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: E34
Unveiled in 1988, the second M5 came with more power - naturally - thanks to a 3.6-litre straight-six engine producing 315bhp and 266lb ft, allowing the car to record a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds. Later, this engine would be boosted to 3.8 litres, producing a whopping 340bhp and 295lb ft of torque. 0-62mph in this car took just 5.9 seconds, which, in the context of its time, was really bloody fast.
Fast and capable, too. Underneath sat adaptive suspension (in 1992, to cope with the extra power of the 3.8), a locking rear diff, a six-speed manual and a high-performance braking system. There was even the option of buying a ‘Nürburgring' chassis version in 1995. Overall it seemed rather popular: over 11,000 E34 M5s were sold.
Time, then, for BMW to turn up the wick even more.