But nothing could be further from the truth with the 30th anniversary M5. Not only is it the most potent version of the super sedan to date, it is the most powerful road-going BMW in the company's history.
The result is a car that can be used to take the kids to school in the morning, collect elderly relatives from the airport in comfort and style at the weekend, and then spend the rest of the time racing and overtaking Ferraris -- it's that fast.
The ‘standard' fifth-generation M5, launched in 2011, boasted some hair-raising performance figures -- 560hp, 680Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds despite being a huge four-door, five-seat sedan with plenty of luggage space.
But to celebrate its birthday, BMW's engineers have really gone to town. The 30 Jahre (‘years of' in German) M5 puts out 600hp, 700Nm of torque and hits 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and all from the same, albeit massively tweaked, twin-turbo V8 engine.
What's more, all of that power comes with environmental responsibility in the form of a combined cycle fuel economy of 9.9l/100km (28.5mpg) and CO2 emissions of 231g/km.
As well as the powertrain upgrades, the car comes in a special silver exterior paint finish and the cabin is packed full of high-tech features. BMW will only be producing 300 examples of the car and there is little doubt that the order book will fill up almost as quickly as the car accelerates.