I’ll be honest with you, I kind of feel like Christmas has already been and gone for me.

Last week, I finally got my M3 CSL back from the BMW dealer after a 3-month wait when the bearing shells had decided they’d had enough. So with a fresh motor in the CSL it’s a merry Christmas from myself, to myself. Well, kind of. It’s quite a long story, which I’ll get properly stuck into over the forthcoming Christmas break.

During the time that my CSL was having its heart swap, I got an email from a very nice guy called Mitja who works at Akrapovič. “Would you like to come and drive our new F90 BMW M5 with the all singing titanium Evolution Line exhaust system?” the e-mail asked. The only answer to a question like this, is of course an absolute yes.

Time was short, so we looked at flights in and out of Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana and arrived late at night. Mitja took us for a whistle-stop tour around one of Akrapovič’s almost surgical-like manufacturing facilities and then we went straight over to their HQ where Mark photographed the M5 in the dead of night.

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The next day we got up early and Ryan was handed the keys to the F90 and we went for a drive around the beautiful Slovenian countryside. Right now, I seem to be in a phase of my life where I want to own every car that I sit in. It’s like some sort of automotive ADHD thing that has got well and truly out of hand. I didn’t even drive the M5 and I was in love.

The sound the Akrapovič makes is pure class. As an F80 M3 owner, I’d argue that it’s not easy to make modern BMWs sound fantastic, but the Akrapovič engineers have done an outstanding job.

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What was it like to drive, I asked Ryan. “Supercars can be a pretty lonely experience. I mean, you might enjoy them with your wife, or even someone else’s wife, but a super saloon with super car performance can be way more fun and way less stressful. Driving the F90 with this exhaust system was certainly a theatrical experience and I don’t think there’s a saloon I’d enjoy more on the autobahn four-up with my mates doing triple digit speeds.”

Being honest, we only spent a few hours with the F90 before it was time for lunch and our flight back. So here’s a video of the car at a test track with someone rather handy behind the wheel.

We’ll be bringing you another story on the Akrapovič factory in the new year and there will be a chance to ask the engineers your questions about exhaust tuning, too.

In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming about how bloody brilliant it would be to take this F90 M5, with it’s orchestral exhaust system, back to Wales to scare the living daylights out of my whole family over the next week. Bringing launch control, mad acceleration and the fear of god into the lives of my nearest and dearest over the holidays would be the perfect present for one and all.

So, what car would you like for Christmas?

Ben Chandler
Instagram: ben_scenemedia
ben@speedhunters.com

Photography by Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni
mark@scene-media.com



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