It Runs In The Fam­ily

Leg­endary M5s

Motor (Australia) - - FIRST ENCOUNTER -

1998

FOUR DOORS, rear-wheel drive and a snarling nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8 up front – it’s a recipe for great­ness. The E39, at the time, was a mas­sive de­par­ture from M5 tra­di­tion, swap­ping out the atmo straight six of the E34 for a bored-out ver­sion of the S62 with VANOS, mean­ing the 4.9-litre (mar­keted as a 5.0-litre) bent eight re­turned 294kW/500Nm. The man­u­alonly E39 hit 100km/h in 5.2sec and cov­ered 400m in 13.5sec.

2005

THE E60 M5 not only her­alded yet an­other cylin­der-count change, up­ping the ante to a V10, it ush­ered in a new age of elec­tronic trick­ery. You could cal­i­brate the en­gine (298kW and 378kW modes), seven-speed gear­box, steer­ing, trac­tion con­trol and damper con­trol. Or, you could just hit the M but­ton, which fa­cil­i­tated a 0-100km/h time of 4.7sec. A cool Tour­ing (E61) ver­sion was avail­able in other mar­kets, while the US got a man­ual.

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