Don’t believe the rumour mill: BMW hasn’t softened the M5 to the detriment of its ability to cope when really driven hard – either on a testing road or a circuit. True, there is surprising comfort, refinement and ease of use to be enjoyed with this car – a great deal more than you’ll find in most 500bhp super-saloons.
That’s the key advantage of BMW M’s multi-mode suspension, steering and powertrain control systems. But thanks to the same systems, there’s also breathtakingly firm damping and a highly responsive engine and gearbox when you select Sport+ mode. And – for anyone who’s wondering – turbo lag isn’t the slightest problem.
It’s a pity, though, that there isn’t more delicacy or reward to be found in between those two extremes of the M5’s repertoire. Because where a Jaguar XFR feels like a finely honed and deeply satisfying instrument when you’re simply bowling along at everyday speeds, the BMW keeps more of its dynamic majesty in reserve.
Select the suspension’s Comfort mode and, during normal road use, compliance comes without ever putting body control in doubt. There is some patter through the springs and slight fidgeting over very worn asphalt, but it’s hardly a compromise that anybody considering an M5 would find fault with.