When you’re not hooning, drifting, and time attacking in the captain’s chair, the M5 will be chauffeuring you to work, gym, grocery store, and play. It will do this with class and poise beyond its calling card as a crazy man’s ride. Many cars on the market have “adjustable suspensions” – but BMW’s M5 displays such a wide window of divergence from taught to soft that it leaves you with the realization you have in fact bought two cars, not one. On the track, with a sufficiently hot foot, you’ll want to turn all the nannies off, set the steering to Sport or Sport + setting (depending upon your tastes: I for one, and several distinguished racers have voiced a preference for Sport over Sport + because the latter feels artificially heavy while not providing additional sensory feedback), the suspension to Sport + (unless the track surface is bumpy, in which case it may call for Sport), the engine/throttle response to Sport +, and your seat a bit closer to the wheel, with the wheel a bit closer to your chest.
Conversely, on the road you’ll want roughly the opposite: all systems to their softer parameters and the 7-speed DCT in automatic (if you didn’t order the stick shift). This is how I spent most of my time during my week in Toronto. I even played with the fuel economy, attempting to hyper-mile the car into 30 mpg territory (this never worked out because no matter how hard I tried to resist, a deep blurp of the throttle was often beckoned, for the sound if not the G-force). For one solid week BMW’s M5 served as my loyal steed, warming my thoughts during a stressful day at work with day-dreams of lurid sideways drifts, putting a skip in my step across the parking lot, and quelling my nerves on the drive home.
“…no matter how hard I tried to resist, a deep blurp of the throttle was often beckoned…”
Don’t forget about your annual track day. Yes, the M5 makes for a lovely GT, but at its heart it’s a raving lunatic. It must be unleashed, for fear it goes crazy. Owning an M5 and not taking her to the track is no different than owning a stallion, a race-bred horse, and keeping it forever pent up. It needs to run and feel the wind through its mane as the M5 needs to open its valves and pump its pistons as hard as possible, with all its might. It needs to unleash the 550 horsepower held within.