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4395cc, V8 twin-turbo, RWD, 591bhp, 553lb ft
Claimed MPG:
26.9mpg, 241g/km CO2
0–62mph in 3.4secs, 155mph
£89,645/£101,900 as tested

Early morning at a petrol station, and the first time I’ve had to put 95 octane in. Had to – no super. No issue: it might prefer high octane, but the manual says it’ll cope with 91. In went the 95, and 50 miles later, on came the engine warning.

This was soon followed by stuttering. Then the engine cut out. Hmm. Given how self-protecting engines are, I was surprised when it fired back up. Only to stutter and fail again a mile later. In it went to BMW. It looks like some condensation had gathered in the nozzle overnight and I was the first to use it that day. With relief I learned there was no lasting damage.

The M5 is a very expensive car. Six years ago, the F10 M5 cost £73,000 basic. Back in 2005 the E60 M5 was £63,000. This one is £89,645 before options. We tried to resist, but you have to have the sports exhaust (£1,100) and a car this heavy needs carbon-ceramic stoppers (£7,495). The soft-close doors, massage seats and perfumed air of the £1,995 Premium pack I probably could (and should) have done without.

Is the M5 a luxury car? It feels that way. The seats are big and enveloping, there are cameras all around, gesture control. But I found the same when I ran an M3 three years back. It had tacky illuminated badges in the seats, which suggested it had lost focus. Not a bit of it. Proper handful, that car. I adored it. And the M5 is cut from the same cloth. Scratch away the luxury layer and you find a very positive, shockingly fast car. The best fast 5-Series you can buy? Next month we’ll find out.

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