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The Aston designs arguably are the most visually pleasing. But for most an Aston is not a competitor to the M5 due to passenger and cargo capacity differences. A much closer comparison is the M6.
 

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The only true competitor for the M5 has to be the Alpina B5.
 

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Other than the number of doors, as pointed out.. What about price?

Exterior design, I do like with small exceptions. The grill is a bit to large, and I don't really care for the tail lights. Both of those issues are very easily overlooked.

Interior.. makes me want iDrive. All those little buttons, not very well laid out, and several hiding behind the shifter. And the leather... pad I guess.. on top on the instrument panel looks very tacky.

Depending on performance (but only to a limited extent) and price, I would like take this over a M6.
 

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I was planning to get the AMV8 but with a little one on the way I wanted/needed the extra 2 doors. The Astons are my favorite for a coupe. Elegant and very classy.
 

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How about ball park performance for half the price?

The 300C SRT-8 from Chrysler. The idea of a V10 with 500hp is still more exciting and exclusive, so Im not saying its the perfect competitor, but it looks like one hell'uva package.

see:
http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-hy-neilcombo2mar02,0,432719.story?coll=la-home-highway1

So, what German sports car wants a piece of the SRT-8? For $40,000? I didn't think so.

This is a world-class automobile that, just incidentally, is a heck of a lot of fun to be seen in. More horsepower is not the cure for everything — gingivitis, for example — but it's often an excellent anti-depressant. Take the 300C SRT-8 and call me in the morning.
Btw- Dan Neil is the only automotive journalist (that I know of) to win the Pulitzer. I usually enjoy his articles.
 

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Re: How about ball park performance for half the price?

If you are considering American sedans you should also look at the Caddy STS-V. 440HP, S/C'd V8 and Brembo brakes from factory. Not bad for a Caddy...
 

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vndkshn said:
Especially considering you can almost buy two Caddies for the same price as any of the others! I must admit, before I complete my order on the M, I plan to look at the Caddies.
Truth be told, I plan to sample both the SRT-8 and the STS-V before pulling the trigger on the E60. One new factor not considered five years ago was the need to strap three kiddie seats across the back. On that basis, I wonder which of these hotrod sedans measures up the best?
 

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Ashok Arora said:
The only true competitor for the M5 has to be the Alpina B5.
Second that! Let's hope BMW lets the magazines do a comparison test...

Should also be interesting to see how the Audi RS6 turns out.
 

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the V8 vantage is totally different from M5.
i can see an M5 owner buying both cars.

The V8 Vantage has 2 doors and only 2 seats. It is more a competitor to the 997.
 

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Teutonaddict said:
Truth be told, I plan to sample both the SRT-8 and the STS-V before pulling the trigger on the E60. One new factor not considered five years ago was the need to strap three kiddie seats across the back. On that basis, I wonder which of these hotrod sedans measures up the best?
Dave when did you move to Austin?
 

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Dave,
Your formula is rear shoulder width + is the rear seat buckets or flat? My gut feeling says the Caddy wins that comparison. All 3 can make compelling cases. You might as well include the E55 in there too and make it an even foursome.
 

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absent said:
Personally,I view the Alpina as one of the most frustrating vehicles ever!
(Because I can't get it here)
Alpina B5
  • 0-62 mph 4.7s
  • V8, 4398cc, Supercharged
  • 493 bhp @ 5500rpm
  • 516lb ft @ 4250rpm
  • p/w ratio 286 bhp/ton
I think the Alpina B5 is absolutely brilliant. My girlfriend says it's a "souped up, blinged out BMW for rich, conservative, white guys who secretly admire JayZ, Puff Daddy, and 50cent". Interesting point of view, although I don't completely agree. I think it's a tastefully done, low profile (the interior notwithstanding), super nice car with a killer engine. I think the bling factor is higher on Lorinser Mercedes cars.

Do we have any definitive information on if/when the B5 will be offered in the USA? Autocar magazine's Adam Towler said it was "...tailored mainly for the North America market..."



 

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The B5 will never be available for North America since Alpina cannot meet the demand with their limited production facilites.
 

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Gustav said:
The B5 will never be available for North America since Alpina cannot meet the demand with their limited production facilites.
Maybe they need to open a facility in the USA???

Perhaps you're right, Gustav. If B5 were on sale here, Alpina would be swamped with orders. But there are many other Alpinas here in the USA now, like the Alpina Z8. My friend who works at Google has two of them.

Seems like they could offer B5's in the same sort of way BMW offers specially built cars in the Individual program.
 
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