2012 BMW M5 – Click above for high-res image gallery
Ah, the Nürburgring lap time board. Perhaps the ultimate in bragging rights for any performance automobile worth its Nordschleife bumper sticker. An unreliable indicator, maybe, since climate conditions can have adverse affects on a lap time around the massive, undulating German road course, but so it stands just the same.
The leader boards are populated by all manner of supercars, from Italian exotics and German muscle machines to Japanese monsters and barely street-legal racecars for the road. What binds them all is that they've all got two doors. Or no doors, as in the case of the Radical trackday racers that top the list. But what if you want to bring three or four friends along for the ride around the Green Hell?
Only four sedans have dipped below the venerable eight-minute mark: the Porsche Panamera, the Audi RS4, the Cadillac CTS-V and this, the new F10-generation BMW M5. That is, at least, according to reports, which state that a BMW factory driver posted a 7:55 lap time. The reports are completely unconfirmed and unofficial, and our man on the ground Michael Harley heard nothing about it while on location this past weekend for the Nürburgring 24 Hours. If true, however, the new M5 would stand as the fastest four-door on the Ring yet – and a good eighteen seconds faster than the model it replaces.