Back in the day, when the BMW E60 M5 came out, the world fell in love with its 5-liter V10 engine. It was a completely different time back then, even though it wasn’t all that long ago. We didn’t have melting ice caps on every newspaper’s front page and ‘turbo’ was a taboo word in the M headquarters.
BMW was also still involved in Formula 1 and the know-how and technology developed for usage in the motorsport was also used on its M cars. That’s how the S85 engine was born, infused with plenty of tricks from the track, to make it one of the best mills the Motorsport division ever came up with.
Over the years, the 507 HP of the V10 became a legend and fans of the brand are still feeling a shiver down their spines when they hear one on the street or even in a Youtube video. That’s what we’re here to honor today.
A couple of years ago, there was a car show in Japan that pitted the most diverse cars against each other on the track, with skilled drivers behind their wheels. It was called Best Motoring and had some rather intense racing in it.
In one episode, the starting grid was made up of only legendary cars: the BMW E60 M5, BMW E46 M3 CSL, Lamborghini Gallardo e-gear, a Porsche 911 CS and a tuned R34 GT-R. The GT-R was a beast even back then and you’d think that the two BMWs wouldn’t stand a chance.
And yet, the M5 managed to keep the number one spot in the race until very close to the end. Quite impressive considering the competition. When you also chip in the fact that it was the heaviest of the five – tipping the scale at over 4,000 lbs (1.8 tons) – you suddenly realize that the performance it’s capable of is downright mind blowing.
Then there’s the practical side to it as well. While almost all other cars shown here are two seaters – even the E46 M3 had limited space in the back – you could take the M5 out on a family trip, do a couple of hot laps and then drive back home without an issue.
That’s what the M letter is all about.