• Can a BMW M5 Actually Outrun a Ferrari FF?: Video

What do you do if you live in Sweden, you got two high-powered sports cars, and you’re bored? Why, take them to an empty airstrip and race them, of course! Here we find a head-to-head drag battle from a roll between an F10 BMW M5 and a Ferrari FF. It’s the clash of the German sedan and Italian three-door shooting-brake, but the results might not be what you expect.

Here’s what the specs tell us: while the all-wheel-drive Ferrari would almost certainly get a jump into the lead from a dig, this is a rolling start, which evens up any traction issues. Plus, both cars use double-clutch, seven-speed gearboxes, which further eliminates any driver skill discrepancies. That means it’s foot down and let the engines wind out, making this particular race purely a numbers game, with power-to-weight being the most important figure involved.

So then, we have the Bimmer weighing in at 4,288 pounds with 560 horsepower, while the Ferrari is 4,145 pounds with 660 horsepower. For the sake of simplicity, let’s put torque rating to one side for now. Rounding up, we’re left with a figure of .13 for the M5 and .16 for the Ferrari.

So the Ferrari should win, right? Not exactly.

Putting numbers on a page is one thing, but the real world is no X/Y spreadsheet, as is evident by the way the M5 walks the FF in this video. There are all kinds of forces conspiring against Maranello here. For one, the all-wheel-drive system creates quite a bit of parasitic loss at higher speeds, compared to the more efficient rear-drive BMW. Then there’s the higher drag coefficient presented by the Ferrari, which further stunts its top-end performance. Finally, the YouTube poster states that a total of three people were in the FF, while there were only two in the BMW, which knocks that power-to-weight down a peg or two.

If this race were rerun from a standstill, we’d expect the results to be totally different. As it is, the BMW only got the FF by about a car length. But, as a certain protein powder enthusiast once said, it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Hear, hear.

Click past the link to read more about this match-up.


2014 BMW M5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 506817

When it comes to Bavarian luxury performance, it doesn’t get much more traditional than the M5. The current generation, dubbed the F10, uses a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine to propel the sedan above and beyond autobahn speeds, plus there are some very nice standard features, like 19-inch wheels, blue brake calipers, and an interior Control Display. For another $7,300, you could opt for the Competition Package, which adds 15 additional horsepower, lower and stiffer suspension, plus reprogramming for the differential and stability control. Also, if you happen to race a Ferrari FF carrying two passengers on a runway in Sweden from a roll, you’ll probably win (individual results may vary).

Ferrari FF

2012 Ferrari FF High Resolution Exterior
- image 401878

When Ferrari’s two-door estate made its appearance in 2011, many in the car world were shocked. The FF is a first for the prancing horse brand in a variety ways: not only was the new body style a total break from company convention, it was also the first four-wheel-drive vehicle Ferrari had ever produced. However, these claims to practicality don’t mean the FF is slow. The engine up front is a 6.3-liter V-12, which grants a 0-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph. These are impressive figures for a car that can fit four or make a run to Home Depot. At around $300,000, the FF is certainly not cheap, but that hasn’t stopped them from selling from here to Scandinavia.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: