A brief history of the mighty BMW M5
The iconic super-saloon is 30 years old. We chart its tyre-chewing development
Posted: 07 May 2014
BMW M5: E39
This is still an incredibly powerful, incredibly good-looking and incredibly desirable sports saloon. The third version of the M5 was based on - arguably - one of the finest cars ever built, period.
The new M5 also shouted its intent more than ever before, with new front and rear aprons, M wing mirrors, 18in light-alloy wheels, and twin exhaust pipes. Oh, and a socking great 5.0-litre V8 up front, shovelling 400bhp through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.
With 369lb ft of torque on tap, the new M5 could accelerate from 0-62mph in under five seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph (limited). It was, in short, a huge success, both dynamically and financially: BMW shifted 20,000 units up until 2003.