How BMW managed to nail the perfect suspension for the E39 M5

BMW M5, Videos | January 27th, 2017 by 7
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The BMW community can be critical when it comes to their cars, but there has always been one that stood out and has always been …

The BMW community can be critical when it comes to their cars, but there has always been one that stood out and has always been praised – The E39 M5.

The E39 M5 debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1998 and has won over the hearts of enthusiasts ever since. Many regard it to be the finest “saloon” chassis of all time. It’s almost exclusively regarded as the greatest M5 of all time. It’s not hard to see why either. The E39 M5 looked fantastic, was comfortable, handling superbly and was extremely fast. Oh, and it also came with something called a 6-Speed manual.

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Compared to the standard E39 series, BMW replaced many of the chassis components with aluminum ones, which made the chassis both lighter and stiffer. It also had thicker anti-roll bars, steel ball joints (as opposed to rubber and steel) and different shock valving, all to create a tighter overall feel than the standard 5er.

Because despite weighing 4,026 lbs, the E39 M5 could properly handle. It could run rings around the comparable E55 AMG Mercedes or Audi RS6.

The video shown here gives us an inside look at how the automaker managed to nail that perfect setup.

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Using a rig to hold the front suspension over a pair of stationary rolling tracks, an operator controls the two wheels while the tracks accelerate and decelerate the tires. From the video you can see the wheels steering left and right, putting forces on every suspension component at every angle.

The braking setup was also tested under high-load driving situations and can be seen below.

7 responses to “How BMW managed to nail the perfect suspension for the E39 M5”

  1. Bob Morane says:

    The Lexus GS-F is the new BMW M5 E39, unfortunately not as good looking and without manual.

    • guest says:

      From Car and Driver’s review, more like it’s the OLD BMW M5 E39 ie., uncompetitive in today’s market (specifically, “Slow In Certain Company”, 100 hp down from the F10). Would much sooner have an F80 M3, which garnered 4.5/5 stars over the GS-F’s 3.5/5. Even an RC-F would be superior to the GS-F. But I could buy an F80 on looks alone.

      • Bob Morane says:

        IMO the M3 E46, M5 E39 and the Z3 M Coupé were the best of what BMW ever had. What made M3 E9X and M5/M6 E6X great were only their engines. New BMWs (but not only, some for every other brand) are simply not desirable anymore, although technological progress can make them even better.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      The GS-F is a modernized E39 M5, not the new E39 M5. Because you know, the E39 M5 was actually fast back then.

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