The Baddest BMW on the Road
(FORTUNE Magazine) - 2006 BMW M5 Price as tested: $94,965
The battle for bragging rights between Mercedes and BMW has spawned superseries cars: souped-up versions of production models with supersized prices. For the M Sport version of the 5 Series sedan, BMW has left the exterior mostly untouched but stuffed the engine compartment with the biggest, baddest motor you can find.
The earth trembles as my 500-horsepower, 40-valve V-10 engine ignites. I tremble as I struggle to select the correct transmission setting on the electronic shifter (one has the choice of manual or automatic) and then confront the computer-controlled manual gearbox. Soon, though, technical proficiency arrives. The M5--which will rocket you to 60 mph in under five seconds and corners like a go-cart--gives you all the thrills you'd expect for $95K. Just watch out for state troopers with a less refined appreciation for German engineering.