Of all the generations of BMW M5, the E34-gen is likely the least loved. In its day, it was a brilliant car; one that was every bit as silky smooth as it was enjoyable to drive. However, in hindsight, it lacked any sort of standout feature that could separate from the rest of its M5 siblings. The E28 is the original (and the best looking, if you ask me), the E39 was the best driving, the E60 had the best engine, the F10 was the first turbocharged M5, and the new F90 is by far the fastest and the first all-wheel drive M5.
Each generation has a claim to fame except for the E34. However, in this new video from EAG, we get to see a very special E34 BMW M5, which proves that the E34 is actually among the best M5s to drive.
Back in the early ’90s, BMW developed an E34 BMW M5 20 Jahre edition, which was built to celebrate twenty years of the M Division. However, it was only a Euro-market car, coming with the Euro-only 3.8 liter inline-six engine, making 340 horsepower. Since the U.S. market never got the 20 Jahre edition, the specific North American market E34 BMW M5 is a 20 Jahre “homage”.
What makes it a homage to the 20 Jahre? The paint color for starters, a gorgeous shade of Mugello Rot (Red). It also features killer red seatbelts that read “BMW Motorsport” on them. It’s a beautiful car and one that’s aged far better than I remember. Under the hood is still the same 3.6 liter inline-six, making 310 horsepower, paired to a five-speed manual transmission. It is still the largest six-cylinder BMW to ever be sold in North America, though.
The E34 used to look like a brick with wheels to me. In some ways, it still does. But it’s charming and simple in a way that modern cars aren’t and, for that reason, it’s looking better and better. Especially in a pretty color like Mugello Rot.