The super saloon market is fiercely competitive at the moment. The German big three have a dominant presence as ever, with Mercedes-AMG claiming two of the top three spots courtesy of its C63 S and E63 S sledgehammers.
As ever, power and performance figures are getting more and more impressive - with some of the cars in this list now churning out in excess of 600bhp. Is horsepower alone enough to grab the top spot, though?
For anyone whose last drive in a four-wheel drive performance car came a decade or so ago, the handling of the BMW M5 will be little short of a revelation. Even after the likes of the Ford Focus RS, Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R, the M5’s agility, balance and playfulness seems remarkable for a car which can also offer all the traction and stability you would expect of a two-tonne, four-wheel drive super saloon.
The car’s outright damping authority and body control, meanwhile, are truly unequalled among its direct rivals. So, considering the titanic leap that the car’s performance has taken, how could we deny it the ringing endorsement of a five-star score? Only because of a handful of irritating shortcomings – slightly irksome steering weight, inconsistent brake pedal feel, that fake engine noise and an occasionally restless ride – which can collude to snap you out of the immersive thrill of driving it.
However, the BMW M5 has a dynamic versatility and poise that no other rival can equal, and it goes straight to the top of our super saloon rankings. If BMW M history is any guide, meanwhile (think ‘F10’ M5 ‘30 Jahre’, ‘F82’ M4 CS and others), its very best may be yet to come; and when it comes, it ought to be something very special indeed.