Pottering about town has convinced me that the car I’m driving is a daily drive, top-shelf luxury sedan. The ride is supple, the steering is light, the ground clearance doesn’t prompt any wincing as I traverse Mumbai’s altitudinally diverse roads. Even a look at its exterior signifies restraint – the front air intakes are large, but not too large. The overall design is muscular but not bulbous, and no one, save for eagleeyed punters, has any idea about the unfathomable levels of power this car is hiding in plain sight. For all practical purposes, this might be any other top-trim BMW 5 Series in running shoes. Until it isn’t.
Squeezing the accelerator triggers an instantaneous avalanche of propulsion – the likes of which should be accompanied with disclaimers. The M5 doesn’t cover distances as much as it removes them from existence even before your brain has had the time to process it. Under the hood is a 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 making 600bhp of power and a staggering 750Nm of torque. This car, perhaps to the chagrin of purists, now comes with a four-wheel drive system, albeit a partial one that largely sends power to the rear wheels and kicks in only when detecting a slip. Of course, you can turn off Driving Stabilisation to make it RWD-only steering, and the throttle and gearbox response can be sharpened by changing settings for each individually, making it a default setting with two quick-access “M” buttons on the st