hard time topping the 2004 remake, with its superb V-10. And complicating the challenge: a steady stream of new offerings from Audi and Mercedes-Benz AMG that have stretched the limits of performance beyond what once seemed possible in all but the most exotic supercars.
But BMW has given no signs of retreating. Barely a month ago, TheDetroitBureau.com got its first look at the fifth-generation BMW M5 out on the Laguna Seca Raceway. (For that report, Click Here.) Sadly, it was a static display, the Bavarians tantalizing us with some impressive numbers but letting us wait until now to get behind the wheel.
Which is precisely, finally what we had a chance to do this week – though this time at Europe’s Ascari Race Resort, a beautiful and technically challenging race track which features plenty of bends and a long straight that seemed perfectly suited to the latest offering to wear the legendary BMW M badge.