The M5 is something of a holy object for the Church of Petrol. Even the new F10, which has a turbocharged V8 instead of the soaring, naturally-aspirated V10 of the E60 version, is venerated and blessed with super unleaded. It has five hundred and sixty-odd horsepower instead of five hundred and seven. It looks glorious. It’s an M5 and that’s basically enough for canonisation as far as the Church of Petrol is concerned.
The pure white car in the picture above isn’t an M5 or indeed anything from the Holy Lands. It drinks from the Black Pump. It may look righteous but it’s a diesel. It’s the M550d xDrive. It has a tuned version of the 3.0 litre six-cylinder turbodiesel which has a third turbocharger bolted to it. God alone knows where they’ve put it. Or maybe the Other Fellah. I certainly don’t. I do know that it produces 381 German horses and 546lb-ft of torque. Lumme. That’s 126 horsepower per litre. That figure sticks in my head because it’s in the same area as a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. So the diesel exec is as highly-tuned as a track-inspired supercar. That’s kind of scary.
Left-hand drive versions are available with BMW’s xDrive four wheel drive system. The right-hand drive versions for the British market will be rear-wheel drive only and about 80kg lighter as a result than those on sale over the Channel. You can have it as a saloon or Touring estate and it’s going to look like an M5. It’s not going to have an M5′s fuel consumption. BMW claims a ba’ hair short of 45mpg. You’re not going to get that in real life but it’s going to be better than the petrol car’s. A few years ago, 45mpg would have been a fine result for a smallish hatch and now it’s claimed for a 380-brake sex exec. A diesel and that’s a small miracle.