When the original BMW M5, the ubiquitous E28, was launched in 1985, the industry sat up and took notice. Here was a fairly conservative looking saloon that had enough power to upset the apple cart of exotic machinery, yet it cost a fraction of their price, all the while remaining as practical as any other sedan its segment. This saw a flurry of rivals coming into the segment with only one object in their crosshairs, to depose the M5 from its throne. Over the decades, there have been adversaries from compatriots such as Audi with the RS6 and Mercedes-AMG with the E63, and there has been a tip in power outputs. The RS6 of the past decade with its 5.2l V10 twin-turbo engine was the first to breach the 400kW mark with its 426kW quota. It was staggeringly quick when not being temperamental. The new E63s, at 450kW, is the brawniest yet, while the recently launched M5 is not far behind with 441kW. So the power wars haven’t quite abated, but the issue in recent times has been driveability; ...

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