Photoshoot with one BMW’s most controversial models – The E60 5 Series

5 Series | January 13th, 2017 by 21
BMW E60 5 Series images 17 750x500

One of the most controversial BMW designs in the last twenty years, if not ever, was the E60 5 Series. Penned by Davide Arcangeli, under the guidance of BMW former chief of design, Chris Bangle, the E60 5 Series introduced the “flame surfacing” design technique. Upon its debut, the 5 Series design received mixed reviews, something relatively new to BMW. With unnatural, sharp cut lines, “Dame Edna” head lamps, and a bit of a heavy-looking rump, the E60 5 Series, 5th in the 5 Series lineage, proved a new style direction was possible both inside and out.

Gone were the soft curves and angles of the E39 Series, replaced by sharp edges, angular lights and a muscular look. The aesthetic imbalance replaced conservative design lines and rationality was replaced by willful expressiveness. The biggest factor was its distinctiveness in the BMW family at the time, something that many customers are missing today.

BMW E60 5 Series images 03 750x500BMW E60 5 Series images 06 750x500

Many were shocked to see the still-new iDrive system as a standard feature along with options such as Active Steering and the Head-Up Display finding their way to the 5 for the first time. While the exterior was turning the design world on its ear, the technological innovation of the new 5 Series was doing the same to the expected technologies on the inside and under the skin.

With rear-wheel-drive standard, the E60 also provided the first U.S. market 5 Series platform that was available with BMW’s patented “xi” designation for its all-wheel-drive system. To power both two and four wheels, the E60 had nothing but the best to offer with drive trains such as the potent N52 3.0L and later the N54 3.0L twin-turbo under the 535i designation. Much of the rest of the world outside of the United States had access to the lovely, uber efficient diesel engines that the American market has so long been denied.

Despite being launched in 2003, the E60 5er looks almost as fresh as one of the newest bimmers. In fact, some find it hard to believe that this is a 14 year old car. The E60 5 Series also inspired one of the best looking and sporty M5 models of all time, the E60 M5.

While in Portugal testing the seventh-generation 5 Series, we also spent some time admiring the design lines of the E60 5 Series, as illustrated in the photoshoot below.

21 responses to “Photoshoot with one BMW’s most controversial models – The E60 5 Series”

  1. John says:

    It was ahead of its time. Considering the crazy stuff going right now in car design, this looks quite tame.

  2. MultiKdizzle says:

    Not controversial anymore, surely. It looks much better than the boring F10.

  3. Kaisuke971 says:

    Meh, the non M Sport E60 5 Series are really dull imo. On the other with some work done to the V8 it would be a real sleeper.

  4. Mike N. says:

    The M5 and the M sport version of the regular car has especially aged well. I think they still look great today, and would probably choose one over an F10.

  5. Giom says:

    It’s a bit timeless imo. I still enjoy seeing one from time to time…

  6. alcaponeed says:

    Love my E60! Thought about getting the F10 but the E60 is miles ahead. Best car I’ve ever owned.

  7. Arunabh says:

    E60 BMW 5 series.

    Respect and salute.

  8. Alexander S says:

    With good wheels and LCI it stiil looks fresh! Unique car! I love it!

  9. mpdaws says:

    By far the best 5 series so far. It took some getting used to but it makes all the others look boring now.

  10. Andy Subbiondo says:

    I could five the E60 a pass for the “flame-surfacing” (started a notable trend w that), the heavy butt and even the Dame Edna headlights but I just can’t stand the mishappen grilles.

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