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: E28
Exactly one year on from the launch of the BMW M535i comes the first ‘proper' M5-badged BMW. Though it didn't look a world apart from the regular E34 5-Series saloon, it was as lairy as BMW could make a production saloon at the time.
Underneath the bonnet lurked the M88 engine from the BMW M1 supercar: a 3.5-litre straight six with 286bhp. It allowed the M5 to accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, from 50mph to 75mph in 7.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 153mph.
It had independent suspension all round, stabilisers front and rear and mono-tube gas pressure shocks. M-Division also fitted four-piston calipers with ventilated discs and some luxury inside: a leather trimmed steering wheel, sports seats, heated wing mirrors and central locking. It was acceptable in the 80s, remember.
By the end of 1987, 2,200 hand-built M5s had found "new, happy owners", forging a trail for its yet-faster successor...