Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Ultimate Sleeper.

While walking down a dirt road in Upcountry Maui one day, a mud-covered 1985 Volvo 240 Turbo Station Wagon came barreling down the valley; complete with windsurfing gear strapped to the roof and four locals packed inside. And thus began my love affair with wagons.

Station wagons, or “tourings” for the European types, come with a fairly hefty stigma. Thanks to flicks like National Lampoon’s Vacation and soccer moms nationwide, wagons are seen as lumbering, fake-wood-paneled, car-sickness-inducing behemoths. Well, I’m here to dispel the myths and introduce you to the Ultimate Wagon, the Ultimate Sleeper if you will.


In the auto enthusiast world, a “sleeper” is defined as an unassuming car that blends into traffic, but is a beast within. On Tuesday, January 9th, while Steve Jobs announced the iPhone from stage at Macworld, another landmark for humankind was made when BMW released the first official photos of the all-new M5 Touring. Imagine a 5.0 liter V10 wagon for a family of five—with 500 horsepower and a 0-60 of 4.5 seconds.

Anyone who knows me, knows that for like the past 7 years, whenever I’ve been asked what my dream car is, I’ve immediately responded: a BMW M5 Wagon. Well, it looks like my dream’s becoming reality, at least for likeminded wagon fiends in the UK. That’s right, there’s still no official word whether this family-sized speed demon will be finding its way across the pond. But you know and I know that where there’s a will there’s a way.

Now there’s just one little snag called the price tag. A base level M5 Sedan currently starts at a whopping $82,500! Now add on the cost of the wagon, a 530xi Sports Wagon is exactly $2,400 more than its 530xi Sedan sibling. So we’re talking a bare minimum of $84,900—ouch. And that doesn’t even include the cost of smuggling it into the States, not to mention switching the steering over to a left side driver, argh. So when it all comes down to it, I guess dream car remains just that.

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