"The latest generation of M5 manages to address the daily driving issues ignored by the e60, while simultaneously blowing it out of the water in performance. Enthusiasts may wax poetic about spinning the V-10?s tachometer needle past 8000 rpm, but the rush of torque - 500 lb-ft, to be exact - created by the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 launches the big car like a cannonball. We recorded a 0-60-mph time for the previous M5 at 4.1 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 12.5 seconds at 115.3 mph. Those seem like fast numbers until you consider the newer car runs to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and gets through the quarter in 11.9 seconds at 120.3 mph.
For comparison's sake, a Porsche Panamera Turbo we tested recently performed these same feats of strength in 3.5 seconds to 60 mph and 11.9 seconds at 114.7 mph through the quarter mile. But all-wheel drive is clearly a big advantage for the Porsche, and its extra 68 lb-ft of torque help the 102-pound-heavier Panamera get out of the hole.
On the road, the new M5 is a huge step forward from the previous car. The SMG transmission is gone, replaced by a thoroughly modern twin-clutch seven-speed semi-automatic transmission. The suspension has a greater range of adjustments from the previous car's, and even the steering assist is surprisingly variable. With all knobs and switches set in Economy or Comfort mode, the M5 is similar in mannerisms to a 528. The freeway ride is comfortable; the steering is light by BMW standards; and the transmission jumps to the highest possible fuel-saving gear as quickly as it can."