It’s easy to forget about such a performance gem

With single-turbo or twin-turbo engines so popular today in BMW’s stable, it’s easy to overlook the fact that back in the late 1980s-early 1990s, the Bavarians built a performance sedan that had some BMW M1 DNA baked in under the hood. That performance sedan was the E34 M5, which happens to get the DeMuro treatment - and a Doug score, of course.

We need more posters of the BMW E34 M5

The E34 M5 signed off on a lot of firsts for BMW.

The E34 5 Series was the first 5er to sport a wagon model, the first to pack a V-8, and the first to feature an all-wheel-drive setup (in Europe).

Two years after its 1988 debut in Europe, the E34 M5 reached U.S. shores with 311 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque coming from the S38B36 3.5-liter straight-six engine. In purist fashion, the engine could only be paired with a five-speed manual.

Doug DeMuro's Review of this E34 BMW M5 Will Hit You With Some 90s Nostalgia
- image 929818

Coming back to the engine, it was essentially a mildly stroked variant of the twin-cam straight-six of the legendary M1. With this sort of pedigree, the E34 M5 could reach 60 mph from a standstill in 6.4 seconds. Here’s a more ample breaking down of its straight-line performance courtesy of Motor Trend:

  • 0-30 mph: 2.5 s
  • 0-40 mph: 3.8 s
  • 0-50 mph: 5.1 s
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 s
  • 0-70 mph: 8.7 s
  • 0-80 mph: 10.7 s
Doug DeMuro's Review of this E34 BMW M5 Will Hit You With Some 90s Nostalgia
- image 929822

On top of that, the E34 M5 could clear the standing quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds at 98.3 mph. Subsequently, it was pretty apt at stopping. The M Performance brake discs (measuring 12.4 inches in the front and 11.8 inches in the rear) could stop the sedan from 30 mph in 30 feet and from 60 mph in 126 feet.

Then there’s the perfectly assembled interior, which was worth its salt back in the 1990s just as it is now, three decades later. About that and other quirks you’ll learn more by watching Doug DeMuro’s video.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: