The BMW M5 is celebrating its 30th birthday this year and as you can expect, the German automaker is pulling out all the stops to make the car’s anniversary a memorable one. As arguably the most popular model to come out of BMW’s M division , the M5 has been lauded over the years for expertly combining all the luxury traits of BMW with the kind of spitfire performance that can go toe-to-toe with a lot of other high-powered performance sedans in the business.
The fact that the M5 has been around this long clearly shows just how popular the model has become since it first made its debut in 1984 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. The company actually has a special edition 30th Anniversary Edition M5 lined up just to show how much the model has meant to a whole lot of people over the years.
On top of that, BMW also produced this cool video as another birthday present to the M5 . The tag line "30 years of sheer driving pleasure" pretty much says it all, although if you ask fans of the M5, a lot of them will probably tell you that 30 years isn’t enough to justifiably celebrate what the M5 has meant to them.
And in case you’ve forgotten, the current generation M5 is still a hellacious screamer, capable of hitting a top speed of 190 mph thanks to its 4.4-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 560 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of twist.
Happy 30 years, BMW M5, and here’s to more years of awesomeness down the road!
Hit the jump for a quick rundown on the M5’s history
E28 M5 (1985 through 1988)
The BMW M5 debuted in 1985 in Europe when BMW took the M1’s 3,453-cc, I-6 engine, added eight horsepower to it and slapped it into the 5 Series. This meant that the first-gen M5 produced a mighty 282 horsepower. In 1988, BMW decided to let the U.S> in on the fun, but slightly detuned the engine — likely for emissions — giving it a still-stout 256 horsepower. This allowed the U.S.-spec M5 to hit 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 148 mph and deliver one hell of a growl in the process. The U.S. only got this amazing vehicle for one year before BMW pulled it from the American market.
The second-gen M5 launched in Europe in 1989 with a new, 3.6-liter engine that churned out 311 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. In 1991, the E34 M5 made its way across the pond, but with only 307 horsepower. This is why the Euro-spec M5 hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, while the U.S.-spec M5 took 6.4 seconds. Both U.S. and European models had a 155-mph top speed. In 1992, the Europeans got a new 3.8-liter engine that delivered 335 horsepower, while the American market kept the 3.6-liter because of emission regulations. This new engine allowed the 1992 through 1995 M5 to hit 60 mph in as low as 5.7 seconds and top out at 177 mph in Europe. The M5 left the U.S. after the 1993 model year, but it continued uninterrupted in Europe.
the M5 continued to be a Euro-only model in 1998, but it returned to the U.S. in 1999 as a 2000 model. This 4.9-liter-powered sedan churned up 394-horsepower and used a six-speed manual gearbox. U.S.-based M5s could hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph — unlimited models are known to hit upwards of 186 mph.
In 2005 — 2006 model year in the U.S. — the M5 returned with a 5.0-liter, V-10 engine that walloped concrete with 500 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. This engine mated with a seven-speed sequential-shift manual gearbox — automated manual. The official stance on the E60 0-to-60-mph time was 4.7 seconds, but plenty of publications found that it can do the task in 4.1 to 4.5 seconds.
Gallery BMW M5
The F10 M5 made its debut in 2011, and initially hit the market in Europe. In 2013, the M5 made its way to the U.S. with a 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V-8 engine with 560 ponies and 501 pound-feet of torque. This power makes its way through a seven-speed, dual clutch transmission that helps sprint this hefty sedan to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The no-cost-option six-speed manual gearbox increased the sprint time to 4.3 seconds, but gave the driver a more one-with-the-car feeling.