The new £110,500 BMW M5 is a 717bhp plug-in hybrid that weighs as much as a Bentley.

A new BMW M5 is always an event. It’s exactly 40 years since the first M5 invented the super-saloon, and over seven generations, there hasn’t been a single disappointing M5. While not all were class leaders, the M5 badge has consistently represented excellence in the car world.

However, the new M5 brings some controversy. Does it look special enough? Is it too heavy? Was adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain the right decision?

Let’s start with the looks. Unlike the wide-body Audi RS6, the new M5 is not a caricature of a German uber-express. The front track has expanded by 75mm and the rear by 48mm, but the M5 lacks the muscular shoulders of an M3. Still, all the usual M5 trademarks are here: aggressive intakes, quad exhausts, and a boot lid spoiler lip. It would be considered subtle if not for the semi-blanked kidney grilles that light up like Coldplay concert wristbands.

As standard, you get a sunroof, but opting for a carbon pack replaces the roof with CFRP, along with the door mirrors, shaving off 34kg. Ceramic brakes are also optional and save an additional 20kg. These weight-saving options might be worth considering because the new M5 is exceptionally heavy. At a claimed 2,435kg, it weighs as much as a Bentley Flying Spur.

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