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      09-09-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
RPiM5
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2013 F10 M5 European Delivery Review

Greetings all,

I have just returned from my European Delivery trip and I would like to take a substantial amount of time today and write a complete and thorough review of the 2013 F10 M5 (U.S. Spec) coming from an American point of view. I am writing as an American who did European Delivery and was able to take the 2013 F10 M5 through all of its paces. I accepted it as a brand new car with 1 mile on it and drove it all of the way to 2051 miles during my Euro Delivery trip in only 6 days of driving. I brought my longtime friend and trusted BMW Service Advisor Natasha, with me for the trip. We drove it through almost every condition, including: city driving, driving in the rain, highway driving, driving in the mountains, driving through the snow, driving it for very long stretches of time on the highway, and most importantly driving it on the track. I did launch it from a dig also, but I did not use launch control. During my 2051 miles of driving, I also tested out every single button and feature of the entire car, so I would be able to review it. I would also like to point out that I am a long time M5 veteran. I had an E60 M5 that I modified into a full RPi Stage 2, making about 600hp to the crank and about 450tq to the crank. I also had lowering springs, sway bars; I programmed the SMG, and always ran Michelin PS2’s on it to name a few other mods. It was a very fast and extremely well handling car that I thought could not be surpassed. However, you will be much surprised to find out the result at the end of this review compared to my F10 M5. Henceforth, this review will be different from every one you have every read because it is coming from someone who has owned and driven an M5 for many years and from someone who put some real miles and time on the M5, rather than those car magazine reporters who get to use the M5 for 24 hours and write a short review about it. So let’s begin!

First I would like to start off by saying that the F10 M5 is a very different car before and after the Break-In Service is completed. So for those of you who own the M5 and are reviewing it before Break-In Service is complete, you will find that it is a much more capable car than you have so far realized. I’ll get to the Break-In Servicing more later on though.

I was one of the lucky few who picked up my new 2013 F10 M5 at 9am on September 1st 2012 at the BMW Welt. The M5 was in pristine condition when I took delivery of it and only had 1 mile on it. I chose a triple black combination, going for Sapphire Black Metallic exterior color, Black Full Merino Leather, and Piano Black trim. The options I got were the following:

- Full Merino Leather
- Piano Black Trim
- 20” Wheels
- Executive Package
- Bang & Olufsen Sound system

I did not get the following options:
- Rear Seat Entertainment
- Night Vision
- Drivers Assistance Package

I did not opt for the Rear Seat Entertainment because I do not have kids and even if I did, an Apple iPad is a much better investment with the rear seat mounts for it. The Night Vision I did not have any use for either because I do not live in a dark forests or anything like that back in San Diego. I didn’t get the Drivers Assistance Package because I figured I didn’t really need it on a day to day basis. I am a very good driver and I thought that none of the features in the Drivers Assistance Package would benefit me for what I would be using the M5 for back home. However, I did find that I sometimes wished I had ordered it during my long drives across Europe, especially the Lane Departure Warning System. I found myself struggling to stay awake during certain parts of the long drives across Eastern France for example, where there wasn’t much scenery to look at, and having the LDWS would have been nice in keeping me awake.
Before I completed the Break-In Service I adhered to the limits of the Break-In Period of max RPM’s of 5,500rpm and max Speed of 105mph precisely. Keeping within the Break-In limits is important to ensure longevity of the M5 throughout its lifespan. This is all I will say about this for now.

Doing European Delivery and having the BMW Welt experience in its own is another story worth writing about, so I will not indulge too much there and instead concentrate on the important aspects that pertain to the performance of the F10 M5 throughout the European Delivery experience. Taking delivery of the M5 was an event to say the least however. Before arriving at the BMW Welt on the morning of September 1st, I had only ever seen 2 F10 M5’s in person before that; one at the LA Auto show in 2011 and the other one at Bimmerfest 2012. I even made it a point to avoid going to a BMW dealership after the BMW F13 M6 Convertible had made it stateside so as to avoid spoiling the experience of hearing the exhaust note for the first time. So when I pushed the start button for the first time on my M5 at the Welt, hearing the cold start of the exhaust was a humbling experience to put it lightly. I’ll admit it, my eyes watered up a little after I started up the Beast for the first time on the Welt floor. I knew that this exhaust note was the sound of my own new M5 and not anybody else’s. That’s a powerful feeling. My delivery representative then started showing me a few features of the M5. Some I already knew about and some I did not already know. For example, he told me that with the electric parking brake, if the driver becomes incapacitated while the vehicle is moving, the passenger can stop the car buy activating the electric parking brake. Pretty cool! He then showed me how to use the European Maps for the iDrive and where to attach the connectors in the engine bay in case a jump start was needed. Of note, is that the European Maps use up the USB port in the center console, so you are unable to play music through your iPod or iPhone from a USB cable and have to use Bluetooth instead. Unfortunately he wouldn’t let me stay in the Welt for very long after the delivery was completed because of the rest of the 28 deliveries taking place that day. They needed to get the M5’s moving along. We snapped a few pictures and then did our 2 EPIC victory laps around the Welt with Chris Brown’s “Forever” blasting out of the Bang and Olufsen sound system with all the windows and moonroof down. We created quite the spectacle!

After we took delivery of my brand new F10 M5, we stayed in Munich on September 1st in order to continue to rest up from our jet lag and to also hang with the other people accepting M5 deliveries that day. This was the first opportunity we got to test the capabilities of the M5 in the city streets of Munich and in the rain. For the entire first day of M5 ownership, I only used D1 and kept all of the settings on comfort and efficient modes. I was brand new to driving around Europe and took extra care in paying attention to driving in Europe rather than driving an M5 in Europe. So suffice to say that we didn’t push the Beast at all the first day, but it was good because we got to obtain a feel for the level of luxury that the M5 has to offer. The ride quality with EDC set to comfort is very very good. I would not put it on par with the softness that a pure luxury car like a Lexus has only because of the stiff Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The first thing that I noticed while driving away from the Welt on city streets is the sound in the cabin from the tires. You can really hear the road beneath you in the cabin. The steering in Comfort Mode was very nice as well. The level of resistance is perfect for low speed maneuvering and even at low speeds you can feel every crack and crevice in the streets through the steering wheel. The steering wheel feels amazingly connected to the roads, and I think a lot of that has to do with the Michelin PSS’s. With the Throttle Response set to Comfort in City Street driving, it is very comfortable as well. You feel like you are driving a regular luxury BMW almost.

Like I said it was raining in Munich our entire time there on August 31st and September 1st. The rain wipers worked great, as did the autowipe. I did not mash the throttle at all on the wet streets and at no time did I see the DSC light flash on and off by giving it too much gas pedal. The Angel Eyes and the Headlights worked very well in the rain as well. They are both very bright and make it easy to see at night. On our way back to the hotel from the Welt, we tested out the seat heaters in the front seats and the back seats. They both get very hot in the highest setting. I found that the lowest setting was good enough for me, while my passenger liked the middle setting. When we exited the Welt and hit the streets I could immediately notice the engine sound from the car. At first it was really tough to determine what sound was real and what sounds were being produced by the speakers. As time went on throughout our 6 days of driving I became more adept in noticing at what points the speakers were making the engine note and what was real. I will say that after driving the M5 for 2051 miles, the fake sound does not bother me at all. It really only is most prevalent at low rpm’s but it sounds so good though! If you were to drive the M5 with the windows down you would have a much tougher time discerning which sound is real and which sound is fake because you can also hear the exhaust note.

Later on in the day, another M5 delivery guy and I decided to go for a drive around Munich and then meet with more people for dinner. We hit the Autobahn briefly but kept the M5’s in the right lanes. We had Mini’s flying by us at 140+. It was kind of funny. My first experience on the highway made me realize that the M5 is really not as quiet as I think the E60 M5 was on the highway. I believe that there is a lot of road noise that transfers into the cabin from the Michelin Pilot Super Sports on the F10 M5. Additionally, you hear more whine from the DCT and Differential than you got from the E60 M5. Concerning the DCT, I like it. No wait, I LOVE IT! I was always a proponent of the SMG III in the E60 M5 and I still believe that it is one of the greatest and most fun transmissions I have ever used. Mostly because of S6 mode, however the DCT is just light years ahead of the SMG III. I tested out all 6 modes of the DCT in almost all driving conditions. The D modes are completely usable now, and are what I used a lot of the time driving around in Europe, especially when I had to pay attention more to where I was going and not hitting other cars. The shifts are literally seamless. Often times I found myself not knowing what gear I was in because I couldn’t feel the gearshifts at all. In D1, the DCT shifts the gears pretty conservatively, although it’s not as bad as in a F30 3 Series with an automatic transmission that keeps the revs below 2,000 rpm the whole time. D2 mode is a little more aggressive and I found myself using D2 mode when I wanted to accelerate a little faster occasionally. In D2 mode it will let the gear changes go all of the way up to 7th gear also, but it just doesn’t get to 7th gear as fast as D1 does. D3 mode is absolutely AWESOME! It’s great if you want to keep the rev’s higher on the city streets, on the highway, and is also very good on the track. In D3 mode you will hardly ever see 7th gear, if at all. For the S modes, it’s almost a completely different story and is very fun. I found that S1 mode is great for slow city driving, but a little too slow for the highway. The shifts in S1 are slower and buttermilk smooth. S2 mode is a little more aggressive is great for highway driving and city driving alike. S3 mode is RIDICULOUS! The shifts are literally so fast that even before you finish pushing or pulling the shift knob or using the paddle shifter the DCT has already changed gears. It’s like the DCT knows that you are going to change gears even before you do. It’s that fast! Consequently I found that using S3 in slow city driving was just not usable. The shifts are just too fast, and you almost get the old SMG III clunkiness effect from the E60 M5.

So the next day on September 2nd, we left Munich early in the morning and our final destination was Portofino, Italy. Our route would take us though the Alps of Austria then through northern Italy and then down to the Italian coast. That’s a lot of driving for one day and it took us 13 hours to get there. It didn’t help that we hit 2 traffic jams on the Autostrada just before Parma.

When we left Munich, it was still quite rainy and wet and once again I kept the M5 settings to D1 on the DCT and everything else in comfort and efficient. As we approached the first mountains of the Alps in Austria I set the DCT to D2 in order to better cope with the elevation changes of the mountain roads we would be driving on. We reached the beginning of the Grossglockner Pass in Austria, paid our 32 Euro toll, and were on our way to driving some of the most beautiful and scenic mountain roads in all of Europe. We did not expect there to still be snow up in the high Alps, but that’s what we got. The mountain roads were all pretty clear of snow, but there were a few patches that we drove though. Even with all of the settings set to comfort, driving on the mountain roads of the Grossglockner Pass was epic. The M5 handled every turn with precision and although I wasn’t going very fast around the bends there really wasn’t very much body roll despite the heft and size of the F10 chassis. Again, I kept the DCT in D2 for the entire drive pretty much, I really didn’t want to risk over revving past the Break-In limits during our drive up and down the mountains. After we concluded our drive in the mountains we experienced some of the most beautiful roads in Austria as we made our way to the border of Italy. We stopped in Linz to get gas and I even had the M5 washed for the first time. Ironically, when we pulled in there was a guy with a Black E63 M6. I snapped some pictures for comparison. Both Beasts looked beautiful together! I’ll never get over that V10.

The rest of the drive all of the way down to Portofino was kind of uneventful. Like I said we drove 13 hours that day. The front seats in the M5 did their job and were quite comfortable. My back was only a little stiff, as were my legs. I used the butt massager feature that comes with the Executive Package a few times to help keep me awake. Honestly the Italian Autostrada near the coast is a very exciting highway. We were on it late at night and there were virtually no other cars around. There are a lot of tunnels in that region and I did keep the DCT in D2 the whole time, but I was cruising around 90 to 100mph through the curvy highways. Very fun!

We finally got to Portofino late at around 9pm. We checked into our hotel, and then I asked the desk clerk if I could park the M5 in the hotel parking. She said yes but the lot was closed and I would have to let myself in. This was my first experience maneuvering the F10 M5 in a tightly confined space. You see in order for me to get to the parking lot, I had to drive the M5 down an extremely tight alleyway and then open the gate for the lot, and then inside the lot there was very little space to maneuver to park the car because there were many other cars parked in the tiny lot. The alleyway was so tight I had to fold the side view mirrors in and only cleared each side by about an inch. Once inside the parking lot, I basically had to Austin Powers the M5 into the parking spot. This is one moment when I wish I had gotten the Drivers Assistance Package with the Surround View Cameras. The Front and Rear Sensors did their job as well as the Backup Camera, but it was close! Maneuvering the M5 without those would have been impossible.

The next day we explored Portofino and then departed the area along the Italian coast for Monaco. The streets around Portofino are super tight and driving on them with opposing traffic was at times treacherous. Back in San Diego, I also own a little Black Fiat 500. While I was driving the streets of Portofino I wished I was in my Fiat instead so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the M5 being hit by other cars.

Our drive to Monaco was uneventful but exciting at the same time. We were having a blast driving along the Mediterranean Sea. I was still keeping the all of the settings on comfort and the DCT in D2. It was a short drive, but when we got to Monaco, it was back to tight streets. Definitely a few butt clenching moments driving around with the side mirrors folded again. Driving around in Monaco was definitely an experience and driving around there in an F10 M5 was equally unique. There were no other M5’s in Monaco, I only ever saw an E92 M3 there as far as ///M’s go. So we did get a lot of looks and stares and picture takers of our car. I felt totally like a rock star! After driving around Monaco like a lost tourist we finally found our hotel and checked into the Port Palace Hotel right there on JFK boulevard, which overlooks the Marina and the F1 Grand Prix track/street. I had the hotel wash the car for me for 70 Euro and they did a fantastic job! While were we’re driving in Portofino and Italy it was very stormy and rainy and a lot of grass got caught up in the wheel wells, and they cleaned all that grass out. We saw tons of exotics while in Monaco. My favorites included a Yellow Enzo, an Audi RS4 Convertible. A Matte Red Gallardo Spyder, an Audi RS4 Avant, and even a Fiat Abarth!

The next day we departed Monaco for our second extremely long drive of the trip, which was all of the way up to Luxembourg. We took the French highway through Marseille and then all of the way through Eastern France. We stopped several times on the way up and the most exciting stop was in Lyon France. Lyon is a beautiful city and we stopped there for lunch and were able to get some great shots of the M5 with the French city buildings in the background. I kept the M5 in D2 and everything in comfort for the entire drive up to Luxembourg still. We used the seat coolers extensively this day also. One interesting thing to note about the seat coolers is that if put them on full blast, 3 blue lights, it stays like that for a while, but then automatically goes to the middle setting, 2 blue lights. I tested this several times, and at first I thought that I was going crazy. I was like, I know I put it on 3 blue lights, why is it on 2 blue lights now?! The seat coolers work WAY better than in the E60 M5 also. They really help to cool your butt and back.

The most eventful thing that happened to us while on the boring French highway was an Audi R8 V10 Coupe caught up to us and played around a little with us on the open French highway. I was still observing Break-In Limits so not much fun was to be had unfortunately, but we gave the R8 driver a good smile.

Just outside of Metz we hit a terrible traffic jam and were stuck on the highway without moving an inch for about 40 minutes. This was the first time I decided to mess around with the Start-Stop function of the engine. I am not 100% sure about this but I think for the 2013 model M5’s, BMW has made it so that when you first start up the M5, the Auto Start-Stop is disabled. If you want to use it, you have to push the button to turn it on. I had read before that it was automatically on when you first started the engine and then if you switched the DCT to the S Mode the Start-Stop would be then disabled. This was NOT the case on my M5. We used the function for about 30 minutes while it was still bumper to bumper traffic and the car was slowly moving. It is a little annoying, but the engine is pretty smooth whenever it starts back up. So far I think I like the system.

We made it to our hotel in Luxembourg at around 9pm and put the M5 to sleep for the night. In the morning we woke up early once again, had breakfast and hit up a few awesome forest roads in Luxembourg before we left for Trier, Germany. We had an appointment for the M5’s “well baby check up.” At this point we had about 1,350 miles on the car.

About a month before we left for Euro Delivery, I emailed the BMW Dealership in Trier, Germany about them completing our Break-In Service for me. I told them that I would be bringing a new F10 M5 in and wanted to get the service done. They told me that they needed the Chassis number or for us Americans that’s the VIN number and that once they had that, then they could order the parts which took a couple of days to get to the dealership. They told me that they don’t keep the parts in stock there at the dealership, although I wasn’t clear on what parts they needed. I said ok, and when my M5 went into production I obtained the Chassis number and sent it to them.

We arrived at the BMW Dealership in Trier, Germany and dropped the M5 off. There was a bit of a language barrier, as my German and their English were both rudimentary, but we made sure everything was clear for the Break-In Service. They gave us a 520d loaner for 42 Euro and we went and did some sightseeing in Trier, while they worked on the car. They said it would be done in 4 hours and when arrived back at the dealership, the M5 was ready to go.

The way it works with any servicing done in Europe on a U.S. Spec BMW is that you have to pay out of pocket for the servicing. When you get back to the U.S. you just bring your invoice and receipt to your local BMW dealership and they will reimburse you for the warranty work. Not a big deal. The Break-In Service ended up costing me about $350 Euro including the loaner car. I would also like to make a quick note about the loaner 520d that they gave us. It was a 2011 German Spec 520d and everything was set to German obviously. I had to fill it up with a little diesel before we gave it back and we had to use the iDrive to navigate around Trier. 2 things I noticed about it compared to my 2013 M5. For the diesel engine, that thing is pretty awesome. It didn’t have much power, but it still had good torque and I hooned it a couple of times on the street to feel the performance. The diesel engine in it combined with the size of the fuel tank gave it what I calculated to be over a 700 mile range!!! Second, the iDrive was the older version compared to what we have in the new 2013 M5’s. After trying to navigate around Trier with the older iDrive, I have to say that it felt antiquated compared to our newer versions. For example, on the Nav when you zoom in and out on the 520d, the map would zoom in and out frame by frame and was a little slow. In the M5, the zoom in and out is smooth and fast, it does not go frame by frame. Oh yeah plus I love the startup screen in the M5 how it shows the ///M logo as well as the ///M logo in the HUD on startup. Very cool! In conclusion I almost couldn’t navigate with the iDrive in the 520d because I had already gotten used to the one in the M5. So I will say that our wait for the new iDrive was definitely well worth it!

Before driving off from the BMW Dealership I talked with the Service Assistant, the Service Advisor, and the Technician about the Break-In Servicing. I made sure that they did in fact use 10W-30 oil for the engine. They only changed the Engine Oil and the Transmission Fluid, but not Differential Fluid. We double checked that they the Diff Fluid did not need to be changed and they confirmed that it didn’t. We also asked them about any changes to the ECU software for the engine. The technician confirmed that for the Break-In Service, a special Break-In mode was DEACTIVATED, let me repeat that, DEACTIVATED in the engines ECU software. However, the technician did not know exactly what was changed by doing that. The community already knows that launch control is enabled after the Break-In Service is completed, but that’s about it. Anyways, I was just happy to know that they used the right engine oil and did something to the engine’s ECU software. Good enough for me!

We then peeled out of the dealership parking lot, haha no just kidding, and our next stop was, you guessed it! The Green Hell! Or the Nurburgring to most of you, which was only 60 miles away! On the way there I began playing with the M5, putting in the sport settings for the EDC, Steering, and Throttle Response. I also began using S1 and S2 on the DCT. The roads that lead out to the Nurburgring are almost as good as the Ring itself. There are a lot of windy and curvy roads in that area of Germany with very little traffic and beautiful scenery. I did notice the M5 had a bit more kick in it after the Break-In at the lower rpms and throughout the rev range too. It felt like the car had more power and torque according to my butt dyno. Needless to say it was a very fun drive out to the Ring.

We got to the Ring and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Lindner Fieren Park Hotel. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I rented an entire house for $120 bucks a night. We got our own driveway and the house had a carport with 3 bedrooms. We took everything out of the M5 and put it inside of the house. I cleaned the windshield, checked the tire pressures, and grabbed the GoPro. I was vibrating with excitement of getting the M5 ready for its baptism.

When we started exploring the Nurburgring area, it took us about an hour to find the entrance to the track. To me, there weren’t any clear signs that should have said, “hey dummy, enter the track right here!” While we were exploring though, we saw a lot of cool stuff. We saw several test BMW’s in full camouflage and the BMW ///M’s test center with the Orange M3 GTS sitting in the window. I even made out one camouflaged BMW to be the next F83 (Or whatever chassis designation it is) 3 Series Convertible. I was hoping to catch the F80 M3 around there, but I don’t think I saw it. So we tooled around for a while until we found the entrance. When we did find it, it was perfect timing. Little did we know that the Ring is not open 24/7 for the public’s use. I don’t know if this is the norm, but when we were there, it was only open from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on the weekdays. I didn’t notice what the times were on the weekends. We ended up getting there at 5pm, which was perfect. I bought my Ringcard, 26 Euro per lap is the going rate today by the way, and made my last checks on the M5. One thing I had almost forgotten about, that I needed to do, was to setup my ///M buttons on the steering wheel. I hadn’t messed with the ///M buttons the whole trip, because there was no need to with the Break-In restrictions. So I set up my M1 to be my medium attack mode and my M2 to be my full attack mode. I set M1 for everything to Sport, HUD to M View, and DSC ON. I set M2 for everything to Sport+, HUD to M View, and DSC ON also. I always keep the DSC control away from the steering wheel buttons and use the DSC button like the Deathblossom on the Gunstar in the Last Starfighter (Ok, I know I know, old movie, but if your over 30 you’ll get it), a weapon of last resort! What’s awesome about the F10 M5 and the DSC control is that they have made it safer. Now if you just push the DSC button on the lower console once it goes to MDM mode. If you press and hold it down for a couple of seconds, it goes to full DSC off. Additionally, if you set DSC to full OFF in one of the steering wheel buttons, and then you engage the M button on the steering wheel, you’ll get a notification in the dashboard requiring you to confirm the M button activation, and you have to hit the M button again quickly, or else the confirmation will go away. So it’s basically another safety feature to make sure that you don’t disengage DSC with the press of a single button and the next thing you know you’re flying out of control, and this is easier to do than you know, because of the massive torque in this thing!

So there I was, the M5 was ready, I was ready, I’m slowly approaching the gate to enter the Ring. I pull up to the box and swipe my card, the gate lifts up, and I’m about to baptize the M5! I drive through the gate, they make you drive through a tiny cone course before you accelerate full out in order to make sure people don’t smoke their tires right out of the gate. When I started my first lap I realized that I forgot to switch the units back to mph and miles versus kph and kilometers, which I had been using the whole time. So I had to drive slow on the right and change the settings real quick. After I did that, I was off!!!

Let me tell you driving a fully broken in M5 anywhere is one thing, driving a fully broken in M5 on any track is another thing, and driving a fully broken in M5 on the Nurburgring is on a completely different level! The F10 M5’s full performance is in a word “UNREAL!” Like I said, I used to have a 600hp E60 M5, and the stock F10 M5 completely blows it away! No doubt about it! In every aspect as well! Power, torque, handling, and steering, it was like I was driving a totally different car. Most people complained about the F10 M5’s engine not being high revving like the S85. Trust me, 7,200rpm felt like TOO MUCH! While accelerating in the straights past 5,000 rpm it feels like the M5 wants to rip your neck off! I’ll admit that I got a little scared revving all the way up to 7,200rpm because the acceleration force was so great, you are wondering to yourself, if this thing can really go faster, and it can, and its borderline terrifying. I’m not exaggerating any of this. The F10 M5 is scary fast! On the track I did not experience not one bit of turbo lag. On the highway and street driving however, you can definitely feel the turbo lag because the turbos are not in a high state of boost like they are on the track.

I kept DSC ON the whole time, I didn’t even go to MDM, as it was my first time driving on the Ring and driving the F10 M5 so fast. Through the corners with the EDC set to Sport+, I can’t recall any body roll. You do feel the weight of the M5 a little bit through the turns but the steering wheel is so very communicative that you know exactly what the tires and suspension is doing. The handling of the M5 inspires a lot of confidence that it feels like a car half its weight. With every lap I did I pushed the M5 a little harder as I became acclimated to the layout and G-Forces of the track. I didn’t have a stop watch or anything with me, but I think I did very well.

The Heads Up Display in M Mode on the Track is absolutely phenomenal as well! The lower half shows you the entire rev range while the upper half shows you a zoomed in view of the yellow and red zones of the rev range. If you shift at the last yellow light, you can get perfect shifts. The size of the Heads Up Display in M Mode is HUGE also! I wasn’t expecting it to be that BIG! It’s like its right in your face. You can read it crystal clearly and all your info is right there.

Before I experienced the full fury of the F10 M5, I had it set in my mind that I wanted to increase the power of the car before I even drove it since I am into modding. Now that I have driven it to its full potential, I am seriously wondering if this car really needs any more power and torque. I still haven’t answered that question yet, but now I’m second guessing my modding plans. It just has so much ridiculous power and torque; it feels like there’s a JATO rocket booster attached to the back of the car. No joke!

I did 3 laps on the first day at the Ring. On the last lap, at nearly the beginning of my run, there was a huge crash where it looked like a Porsche had collided with an Audi R8 V10 Coupe. The Porsche was completely on its side and the R8 was still able to move off of the track. There were several other cars nearby when the crash happened, an E46 M3, and some others. My passenger snapped a quick photo of the Porsche and recorded a quick video with the iPhone. I was just lucky I wasn’t near it when it happened. We finished our lap, hitting the speed governor on the last straightaway on the track at 162mph. The amazing thing about the F10 M5 is that even at those speeds above 150mph it feels like you’re in second gear with the same amazing thrust. The car just wants to takeoff.

Later that night we had our victory dinner in the town of Nurburg, I had a steak and it never tasted so good! The next day we left the area for Wurzburg and took the Romantic Road all the way down to the border of Austria where Fussen is to see that big castle ( I can’t spell that name, it starts with an N). We got some amazing shots with the M5 and the castle and then headed back to Munich. For our last night we stayed at the Kempinski Airport Hotel right at the airport, which made it convenient for us to drop off the car the next morning.

I will now elaborate on a few things that I am not quite satisfied about with the M5.

Bang and Olufsen Sound System: Don’t get me wrong, I think this sound system is incredible. The B&O hits really really hard and can get VERY loud. The highs and lows sound fantastic. My passenger kept saying it was the best car sound system she has ever heard. I adjusted the equalizer the best that I could, and I set the B&O to the “Expanded” settings versus the “Studio” setting. I thought that the “Expanded” sounded better as it didn’t sound as up in your face as the “Studio” did. Like I said, since we were using the USB stick with the European Maps on it we couldn’t plug in our iPhone into the USB port and had to use the Bluetooth. I thought that the sound quality through the Bluetooth was marginal at best. The sound quality though the USB cable however, was mind blowing, or rather I should say ear blowing. Also the Bluetooth connection kept failing many times throughout the trip. Many many times it would cut in and out, and we would lose our musical listening pleasure for a few moments. I don’t know if it was interference from some thing’s outside or what, but it got to be very annoying.

20 Way Adjustable Front Sport Seats: Again, don’t get me wrong, I love the seats and all of their functionality. They are super comfortable and the ///M logo on the headrest is a nice touch. The one thing that I am disappointed about is that our seats for at least the 2013 model M5, did not come with a side bolster adjustment buttons. I can understand that BMW did not include the Active side bolster feature from the E60 M5’s comforts seats, but on the F10 M5, we can’t even adjust our side bolster manually. This was really disappointing for me. I am wondering if BMW forgot about this or something. I know for a fact that I have seen pictures of 2012 F10 M5’s with the buttons to manually adjust the side bolsters. To me this is unsatisfactory, and I even feel inclined to ask BMW what the deal is with this!

Floor Mats: Well I am definitely grateful that we got floor mats for European Delivery. However, I am a bit peeved that the floor mats that we got for the F10 M5 are Plain-Jane floor mats with no ///M5 logo on them. Even when the E60 M5 first came out, it got special ///M5 floor mats for both the front and back. Now for the F10 M5 we don’t even get that? What’s the deal? Is this something that we have to order special from the dealer?

Foot Sensor for Trunk Opening: I had to use this feature as a practical application many times throughout the Euro Delivery Trip. I had to say that the system doesn’t work 100% of the time. Many times I found myself waving my foot around under the rear bumper, looking like an idiot I’m sure, trying to activate it. I do love the push button close on the trunk however though. It really makes you feel like you own a nice car. It’ll take some finesse over time to get used to the foot sensor I’m sure.

Piano Black Interior Trim: I don’t feel like I shot myself in the foot or anything by getting the Piano Black Trim, because I really do love it. It looks SO very classy in my opinion. I have noticed that it does attract quite the lint and dust particles to it. I had to use a microfiber cloth every once in a while to wipe it down. Also I didn’t realize that I would get so many finger prints on it myself from accidentally touching it whenever I would turn the head lights switch to a different position. All in all though, I am very happy with it even though it requires just a little extra maintenance.

FINAL CONCLUSION AND CLOSING REMARKS:

In conclusion, if you ever have the opportunity to own an F10 M5, get it! In the word of Ferris Bueller, “It’s so choice.” Or as Richard Hammond said, “It’s pretty much the best car in the world, right now.” Richard wasn’t lying and neither am I. I have never driven a car with so much power, thrust, luxury, and convenience, and one that does all of it so very well! The F10 M5 is definitely an ///M car. It’s engine the S63tu, is without question a ///M engine. It handles like an ///M, it has the exhaust note of an ///M, and it just feels like an ///M. In many respects I find the exhaust note sounding better than the E60’s V10, this is something I thought I would never say coming from a guy who used to own a straight piped V10. The F10 M5 sounds very exotic for a stock BMW ///M exhaust. I firmly believe that the duality of the F10 M5 will never be matched by another automaker. Not the Cadillac CTS V, not the 2012 Merc CLS63 AMG, not the Merc E63 AMG, not even the Porsche Panamera Turbo S, can match the extreme duality performance of the F10 M5. The King is definitely back.

Compared to a stock E60 M5, the F10 M5, improves and blows it away in every department, most notably with the transmission. Compared to a Full Stage 2 E60 M5, the F10 M5 is still light years ahead of it. You can’t deny the progression of technology. The F10 M5 has faster processors, better computers, better suspension design, better chassis, and a better engine design, than any modification you can do to an E60 M5. The only department and I mean ONLY department where a modded E60 M5 may come close to competing with an F10 M5 is if the E60 M5 has an ESS VT2 Stage 2 Supercharger installed to make more horsepower than a stock F10 M5. The F10 M5 will still put down more torque and put the torque down much more efficiently than an E60 M5 with a VT2 kit. I’ve ridden in a VT2 E60 M5 a few times, the SMG is still very much the limiting factor in that car, as well as the differential not being able to efficiently handle the added torque. Additionally, consider the costs involved, $16,000 for a VT2 kit to make close to 700hp, or perhaps less than $5,000 to make about the same power with only an ECU tune and maybe an exhaust on an F10 M5. Don’t get me wrong, I love ESS and everything that they do, in fact I may be looking into their ECU tune for the F10 M5 in the future, but like I said you can’t deny the progression of technology.

One last thing that I will say is that if you already own an F10 M5 today, please share the experience with others. Pay it forward. When we got to the Kempinski Hotel at the Munich Airport, I parked the M5 out in front of the hotel. If you’ve never been to the Kempinksi, BMW has a lot of partnership with that hotel. You will see billboards and actual BMW display models sitting outside. After we parked, we got our luggage out of the trunk, locked the M5, and went inside to check in. After check in, we took our luggage up to the room and I went back downstairs to go park the M5 in the hotel garage. When I got back outside, I noticed one of the hotel concierges was looking at my car, my first instinct as an American, was that he was about to tell me that I have to move my car. So I blurted out to him “Yeah yeah I know, I’m moving it now.” He then said: “No, no I am just admiring your car, it is beautiful!” I was taken aback for a moment. So I said: “Thanks!” I then got in the car started it up, and sat there for a second and thought. I then rolled down my passenger window and said: “Hey buddy, you want to go for a ride?!” He couldn’t believe his ears, a huge smile came over his face, and he had to go ask his boss since he was standing outside waiting for a VIP to arrive in 10 minutes. He came back and said that his boss, said that he could go. His name was Phillip and he was a sharp looking young lad with a strong German accent. The roads around the Munich airport have A LOT of straightaways and curves around them. It is a GIGANTIC airport area too. When we exited the hotel, there was hardly any traffic, and I pressed the M2 button and engaged warp speed. He said he had never been in an ///M5 before and was so excited to have ridden in one. When we got back to the hotel, I swear it looked like he just walked on the moon. This is what I mean, don’t just tell people how good the F10 M5 is, show them. A random act of kindness with an F10 M5 is an easy thing to do.

AND NOW FOR SOME PICTURES!


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Last edited by RPiM5; 09-09-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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      09-09-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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Fantastic write-up and photos.

I really have to say it was fantastic of you to give that young German fan a ride in your M5. That is a very cool thing to do. Good on you.

Who's the cutie you were travelling with?

Also where did you take that photo where you are standing wearing an M cap, and there are smokey clouds in front of the mountain behind you?
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      09-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
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Hey what's up stealth. That cutie is my BMW Service Advisor! LOL!

Also the pictures on the mountains are on the Grossglockner Pass.
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      09-09-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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Hey what's up stealth. That cutie is my BMW Service Advisor! LOL!

Also the pictures on the mountains are on the Grossglockner Pass.
Cool. I am planning to do the Grossglockner, and the Silvretta.
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      09-09-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Congratulations, and thank you for such an amazing review, I plan to do ED next year and after reading yours it just reinforce any decision for taking a long vacation and experiencing the car in europe. Thanks again, post the gopro video....
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      09-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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Seems like everyone on their ED trips are going to Schloss Neuschwanstein!


I recently went to Germany, and did something similar (No ED though). Neuschwanstein, BMW Welt/Museum, Ring Taxi.

Great writeup!
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      09-09-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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I had the same problem with the Bluetooth connection regarding music. Is there a reason for this?
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      09-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #8
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You certainly have a way of capturing moments with words that are capable of eliciting pure emotion. I think my pulse actually went up when I read the post break-in section. I get my car in 3 days. Thanks for the sleepless nights ahead!
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      09-09-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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...also, can you comment on the dreaded "clunk"? Did you hear anything coming from the rear when you went over uneven roads/speed bumps?
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      09-09-2012, 07:41 PM   #10
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...also, can you comment on the dreaded "clunk"? Did you hear anything coming from the rear when you went over uneven roads/speed bumps?
Gents I never experienced clunks of any sort from the rear of the M5. The M5 was solid. Hope this eases your fears.
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      09-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #11
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Well done. Thank you for the effort.
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      09-09-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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Great write up. Thanks for sharing a great story and thorough review. I also picked up on 9/1. It's going to bed a long month of waiting.
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      09-09-2012, 09:44 PM   #13
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is euro delivery still available for the new M5?
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      09-09-2012, 10:27 PM   #14
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Do you know if you can bring a USB hub to use both the European Maps as well as an iPod?
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      09-10-2012, 01:42 AM   #15
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Why isn't this on the front page?! I felt like I was along with you for the ride Great details and imagery in this one, I really appreciate your efforts to describe the feeling of owning and driving an M5. Glad that an E60 owner appreciates the refinement of the F10. While I still lament the S85B50, I have been convinced that the new M5 wouldn't disappoint. Enjoy your car, but that goes without saying. Looks like an all around good time.
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      09-10-2012, 08:30 AM   #16
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Excellent review and photos. Glad you thoroughly enjoyed your extensive ED trip. Thanks for posting this. I agree it should be on the front page!
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      09-10-2012, 10:42 AM   #17
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What a review! Thanks for letting me experience your trip.
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      09-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #18
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Tiger, is that you?
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      09-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #19
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Nice write up, wow detailed, perfect.
Nice meeting you and your "service advisor"
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      09-10-2012, 11:00 AM   #20
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Tiger, is that you?
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Capt James T. Kirk,

Trust me this isn't the first time that someone has refered to me at Tiger. I've been getting it my whole life. LOL!
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      09-10-2012, 11:12 AM   #21
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Stunning car, and great write up. Saw my first black F10m on the highway the other day, it looked badass.

Love the pic of you giving the thumbs up to the smug R8 driver. Haha.
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      09-10-2012, 11:20 AM   #22
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Very nice writeup, I enjoyed reading it. +1 on your Good "deed" to the hotel door man Phillip.
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