The humble E34 BMW M5 Touring is getting a lot of love today. First, we learned that it was used as a test mule for the original McLaren F1 engine, which is amazing. Now, Top Gear’s Chris Harris has just bought one. Big day for the old M5. Harris is a known lover of M5s, as he’s been quite public and vocal about his own E28 BMW M5. Now it seems as if he’s added yet another to his stable of interesting old cars.
While the E28 BMW M5 is arguably the more special car, as it’s the original M5 and it looks better, the E34 BMW M5 is a special car in its own right. The E34 was the first generation of M5 to come in wagon form and it had more power. Though, admittedly, it also had more weight. Even Harris himself admits that the early 3.6 liter E45 M5s feel a bit slower than the original E28 M5, despite the latter having less power.
His new E34 BMW M5 Touring is one of those early 3.6 liter cars. That inline-six engine made, when new, 311 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Who knows how much it makes now, all these years later, especially considering Harris claims it to be a “Little bit shabby”. Paired to that 3.6 liter straight-six is a five-speed manual gearbox, which sends power to the rear wheels. Back in its day, the E34 BMW M5 Touring could reach 60 mph in about 6.3 seconds. That’s about MINI Cooper S speed today but it was very quick back in the early ’90s. It’s more than enough to be fun, though.
Now Harris owns both of the first two generations of BMW M5 and the last ones to ever be hand assembled at BMW M in Garching. As car enthusiast and BMW nerd, that’s pretty amazing. I’m jealous.