2012 BMW M5 Ring Taxi

There's any number of cars that can be used for taxis. The Ford Crown Vic, Nissan NV, Toyota Sienna... pretty much anything with a useable back seat, a cargo area and a roof on which to put a dome light. But a BMW M5? Surely that has to be overkill, right?

Maybe for most taxis, but this is no ordinary cab. This is the Ring Taxi. Operated by BMW and OK-Speed-Marketing at the Nürburgring, the Ring Taxi allows passengers to book a high-speed ride around the harrowing Nordschleife, chauffeured by a professional driver who knows the track's every twist and bump like the back of his (or in the case of Sabine Schmitz, her) capable hands.

For a few years the service was run in the previous-generation M5, with its high-revving V10 engine, but when that model was phased out of production, so was it retired from Ring Taxi duty. The M3 was said to have taken its place for a while, but now the M5 is back at it in its new iteration: all 560 twin-turbocharged horsepower of it.

Tickets for what will undoubtedly prove the ride of any enthusiast's life go for 216 euros ($282 by today's rates), with rides taking place once a week: on Mondays at 10 am. But BMW warns that if past experience (of which it has plenty) is any indication, hopefuls had better reserve well in advance as they tend to book up as fast as the new M5 will sling you around the Karousel.