BMW has catapulted the performance saloon to meteoric new heights with its latest M5. Due to hit the UK next April with a price tag of around £60,000, Munich’s new four-door stormer packs 507bhp – leaving the 476bhp Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG, also shown for the first time below, trailing in its tracks. At the heart of BMW’s fourth-generation M5 is a new 5.0-litre V10. With BMW’s patented bi-Vanos variable valve timing, dual-flow stainless-steel exhaust system and a stratospheric 8250rpm red line, the 90-degree unit delivers its 507bhp at a high 7750rpm. This is backed up by a solid 384lb ft of torque at 6100rpm – some 332lb ft of which can be tapped from 3500rpm. Altogether, this represents a 107bhp and 15lb ft increase over the third-generation M5’s 4.9-litre V8 engine. With a weight of 1755kg, the E60 5-series-based saloon also boasts an impressive 289bhp per tonne – up 56bhp per tonne on the car it replaces, and well ahead of the CLS55 AMG against which it will inevitably be compared. Channelling the power to the rear wheels is a third-generation version of BMW’s sequential manual gearbox, now boasting seven forward ratios and new electronics that are claimed to quicken shift times by up to 20 per cent over the M3’s second-generation unit. There is also a launch control function for maximum-attack getaways. Another new feature is the M5’s gloriously named power button. At start-up, the driver is given access to 400bhp in a default program dubbed P400. Depressing the button unleashes the engine’s full 507bhp along with a more responsive throttle action, referred to as P500. In this configuration, the new M5 is claimed to reach 60mph from standstill in just 4.7sec, hitting a limited 155mph in a blistering 14.9sec. With its speed-limiting chip removed, BMW says its super-saloon will get to 205mph at the 8250rpm red line, though company policy prohibits official modification, even at dealer level.