1. 2006 BMW M5
Editors' rating: 8.7
The good: The 2006 BMW M5 packs a 500-horsepower wallop from its state-of-the-art V10 engine, with extensive electronic transmission and chassis controls complementing the power well. Interior appointments befit the upscale price tag and tech-oriented mission.
The bad: The sequential manual gearbox (SMG) is best suited for the track but is the only choice available, thereby joining iDrive on the list of BMW "improvements" that can't be avoided.
The bottom line: The 2006 BMW M5 will appeal to cutting-edge speed demons who are willing and able to master new technologies. Once the transmission has been mastered, performance is stunning, with plenty of comfort features to boot.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.