The new M5 isn’t an easy car to get away from a standstill with optimum thrust. If you’re too aggressive with the throttle, you’ll activate the DSC stability control and lose a lot of momentum. If you turn the DSC off completely, it’s equally easy to spin almost all of the engine’s power away. And with 502lb ft coursing through them, once those rear tyres lose their hold on the road, it takes more than a feather of the accelerator before they’ll bite again.
If you’re a little more gentle with this two-tonne four-door off the line – using about 80 per cent of throttle in first gear and then short-shifting into second, where you can flatten the right-hand pedal – it’ll hook up and surge forward with quite staggering force.
As part of our two-way standing start test, on a slightly damp day, the M5 recorded an average 4.3sec sprint to 60mph and 100mph came up in 9.0sec dead, which is more than a second sooner than it did in the Jaguar XFR we tested in 2009, and almost a second quicker than the Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 . And that was all without the help of BMW M’s launch control system – which, despite repeated efforts, simply refused to engage under test conditions.