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Transform your BMW M5 from beast to Beelzebub at the flick of a switch.

According to Alfred Hitchcock, you ‘Dial M for Murder’. In the new BMW M5 you push ‘M’ for ‘Mayhem’.

Stab the steering wheel button marked M and power from the 5.0-litre V10 engine is instantaneously boosted from a bludgeoning 400bhp to a tyre-torturing 507bhp.

Stab the throttle, blur the paddle shift through the seven-speed sequential gearbox as you repeatedly hit the stratospheric 8250rpm red line, and the M5 blasts to 60mph in just 4.7sec and shoots onto an electronically limited 155mph.

Harnessing this power is obviously no easy task but BMW has excelled itself with the M5. The chassis is beautifully balanced with extraordinary levels of grip, superb body control and wonderfully weighted steering, perfectly matching the handling and stability to the phenomenal pace. It’s superb.

Once over the initial adrenaline rush you can return your attentions to tailoring your preferred MDrive personal settings. Our favourite combination would definitely incorporate the comfort suspension mode, as the sports setting is far too firm for UK roads and is only really suitable for track use.

Those who spend much of their time in traffic may prefer to select the less frantic 400bhp engine setting and to use the fully automatic mode, which although slightly jerky, still offers a nicely relaxed drive.

Along with its appetite for speed, the M5 also has a voracious thirst. An official 19.1mpg combined figure is quoted but use the performance to the max, and press that M button too often, and you’ll be lucky to see double-figure fuel returns. No doubt those who can afford the £62k list price will also be able to bear the frequent trips to the petrol station and cost of replacing those 19in rear tyres.

Not surprisingly, there’s very little left off the equipment list. Along with electric everything and a full-hide interior, BMW has even fitted a head-up display that projects speed, revs and gear-selection onto the windscreen to help maximise concentration and hopefully help you hang onto your licence.
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