TG Speed Week: the Scotland Showdown
We’ve got two days in Scotland to reach a definitive verdict on our favourite performance car. Time to loch and load...
Posted: 31 Aug 2012
SP: Ah, the M5. Turbos and all, I expected the BMW to be a bit... muted. It isn't. That V8 is monstrous. Drop a couple of gears for an overtake, and you're clubbed down the road. I thought it'd run out of power by 5,000rpm, but it keeps pulling like a Shinkansen train. Why is anyone pining for that old V10?
OM: It's a mighty engine, but the M5 troubles me. It's a bit of a thug. The big dog of the group. It requires the whole road. It has fat seats. Technically, it's a mighty accomplishment, but really wind it up, and you sense it struggle, making a valiant but doomed attempt to keep under control. Earlier today, heading from one heaven-sent chunk of scenery to the next, I was ‘making progress' in the M5, as those police pursuit drivers put it. When we stopped, Editor Turner was raving how wonderful the drive had been in the Radical. Not for me. The M5 doesn't fully connect. It stomps around too heavily.
SP: You don't half feel its weight when you get hard on the brakes. Bringing the M5 to a swift halt is like trying to coax a moon into an emergency stop. But it destroyed everything else on the drive up here. It's the sort of car that dispatches 500 miles in the gentlest of yawns.
OM: It's too big for Scotland. The M5 is good at skids, good at speed, good at office-car-park one-upmanship, but a bit blurry round the edges. I could level the same criticism at the Focus.