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BMW 540i Touring in the driving report: The silent 286 PS star

Arturo Rivas
BMW 540i Touring in the driving report
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W uring the photo session on early Sunday morning in front of the exhibition halls on Stuttgart Airport shows the first vintage cars that are allowed to park directly in front of the East Entrance. The Retro Classics is currently running, the largest vintage and youngtimer show in the south of Germany, which Jan Fleischer also visits with his BMW 540i Touring from Uetersen near Pinneberg. He covered over 700 kilometers in his dark blue station wagon. One of the parking lot attendant asks us: “What is so special about the BMW that you take photos of it?”

Inconspicuous athlete Just in case

We regard this legitimate question as a great compliment for various reasons: That this 20-year-old BMW E34 5-series estate still looks like a modern and contemporary car today, and that the practical five-door model has its true identity as a 286 hp rocket - exactly the same power as the first BMW M5 - as well hidden as Clark Kent's Superman costume.

The BMW 540i nameplate on the rear of the E34 -5 series could once be dispensed with at no extra charge. Last but not least, it is also a compliment for the good condition of the E34 station wagon, which is well cared for by Jan Fleischer, as the five-series built from 1988 to 1996 is called internally.

More than 120,000 marks expensive with classy equipment

But not only the V8 drive, which works completely stress-free thanks to the automatic and four-liter displacement, is a constant source of joy for Jan Fleischer, but also the lavish equipment of his luxury truck with leather, wood and a double sliding roof. In 1993 it drove the base price of the BMW 540i from 89,500 to over 120,000 marks.

And this is where the lively E34-5 series shows its true age, when for example 1,090 marks for a passenger airbag, 635 marks for front seat heating and an unbelievable 5758 marks for the air conditioning with 'Automatic Air Circulation Control AUC' Mark had to be invested.

These are all things that are now often available in the golf class for a zero. The 1,180 mark surcharge for the sports seats in the BMW 540i can still be considered a special offer, especially since Fleischer classifies them as “excellent and actually indispensable”.

E34 passion began with a BMW 525i

Jan is very familiar with the BMW E34 5 Series station wagons. Eight years ago, he bought a BMW 525i Touring. But like thatis often: “Of course you always dream of the top model. That's why I found a BMW 540i Touring on the Internet eleven months ago that met my expectations. ”

Despite 236,000 kilometers on the clock, the BMW 540i looked, at least on the outside, very neat. Rust was not an issue. However, the major inspection carried out after the purchase revealed a few minor defects: 'The wrong oil filter was installed, the valve covers were leaking, and the crankcase ventilation membrane was defective, which caused unstable idling.'

Acceptable consumption

But now the 5 Series BMW is running wonderfully and brought the father of two safely and quickly to the Retro Classics in Stuttgart. Jan has not yet tried the top speed of 262 km /h entered in the vehicle registration card - the 540i touring station wagon has a 250 km /h activation installed by the tuner Hartge: '180 is enough for me as a top, then it will hold up Consumption of ten to eleven liters is within acceptable limits. ”

In Stuttgart, the BMW 540i touring driver is particularly interested in Hall 9 with the parts dealers. He also visits the booth of his friends from the 5erE34 IG in Hall 8. At the east entrance, Jan visits the CCKunst Conny Constantin picture exhibition ( www.cckunst.de ), which presents internationally recognized automobile artists.

Here the BMW E34 fan is fascinated by the image of a red Porsche 917 that is on dark, rain-soaked lane drives away its competitors. It shows Hans Herrmann, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1970. The limited art print by the Hungarian artist Zoltán Nádasky is autographed by Herrmann. “Although I'm not really a racing fan,” says the BMW driver, “the picture shows a certain drama. It is also a nice memory of my visit to Stuttgart. ”

The transport back north is no problem thanks to the large loading area in the BMW 540i Touring.

The BMW 5 Series Kombi in auto motor und sport issue 21/1991

“The five-to-one touring drives exactly like all sedans of the medium-sized series from Munich feel: comfortable and dignified with a well-dosed sportiness. The successful combi rear end of the five-car touring makes a good stylistic impression, numerous smart details round off the positive picture: The rear window also opens separately, and a well-assorted tool set is integrated in the rear door. '

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